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Traineeship

2015 - 2016

Our trainees bring a wealth of experience with them. Get to know them here. Learn what they'd be if they weren't journalists, who'd they'd like a beer with, and what they're absolutely incapable of doing.



Janina Semenova, international DW trainee (photo: DW/Matthias Müller).

Janina Semenova from Germany

Janina Semenova
has studied journalism and music since 2012 at the Technology University of Dortmund. She got her first experiences in journalism at a local newspaper and radio station, and working in the online team at "Ruhr Nachrichten".

When it comes to me, people should know that
I was born in Dortmund to a German mother and Russian father, and grew up speaking both German and Russian. After a short stop in Canada for high school, I wanted to get to know the country of my Russian relatives. At the "Moskauer Deutsche Zeitung", I explored the mix of German and Russian culture. I'm a big fan of travelling, playing the piano, summertime and having movie nights.

If I weren't a journalist, I would be
An interpreter.

I'd really like to have a beer with
Jan Böhmermann.

Some things you’ve absolutely got to see, hear and read at some point are
See: The world (as much as possible).
Hear: classical music - at least sometimes.
Read: The "Dossier" column in the newspaper "Die Zeit".

I'm really impressed by
A musician who can improvise on his instrument.

My most embarrassing moment as an intern was
At my internship in Moscow I wrote an article about the Eurasian Economic Union's plans to regulate the percentage of cotton in lace underwear, like lingerie. My research led me to some provocative websites that might have raised a few of my colleagues' eyebrows.

Try as I might, I absolutely cannot
Spend a long time without talking. Or go without coffee.


Ashutosh Pandey, international DW trainee (photo: DW/Matthias Müller).

Ashutosh Pandey from India

Ashutosh Pandey
was born in Buxar in India. He studied radio and TV journalism and has worked for many media outlets in India - most recently, for Reuters in Bangalore.

When it comes to me, people should know that
I come from the holy city of Varanasi in India. It's a city which, in the words of Mark Twain, is older than history, tradition and legend. I like to refer to myself as a versatile storyteller due to the sheer diversity of stories I've covered over the past few years for Reuters and India's public broadcaster Doordarshan. I’ve covered issues ranging from national elections to international diplomacy, from book launches to bomb blasts, from the downfall of Blackberry to the botched IPO of Facebook. I'm an avid birdwatcher. Someday I want to write a book describing the romantic side of these feathered beauties.

If I weren't a journalist, I would be
A mountaineering instructor.

I'd really like to have a beer with
Warren Buffett, because what if he names me his successor in a moment of misjudgment?

Some things you've absolutely got to see, hear and read at some point are
One must see the picturesque ghats along the banks of River Ganges in Varanasi, hear a tiger roar in the wild and read the hilarious one-liners written on the backs of trucks in India.

I'm really impressed by
An engaging news article written with fewer than 300 words.

My most embarrassing moment as an intern was
While covering a story on gharials, long-nosed cousins of crocodiles, I was sitting close to a baby one and doing a piece to camera. I was trying to convince the viewers that these animals, contrary to the popular belief, were not man-eaters but extremely docile creatures. Just then the gharial turned towards me. I freaked out, screamed and jumped toward the camera, much to my embarrassment.

Try as I might, I absolutely cannot
Make a perfectly round Indian bread, a roti.


Marina Strauß, international DW trainee (photo: DW/Matthias Müller).

Marina Strauß from Germany

Marina Strauss
was born in Nördlingen in southern Germany. After getting a bachelor's degree in French and media studies, she earned a master's in German-French journalism in Freiburg and Strasbourg. Most recently, she has worked for Arte and euronews.

When it comes to me, people should know that
I was born in a place that sits in a crater created when a meteorite struck the earth, although I don't know if that relates to my wanderlust. One of my great hobbies is picking sunflower seeds from bread. I recently traveled to Istanbul and discovered my passion for backgammon. Other than that I play volleyball, preferably on sand. Someday soon I would like to run a half-marathon and reach a reasonable level of competence in Spanish.

If I weren't a journalist, I would be
Maybe a doctor, a lawyer or a psychologist. All these possibilities crossed my mind as I was growing up. But the wonderful thing about being a journalist is that you can discover so many different worlds all the time - it's a luxury I wouldn't trade for anything.

I'd really like to have a beer with
Marine Le Pen so I could figure out the reason behind her party's extreme right-wing views which fuel xenophobia.

Some things you've absolutely got to see, hear and read at some point are
See: The fjords in Norway, where in June the sun never really sets.
Hear: Future Islands (preferably their performance of Seasons on David Letterman).
Read: The great Ijsberg Magazine from Lyon.

I'm really impressed by
A person who makes her or his ideas a reality, who stays calm and down-to-earth, who has style, who doesn't laugh at others but at him or herself, who does not lose his or her ideals somewhere on the way, someone who is creative, likes to travel, is courageous and is always open to new things and perspectives.

My most embarrassing moment as an intern was
When a new temporary presenter of a news show asked me politely what I was studying. I followed his question with a "polite" question of my own: "What are you doing here?" "Well, presenting. At least that was the plan," he replied, a little taken aback.

Try as I might, I absolutely cannot
Remember where I parked my bike, or keep plants alive - either they dry up or simply rot.


Hang-Shuen Lee, international DW trainee (photo: DW/Matthias Müller).

Hang-Shuen Lee from Hong Kong, China

Hang Shuen Lee
was born in Hong Kong and has a degree in European Studies. The idea to become a journalist came to her while she was doing an exchange year in Germany. She most recently worked for the Chinese service of Deutsche Welle.

When it comes to me, people should know that
I hadn't really considered being a journalist before leaving Hong Kong. But I am curious about (almost) everything. I want to work creatively; I love to communicate and want to be a well-rounded person. Journalism corresponds with all these traits.

If I weren't a journalist, I would be
Probably a musician or artisan, despite maybe not being qualified enough.

I'd really like to have a beer with
Confucius, Napoleon, Cleopatra and Stephen Hawking. Just imagine them all sitting at one table. Oh, and I'm definitely going to ask Leonardo da Vinci about Mona Lisa.

Some things you've absolutely got to see, hear and read at some point are
See things that others can't see. Listen to the stories of elderly people - especially your grandpa and grandma! Read DW articles.

I'm really impressed by
People who work with passion and have great talent but remain humble and down to earth.

My most embarrassing moment as an intern was
On the very first day of my DW internship, I had to translate an article into Chinese and adapt it to a Chinese-speaking audience. Without any proper knowledge in translation, I did it practically word for word. The editor came to me, looking really confused, and said, "uh...so you write this way in Chinese?" I guess it was a really strange piece.

Try as I might, I absolutely cannot
Play any kind of ball game, develop a sense of direction and, sadly, keep from being clumsy.


Hecko Flores, international DW trainee (photo: DW/Matthias Müller).

Hecko Flores from Mexico

Hecko Flores
was born in Mexico City. He studied multimedia journalism and linguistics in Texas and interned at the sports desk of the newspaper "Die Welt" during the 2014 World Cup.

When it comes to me, people should know that
I'm a multicultural individual with Arab and German roots, like Mexico City itself. The vibrant, international and captivating atmosphere of the Mexican capital shaped me from a young age and has aided me in my travels throughout my life.

If I weren't a journalist, I would be
A dentist, a professional football player, a Formula 1 racecar driver or a boxer.

I'd really like to have a beer with
Ernest Hemingway

Some things you've absolutely got to see, hear and read at some point are
See: Zinedine Zidane's goal in the 2002 Champions League final against Bayer Leverkusen.
Hear: Angeles by Elliott Smith
Read: Erich Maria Remarque's "All Quiet in the Western Front", Ernest Hemingway's "To Have or Have Not", Hermann Hesse's "Siddhartha"

I'm really impressed by
Everything that has to do with aerospace technology. Also automotive engineering and green technology are quite fascinating to me. The future is now!

My most embarrassing moment as an intern was
Well, I tend to openly speak my mind when I probably shouldn't.

Try as I might, I absolutely cannot
Dance. I cannot dance to save my life.


Maximiliane Koschyk, international DW trainee (photo: DW/Matthias Müller).

Maximiliane Koschyk from Germany

Maximiliane Koschyk
studied Chinese language and culture in Cologne and Canton as an undergraduate. She then got an Erasmus Mundus master's in journalism in Aarhus and London. She's done work for the dpa news agency, the BBC and at the DW Berlin studio.

When it comes to me, people should know that
My hobbies include urban gardening and table tennis. I was born in Bonn and raised in Bavaria, so I can switch dialects at the drop of a hat. I love beer in both small and large glasses.

If I weren't a journalist, I would be
Something where my seven years of Latin would be useful.

I'd really like to have a beer with
Loriot, in his time. Nowadays with Jan Böhmermann or John Oliver.

Some things you've absolutely got to see, hear and read at some point are
Lucy Worsley and Dr. Who taught me a lot about the Britons, while the "The Good Women" by Xue Xinran taught me about China. The "Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin" is one of the best things about Bavaria besides beer gardens. I am a podcast convert ever since "Serial" and am currently listening to Slate's "Culture Gabfest."

I'm really impressed by
A good memory or somebody who can recite poems.

My most embarrassing moment as an intern was
Being sent to a press conference where I sat down on the last free seat. That was, until the mayor of Düsseldorf asked me to please vacate his chair since he wanted to preside over the meeting himself.

Try as I might, I absolutely cannot
Whistle, spot an offsides in football, or play the violin. (Although I'm still willing to try that last one.)


Mara Bierbach, international DW trainee (photo: DW/Matthias Müller).

Mara Bierbach from Germany

Mara Bierbach
grew up in Northern Germany. She spent a year in the American Midwest as a high school exchange student. She later got a bachelor's in economics from the University of Bonn and a master's in North American Studies with an emphasis on political science and cultural studies from the Free University Berlin and Indiana University. She wrote a lot for a university newspaper, worked at a TV production company, interned at a local paper, at the taz newspaper and on the set of a children's TV show.

When it comes to me, people should know that
I like good food and bad jokes.

If I weren't a journalist, I would be
A supermodel.

I'd really like to have a beer with
Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Stefan Niggemeier.

Some things you've absolutely got to see, hear and read at some point are
See: The World. Rothko's paintings up close. Good live improv comedy. So, so many great TV shows, from "30 Rock" to "iZombie". The "Daily Show" and "Last Week Tonight". "Neo Magazin". Cooking Shows with Rachel Khoo. "Forgetting Dad" - amazing documentary. "Brokeback Mountain". "Frances Ha". "Annie Hall", in spite of Woody Allen. "Pillowtalk", because of Doris Day. Bridesmaids. The "Bitches Get Things Done" and "Sweaty Balls" skits from Saturday Night Live. Obama's speeches at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. At least one YouTube video of a baby and a puppy who are best friends.
Listen to: The Podcast "How did this get made"? The episode of NPR's "Planet Money" where they brilliantly explain what happens at the end of the movie "Trading Places". "Baba O'Riley". Springsteen's classics. Taylor Swift's last three albums. Kendrick Lamar. Justin Townes Earle. Hot Chip live. Kick Push by Lupe Fiasco, Merry Go Round by Kacey Musgraves and Biloxi Parish by Gaslight Anthem.
Read: The "Berlin Blues" trilogy. Most of Steinbeck's work, all of @Seinfeld Today. "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "Special Topics in Calamity Physics". After a long day: "Girl Walks into a Bar" by Rachel Dratch, "Bossypants" by Tina Fey or "Is Everyone Hanging out Without me?" by Mindy Kaling. Stefan Niggemeier's blog, HermsFarm.de and Vulture.com. Everything Emily Nussbaum writes.

I'm really impressed by
Humor and a quick wit.

My most embarrassing moment as an intern was
It's too embarrassing to write about publicly.

Try as I might, I absolutely cannot
Remembering the names of streets and people. Everything that requires balance and poise. Coming up with a third answer when listing things.


Uta Steinwehr, international DW trainee (photo: DW/Matthias Müller).

Uta Steinwehr from Germany

Uta Steinwehr
was born in Neubrandenburg, Mecklenburg-Upper Pomerania, and pursued a degree in African studies at University of Leipzig, where she is also currently working on a master's of journalism. She's had various internships in all types of media. She last worked for Mephisto 97.6, the University of Leipzig's local radio station.

When it comes to me, people should know that
I'm an amateur photographer, globetrotter and earring lover. I have to go to the Baltic Sea at least once a year to get my dose of "home".

If I weren't a journalist, I would be
A chocolate maker.

I'd really like to have a beer with
My childhood heroes: Armin Maiwald, Christoph Biemann and Ralph Caspers of "Die Sendung mit der Maus", a very famous German children's program where the three of them explain everyday phenomena.

Some things you've absolutely got to see, hear and read at some point are
Watch a sunrise at the sea alone. A play at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London, in the standing section in the yard, of course. Read old letters, postcards and birthday cards and walk down memory lane.

I'm really impressed by
Nature. When, in spring, after weeks of quiet, all the plants explode overnight. When I'm standing next to a massive, meters-thick baobab tree, knowing that it grew from a fingernail-sized seed. When, just in front of me, a huge waterfall thunders into the deep. When, during a solar eclipse, the light becomes surreal and the shadow of the moon races towards me. Then I'm simply fascinated and feel quite minuscule.

My most embarrassing moment as an intern was
First internship, first day for a local newspaper. I had to write an article about a youth center's holiday program. While I was there, my nose was very runny but I didn't have a tissue. That meant lots of sniffling. Obviously it didn't help at all. The child that I interviewed was staring at me for a while and finally blurted out, "You've got something on your nose." Usually I like to know things like that, but I felt absolutely embarrassed.

Try as I might, I absolutely cannot
Whistle with two fingers, peel potatoes with a normal knife, ride a bike with no hands.


Max Zander, international DW trainee (photo: DW/Matthias Müller).

Max Zander from Germany

Max Zander
moved to Berlin to study Journalism, got some TV experience in the US, wrote a few newspaper stories in Turkey and finally made it to Deutsche Welle in Bonn.

When it comes to me, people should know that
I was born in 1990. I'm half American, half German and 100 percent from Hamburg. After graduating from high school, I worked for a year on a boat, which involved scrubbing a lot of pots and pans. But overall, a dose of positive thinking and a whole bunch of sarcasm have been paving my way for the last 25 years.

If I weren't a journalist, I would be
A doctor, a secret agent or a director at a zoo.

I'd really like to have a beer with
Vladimir Putin while ice bathing in a Siberian lake.

Some things you've absolutely got to see, hear and read at some point are
Berlin's abandoned city center between Christmas and New Year's Eve, the seagulls and signal horns on the Bosporus in Istanbul, and an issue of Tintin, the comic book by Belgian cartoonist Hergé.

I'm really impressed by
Modesty, a good sense of humor and a steak that's been grilled to perfection.

My most embarrassing moment as an intern was
After a night out in Washington, DC, I was supposed to tape a panel discussion the next morning. I did manage to get to the venue on time, but I forgot to turn on my recorder. The substantial buffet there did help compensate for the mistake, however.

Try as I might, I absolutely cannot
Plan a month in advance, go to bed early or play soccer.


Maya Shwayder, international DW trainee (photo: DW/Matthias Müller).

Maya Shwayder from USA

Maya Shwayder
studied psychology and Italian language and literature at Harvard, spent a year living in Milan where she studied music performance, and then got a master's in journalism at Columbia. Most recently she worked as the UN correspondent for the Jerusalem Post and in a small role at Facebook.

When it comes to me, people should know that
I was born in Detroit, and when I was 13 my family picked up and moved to the Netherlands for a year. This started a lifelong love of traveling. I had the good fortune to work in New York for three years after graduating. Also, I love dogs.

If I weren't a journalist, I would be
Maybe a diplomat, except that I'm the least diplomatic person I know.

I'd really like to have a beer with
Aung San Suu Kyi or Hilary Clinton or David Bowie. The movie "Labyrinth" started a lifelong love of David Bowie. I know, I know, it's the worst reason ever to love David Bowie. How about a beer with all three?

Some things you've absolutely got to see, hear and read at some point are
A Dutch tulip field in full bloom in the spring. Also Doctor Who. Mahler's ninth symphony. Anything by Neil Gaiman.

I'm really impressed by
Olympic gymnasts. Seriously, they must be made out of silly putty to be that naturally bendy.

My most embarrassing moment as an intern was
So this one time, I was assigned the task of scheduling overnight tweets for the local New York publication for which I was interning. I must have scheduled about 30 tweets for the hours of 8 pm to 8 am. Apparently one of these tweets contained incorrect information about the subject of an article. That subject decided to file a lawsuit against the publication and I was fired. This started a lifelong hatred of Twitter.

Try as I might, I absolutely cannot
I have a lifelong love of food, but you will never be able to convince me to eat insects.


Helena Kaschel, international DW trainee (photo: DW/Matthias Müller).

Helena Kaschel from Germany

Helena Kaschel
grew up in a German-British family in the Ruhr area and studied history and media communications in Bonn and Münster. She did internships and worked as a freelancer with the Süddeutsche Zeitung, two university radio stations and Deutsche Welle.

When it comes to me, people should know that
I love the culture, digital and education beats and I'm looking forward to the new DW adventure. Fun fact: Jim Jarmusch films and plum cake make me happy.

If I weren't a journalist, I would be
Less satisfied.

I'd really like to have a beer with
Eric Jarosinski, aka @NeinQuarterly, to learn the art of witty twittering. Alternatively, with Paul Auster or Stephen Fry.

Some things you've absolutely got to see, hear and read at some point are
The café "De Laatste Kruimel" in Amsterdam, The National, Karen Köhler's volume of stories called "Wir haben Raketen geangelt".

I'm really impressed by
Genuine kindness.

My most embarrassing moment as an intern was
When I slipped and fell on a frozen puddle while doing vox pops in central Munich.

Try as I might, I absolutely cannot
Go to bed without a glass of water within reach.


Kait Bolongaro, international DW trainee (photo: DW/Matthias Müller).

Kait Bolongaro from Canada

Kait Bolongaro
has a bachelor's in French and African Studies from the University of British Columbia. She also has a master's in journalism with a focus on political communication from the Erasmus Mundus Master's Program at Aarhus University and the University of Hamburg. She's worked as a freelancer for Al Jazeera and as the English and politics editor at cafébabel, a magazine for young Europeans.

When it comes to me, people should know that
I love cooking and sharing food that I prepare with others. It's a simple pleasure, but it's one of the ways I show someone I care.

If I weren't a journalist, I would be
I would be an opera singer or a politician.

I'd really like to have a beer with
Oriana Fallaci, the renowned Italian journalist.

Some things you've absolutely got to see, hear and read at some point are
Markets from around the world - from Owino in Kampala to the Marché des Enfants Rouges in Paris - to take in the whole experience with all your senses.

I'm really impressed by
Someone who responds to a negative situation in a positive way. It is easy to become mired down in small grievances and forget what's important.

My most embarrassing moment as an intern was
I can't think of a specific incident, but I have a tendency to put my foot in my mouth, so this has certainly happened to me during an internship.

Try as I might, I absolutely cannot
Do many things related to heights. I'm quite uncomfortable when I am on high buildings, but I still managed to climb on my hands and knees to the top of the Eiffel Tower.

DW recommends

Ramon Garcia-Ziemsen DW Akademie

Ramón García-Ziemsen

Head, Journalism Training

T: +49.228.429-2242
E: volontariat@dw.com