Nicoleta Renata Fotache from Italy, Cash application Trainee in International Business Company
Renata moved from Romania to Italy and studied there. She is currently in her sophomore year of Master's degree, studying Corporate Finance and Financial Markets at the University of Turin, Italy (hopefully graduating in March 2022). During her studies, she was through the Erasmus program in Poland and then moved to Slovakia for the internship.
2. Why did you decide to take the Erasmus + internship opportunity? Why did you choose Slovakia?
I attended about 6-7 interviews, but there were always some "buts". I wanted to visit Western countries, so after Poland it was a good option. Also, the offer was good, with free accommodation and food stamps. I didn’t expect Bratislava to be so small, but it has its advantages, for example, when I go out, I know that I will meet someone I know, I can quickly get anywhere.
3. What were your main responsibilities and tasks while you were on the traineeship?
My main tasks were to apply payments received the day before in JDE, collaborating with collection team to chase for missing payments, support the cash application department across all entities, investigating unallocated cash and outstanding credit notes as per KPI, supporting team lead with process improvements and audit requests.
4. Did you learn anything new in your field? Tell us bit more about your acquired skills and competencies.
Before coming to Slovakia, I took an Excel course which I thought it might be useful, so I learned something by myself. During my internship I learned more about accounting. I realized that there are other departments that I would be interested in besides accounting. However, I suppose I could learn even more if I had the opportunity to go to the office, talk to colleagues, ask for advice, or just chat.
5. What was the most beneficial part of your work?
My chair! I received from the company all the equipment I needed. Our teambuildings were a good moment. We only had three, but that was the only time I was able to personally meet some of my colleagues. Moreover, my colleagues supported me very much. I didn’t have a special relationship with my manager as I was trained by another colleague, but she was always there when needed.
6. What would you say about Slovakia? Have you noticed any cultural differences between Slovakia and your country?
I have visited several places in Slovakia (Nitra, Slovak Paradise, Bojnice Castle, Devin Castle, Cicmany, Senec, Komarno and Lakes) and they were all good. Of course, I appreciate Bratislava as I had a great time here, I met a lot of people, I saw amazing sunsets. Talking about cultural differences is dinner time. Slovaks have dinner around 17/18, straight after finishing working, which is very different from my Italian routine, because I am used to have dineer around 20 or even later. It was weird, after reopening, that I counldn’t go to restaurant for dinner at 10 because by that time they close the kitchen.
7. How did Covid influence your life during the internship? Pros and cons?
On one hand, because of Covid I didn't go to the office. When the restrictions were lifted a little, we were allowed to go to work, but there were few people, so it was wiser to stay at home. Moreover, I was trained on calls and this is why the social was the worse part. Initially we didn't even turn on the cameras at the meeting.
On the other hand, I didn't waste time commuting to and from the office. I could save on transportation and lunch. It was also comfortable to work from home while listening to music. Last but not least, travel was not prohibited, I had the opportunity to go outside and I traveled even more.
8. Would you like to recommend anything to the newcomers?
- Join the Erasmus group to meet people so you can juggle both work and parties.
- If possible, do not always stay at home, work from time to time in the office, because with people it is easier to study, learn and communicate.
- Discover Slovakia.
- Don't rest, there's no time for that.
9. How would you evaluate overall support received from Placement Slovakia team?
Good, I received support in the beginning. During my stay I didn't need it.