Mr. Thomas BERNARD from France, Business Process Modernizer
We continue to post testimonials from our interns. And today we are introducing Thomas BERNARD, 24 years-old French, with a Master's degree in Information Systems (Information Systems Management and Strategy). In his daily life, he enjoys watching and practicing sports such as football, tennis, table tennis, cycling and running. He also enjoys spending time with friends, visiting new places or going to the casino.
If you are interested in his story, just keep reading.
Why did you decide to take Erasmus+ traineeship opportunity? And why did you choose Slovakia?
After finishing my studies, I didn’t want to find a job in France right away. I wanted to have an experience abroad to discover a new culture and especially to practice my English. I didn’t know the Erasmus + program but someone told me about it. So, I immediately decided to take this opportunity and send my application.
During the first interview with the person in charge of Erasmus + in France, she asked me which European destination would interest me. I replied that I have no preference cause my main wish was to go abroad for my English and I was open to all destinations. A few weeks later, she called me to ask if I was interested in an opportunity in Slovakia. I answered “Yes” and I arrived in Bratislava on the 28th of March 2021. So, I can’t say I choose to go to Slovakia but I’m very happy to be here.
What were your main responsibilities and tasks while you were on the traineeship?
I joined the company Air Time Critical as Business Process Modernizer for a 6-month internship. My key mission was the modernization of the client’s interface of the company. As part of this mission, my tasks were:
Market research à determine what solutions are available on the market, their functionality and ease of implementation as well as their suitability with the existing CRM tool and the company's budget
Online quote system à setting up of online quotes and electronic signature of documents
Web portal implementation à cloud system to share tracking & documents with the clients online
Tutorial library à for internal use of the new on-line tools
I had another mission as Community Manager. I was in charge of the:
· Publication of new articles on the website considering different aspects (WordPress editing, SEO optimization, organization of categories & tags …)
· Diffusion of the news of the company on social networks
Coordination of the teamwork for the article translations and planning of the publications
Website continuous improvement & modifications in cooperation with the web agency
Creation of a tutorial library (written & videos) for the best practices
Did you learn anything new in your field? Tell us bit more about your acquired skills and competences.
Thank to this internship, I developed different skills and competencies. My boss was busy and he didn’t always have time to take care of me. So, I learned to be more autonomous in my work, to take initiative, to manage my priorities and my time. I can consider I’m more responsible and able to take charge of projects from A to Z. I also developed my oral communication skills because I had to present the various advances of my projects to my colleagues and to conduct meetings.
What was the most beneficial part at your work?
For my coworkers, I would say the most beneficial part of my work was the implementation of an online quote system. Before this new system, they lost a lot of time to do it manually and it was prone to errors. Now, it’s faster and easier for them which makes them more efficient.
What would you say about Slovakia? Have you noticed any cultural differences between Slovakia and your country?
Before my arrival, I knew absolutely nothing about this country. So, I could discover Slovakia and I would say it’s a nice country with nice landscapes and a lot of places to visit. About Bratislava, it’s a good city to live in, very safe, attractive with many things to do. About Slovakia, I explored different places (forests, castles, mountains, lakes …) and I didn’t think this country was so “rich” of attractions.
About the cultural differences with France, I would say the mentality and pace of life of the population are different. In my opinion, Slovakian people are more respectful (respect between them, respect of the Highway code, respect of the Authorities) and look less stressed (they take the time to live). Also, the population looks very sportive compared to France. Every day, I see a lot of people riding bikes, running, and doing rollerblades.
How Covid influenced your life during the internship? Pros and cons?
Covid didn’t have a big impact on my life during my internship. When I arrived, the restrictions were almost over. I just lived with a curfew in my first days but in general, I could live normally in Slovakia. I consider I’m very lucky to live in Slovakia during this period, the health situation is much better than in most of the European countries.
One of the negative points is to have to wear a mask when we are inside. If I must retain a positive point, I would say it’s to have to work at home. I like working from home, the pace is different than in the office, I think I’m more efficient at home and I can organize my day as I want more easily.
What was the most pleasant part of your Erasmus+ internship experience in Slovakia?
For sure it’s to have the opportunity to travel and to discover new countries and cities. From Bratislava, it’s very easy to travel to the border countries because the train and bus systems are very efficient. Bus/trains, highways, gas, hotels, etc. are very cheap compared to France. We have no excuses not to travel. Thus, during this internship, I could travel to different Slovakian cities, in Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, and Hungary.
Would you like to recommend anything to the newcomers?
Of course! Like I said before, Slovakia is a nice country with a lot of things to do and to see. The cost of living is affordable, the weather is very good, people are fine and welcoming. Everything is there to have a good time.