Welcome back to the blog! Today I wanted to talk a little more about my internship abroad. When I am not taking classes in at CAPA, I spend 20 hours a week interning at a small management consulting firm. The firm focuses on helping companies within the EU receive grant funding for their projects. As an Junior Consultant, I aid the company in gaining potential clients through business development work. I feel really fortunate to have been placed in an internship that relates to my career interests.
Before I started at my internship, I was definitely nervous for my transition. In my previous blog post I discussed my fears for my internship. I have been fortunate to have had internships previously, however they were at large companies which can be a bit slower than fast-paced small firms. I definitely did not know what to expect in terms of the culture of the team and the company. I also did was unsure of how I would adjust to managing my work load and responsibilities.
However I found my transition to my tasks be easier than expected. My supervisor was really great and took the time to teach us all of the software, and I felt that I was slowly eased into my tasks andd responsibilities. Adjusting to the culture was a bit more difficult than expected. I work with a small team that spans across Europe. I work with my two supervisors and another intern in London, and the rest of the company is based in Romania and we communicate virtually. In London we don’t have a traditional office, and instead use a variety of co-working spaces that other start-ups and small businesses use. In the beginning, I missed working in a quiet office, and I found it slightly uncomfortable to work without my supervisor physically present. However as time has gone on I have gotten used to this new style of work. As more companies adapt aspects of “start-up” culture, I am glad that I am getting this experience early in my career.
I would recommend that all students study abroad take advantage of an international internship experience if possible. Participating in this experience has helped me not only gain a unique experience for my resume, but also has given me important competencies. I have become more skilled at time management, a stronger communicator, and more culturally aware person in general. For students participating in the program, I would recommend going into your internship with an open mind. Not everyone gets their exact placement they requested, and even if they do the tasks aren’t always glamorous. But by keeping a good attitude and communicating with your supervisor and team, you can find yourself learning something you never imagined you would.