These ten journalists successfully made it through three rounds of an arduous selection process to be accepted into Deutsche Welle's prestigious journalism traineeship program. Welcome to DW!
I was born in 1986 in Poland's Upper Silesia and moved to Germany after the fall of the Berlin wall. I was only 16 when I got my first taste of journalism by reporting on the World Youth Day in Toronto. I enrolled in theater, film and media studies as well as romance languages and American studies at the university in Frankfurt and as part of my studies went to Paris on an Erasmus scholarship. After graduation, I headed to the US where I took a road trip up and down the east and west coasts and covered 8,000 kilometers. I'm a bit of a film junkie and regularly go to the annual Cannes Film Festival and Berlin's international film festival. As a program director at the student cinema Pupille I even learned how to use projectors and change rolls of film. I've done internships at the Hessischer Rundfunk public broadcaster, the dpa news agency and KulturSpiegel. I was a junior editor for einestages - that's the contemporary history section of Spiegel Online and I also worked as a researcher for 3Sat TV's cultural program Kulturzeit.
What I can't do: park in reverse in one go, leave a movie while the closing credits are rolling and climb stairs quietly.
I took my first tentative steps as a journalist at the local paper with a story about jugglers at the pool. Born in 1989 in a rural area of Rhineland-Palatinate state, as soon as I finished high school, I heeded the call of the big city and hot-footed it to Berlin. I then indulged my passion for the US by enrolling in North American studies and political science at the university. With a German government exchange scholarship in my pocket, I headed to the University of California in Los Angeles and a think-tank in Washington D.C. to experience the US first hand. Back in Germany I completed a master's degree in journalism at the University of Mainz and did various internships in print, radio and television. I've also freelanced for dpa and ZDF, a German public broadcaster. And I can't wait for another trip to the US.
What I can't do: arts and crafts. I always tried hard but my art teacher always looked at me with pity.
I was born in Dresden in 1987 and spent a year in Australia in 2000. That's where I had my first encounter with Deutsche Welle - every morning, in fact, at the family breakfast table watching news updates from DW-TV in Berlin. Back in Dresden, I graduated from high school, did mandatory community service in Berlin and worked at a local radio station before enrolling at university. I became chief editor at the college radio station, FH Mittweida and I juggled a schedule filled with studio time, lectures and parties. Thanks to my staunch constitution, I managed to finish my degree in media technology and also did six months at RTL Radio in Luxembourg. Leipzig's master's program in new media journalism took me to universities in Hamburg, Salzburg and Lucerne and at the same time I worked as an editor for the online radio station detektor.fm. I finished my master's with a thesis looking at data journalism in television newsrooms.
What I can't do: be without friends, music and the Internet.
Detours are the road to new discoveries.
I realized at 16 that there's was more to the world than Munich and headed off to the US as an exchange student. The urge to travel hasn't left me since. I also discovered a passion for sharing my experiences with others. After a stint at M94.5 student radio and the public broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk, I realized the best way to share experiences was to do this behind a microphone. I studied political science and Turkish studies in Munich and Istanbul, which became my second home. After graduating, the question was where to go next. I was too impatient for an academic life - politics or the media seemed more fitting. I interned at the EU parliament in Brussels and at political foundations in Istanbul and Berlin. Then the epiphany: having a career in politics meant I'd have to tow the party line and hold back my own views. So it's great to be at Deutsche Welle - a place where I can combine my interests in international and current affairs with my innate desire to share these interests with others.
What I can't do: binomial formulas.
The first in my family to be born in Germany, I grew up in the picturesque town of Hattingen. I've always been a passionate talker and I wanted to speak Polish passionately, too. That's my parents' language. So after graduating from high school, I did an internship at the radio station Mittendrin in Poland. I came back a radio enthusiast and produced reports for various local radio stations in North Rhine-Westphalia. In 2010, I enrolled at the journalism institute at TU Dortmund and discovered a new passion: working behind and in front of the camera. I combined these two passions working for Berlin's RBB German-Polish cultural magazine. These days when I'm not on the road with a camera or microphone, I'm usually traveling through Europe or daydreaming to music while looking for a new passion to indulge in.
What I can't do: cook pancakes, dive down deep or touch my nose with my tongue.
I'm from Swabia in southwestern Germany and like many from the region, I headed straight to Berlin as soon as I finished high school. I studied politics and Middle Eastern history there and also in Tel Aviv while swatting up on Arabic. Any time I had a break, I backpacked through the Middle East, acquiring a rich vocabulary of swear words and a deep love of Arabic living room furniture. Through a journalism cooperation program with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation I delved into the world of multimedia. As an intern and freelancer I reported for Zeitonline, Spiegel, DW and Al Jazeera, and I recently spent a year in Cairo reporting on the revolts and riots there.
What I can't do: ride with someone sitting on the back of my bike, fry sausages, fold maps the right way and speak "high" German.
I came into the world in 1987 and spent a happy childhood in the forests of Wernigerode, robbing trees of their chestnuts. After graduating I escaped the provincial backwaters of the Harz region and headed to Leipzig to study communications and media studies. Whenever lectures finished I'd head to the campus radio station mephisto 97.6 where I was a presenter and editor-in-chief. Then things began to speed up: first an internship at mdr1 Radio in Saxony-Anhalt, followed by a stopover in Prague and then 12 months in Benin in West Africa. There I hosted a women's rights program (at least when the power stayed on) at Radio Univers. Back in Germany I did a master's in linguistics at the University of Halle and also freelanced for MDR's radio program Figaro and DW's Africa department.
What I can't do: speak calmly and collectedly about issues that make me fume.
How to define myself? As a Berlin Wall kid? Generation Y? A digital native? Maybe I'm something in between. What I do know was I born in 1985 in Germany's Lower Lusatia region. After high school I traded the gloomy state of Brandenburg for the grays of Berlin - ostensibly to serve the country by doing military service. The reward was to go to Halifax, Canada to attend an international military band festival. Because a high school degree and military service don't usually lead to a job as a head correspondent, I started by interviewing pigeon breeders and croquet club members for a local newspaper. I then headed to Bavaria to study journalism and political science, and wrote a thesis on "Embedded Journalism and Political Public Relations During the Iraq War". In between I swapped Bavarian wheat beer for Italian Nosiola wine and at an Italian private TV station learned how to produce a lot of television on a very low budget. I went on to produce news reports for DW's news program DW-Journal in Berlin before heading to Israel as part of my studies. The result was a TV feature about federal service volunteers in Jerusalem and Palestine. The only country left on my wish list was the United States and that's where I learned that not everyone working in the Washington studio of Germany's ZDF public broadcaster was thrilled about Obama getting reelected. Now I'm a DW trainee and although I love television, I'm curious to learn more about the multimedia possibilities here at Germany's international broadcaster.
What I can't do: small talk, whisper and fall asleep without The Three Investigators detective stories.
Daniela Corinna Späth
I was born in Flensburg in 1984 and grew up in Bavaria. After graduating from high school, I spent a year as an au pair in Boston. That's where I got my first taste of TV journalism. I then studied media and communications in the German city of Augsburg and Buenos Aires where I majored in media informatics. I backpacked through Central America before starting a string of internships with National Geographic Germany, Bayerischer Rundfunk, ZDF and Deutsche Welle. I won a German government scholarship to study in Arhus (Denmark) and Swansea (Wales) where I completed an international double master's degree in journalism, media and globalization with a major in war and conflict. After a spell as a research assistant for the German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA), I freelanced for Spiegel Online's video department and for Stern.de as an online news editor.
What I can't do: start the day without coffee and take care of my smartphone (I dropped one from the balcony, lost one and one was stolen).
Elisabeth Yorck von Wartenburg
I was born in 1989 and when I was 12 I moved from Hanover in northern Germany to Constance in the south. I spent five years at a boarding school in the Black Forest, with sojourns in France and Sweden. After completing a bachelor's degree in literature, art and media, and ancient world studies, I went back on the road: first to Freiburg for an internship at the regional station TV Südbaden, and then on to Rome on an Erasmus scholarship. The next stops were Munich for internships with FokusTV Reportagen and Bavaria Fernsehproduktion and Leipzig for a master's degree in journalism. There I ran various video projects and also shot a film in Poland. Before coming to Bonn for the DW traineeship, I graduated from the training academy of Leipzig's local radio station mephisto 97.6 and also interned with a history program at the German public broadcaster, MDR.
What I can't do: sing. Whenever I start, people always ask me to stop.