Stefanie Madeleine Schulz Experience at FNF Beirut
Stefanie Madeleine Schulz
Who are you? (Where do you come from and why did you look for an internship with FNF Beirut?)
My name is Stefanie Madeleine Schulz. I was interning at the FNF Foundation for three months and had the chance to join this amazing team in Beirut. I grew up in the north of Germany so coming to Beirut was a huge step for me. Right now I am living in Munich to complete my studies in International Business at the Munich Business School. Part of my studies is one obligatory internship abroad. For personal reasons, I am very interested in intercultural cooperation and getting to know especially the Arabic culture and language. Additionally, I wanted to learn more about the people and also experience the lifestyle of Beirut itself.
Since I had the opportunity to participate in diverse projects and to experience the difference and power of political education as a scholar of FNF, I was happy to get the chance to assist the local office in order to achieve its goals such as promoting a greater understanding of politics and economic freedom.
What were the two most important/exciting/interesting things you worked on while being with FNF Beirut?
Right in the beginning of my internship I had the chance to participate in the conference of the National Liberal Party which was organized and supported by the FNF.
It was a very interesting and fascinating experience which gave me a deep insight into Lebanese politics and raised my interest to inform myself more about the unique political situation in Lebanon.
The second (not less) exciting event was to join a meeting of all German foundations hosted in the German embassy. It was great seeing how engaged many other foundations are and what they do and how they work locally. Very interesting for me were the reports about the current situation in Syria and the general security situation in Lebanon.
What was different in Lebanon and Beirut and the office from what you expected before you came?
On my first day of work I was surprised how modern and creative the work inside the office is. I did not expect that, so I was very impressed!
The next very great surprise was how welcoming the Lebanese people are! In this three month I encountered so much openness and warmth. I felt all the time very comfortable and enjoyed many facets of the lifestyle. Surely, I am going to miss this back in Germany.
Would you do this internship again? If so, what would you do different?
ALWAYS! The time in Beirut deeply shaped me and I will never forget the time I have spent here. I learned a lot personally and professionally. I got great insights into the work of the FNF and it was a good addition to my scholarship too!
I would not do anything different because I think exactly that is the challenge, to find one’s bearings in another country.
What could my future career look like?
My business areas of focus are International Marketing & Sales and International Corporate Governance. After my studies I want to do my master’s degree in the USA. I see a great potential in social capital and would like to continue in this vocational field internationally.
Freedom means for me…
…to have the opportunity to determine the course of my life freely and in my own way. It’s no matter of course and an achievement that everyone should always care for in order to remain the values like humanity, tolerance and liberalism.