Shane Challice is an ambitious Business Undergraduate student at Aston University, UK. With the assistance of Placement Slovakia, Shane completed his 6 months long internship working in an International auditing company in Bratislava. Shane believes that his work placement was a perfect opportunity for him to experience a lot of new things and enhance himself in a positive way. We did an interview with Shane to find out more about his work and life in Slovakia.
How was your work, did you feel any difficulties to perfom your tasks?
The work itself was quiet for me, because colleagues really helped me a lot, and they were happy to give me a hand if I was a bit confused about how to proceed with tasks I was given.
How was your relationship with your colleagues?
To be honest, that was one of the highlights of my time here. I cannot really call them collegues, I was very well welcomed. They helped me a lot, not only with working environment, but if I needed a tip for travel to Vienna, or another different activity, they were more than happy to help me.
Were you well received here by your company?
Yes, 100% by the company and the colleagues.
Which skill do you think you improved the most during your traineeship?
I would say my interpersonal and communication skills. I had to get over the language barriers and try to communicate in different ways, so people can understand me.
Was English the working language and did everyone in your office speak English?
I would say 98% of them speak English. And yes, when I spoke with colleagues or clients, it was in English as a common language. But betwen them most of the times they spoke in Slovak.
How did you hear about our programme?
To be honest, it was 8 months ago, so I do not really remember exactly. I am not sure, but I was probably doing some research about placements abroad and found the Placement Slovakia.
Did you know something about Slovakia before you came here?
To be completely honest with you, I did not. Off course, I already heard about Slovakia before, but I did not think about the possibilities in Slovakia or what Slovakia has to offer. I just saw an interesting oppurtunity and I decided to take it.
What do you think is the biggest difference betwen Slovakia and your country?
There are a few differences between both countries. One of them is the weather, it is not raining here so much, but it is snowing more often and it is a bit more cold.
About the cultural differences, I think that people are a little shy. They do smile and say hello, but in the UK, they are more open to have a conversation.
How about Bratislava as a city?
I think it is a beautiful city to be honest. I was thinking that it would be of a medium size, but comparing to my city it is pretty small. Overall, I consider Bratislava as a nice city, I did enjoy it and it fulfilled my expectations.
How did you like Slovak food?
The food is different, a lot of cheese and quite oily. Not so healthy. But on the other hand there were some sandwishes that I particulary like. Overall, it was a good change, I did enjoy the food.
Did you manage to travel to different places?
I did not have much time to travel and when I got time during the weekend, I felt a bit tired and I just wanted to relax. I just went to Vienna and Budapest during the last month of my internship. I wanted to go to Prague as well, but I could not imagine myself sitting on a train for 4 hours. But one day I definitely want to go there as well.
What are your future plans?
My future plans include some more travelling and I would love to visit other countries. And after that I will most likely look for a job and do my masters degree.
Do you want to come back to Slovakia?
Yes, of course. I made friends here, most of them were my colleagues and I told them i will come to visit them again one day. Especially, if I get to visit Vienna or Budapest again, as these cities are all so close to each other.
What about your appartment and your flatmates, how were you getting along? All of them spoke English?
Oh, my flatmates were great. One of them was quiet, but a really good guy. They all spoke English and we got along well. One flatmate was from Spain and other two were Erasmus students. They were great friends.
Did you enjoy nightlife here in Bratislava?
To be honest, i do not drink that much, so in the last 6 months I probably went out only 3 times. I rarely go out. In some of the pubs I found cheap alcohol, but the places are pretty small for clubs and they are full of people.
Do you have some last comment about your internship and maybe a word of advice for students deciding whether to participate in Placement Slovakia?
The company I worked for is an outstanding company and they have raised my expectations. I would recommend any student for this internship program in Slovakia.