Mr Stylianos Sofoulakis, from Greece, University of Crete - Finance trainee
My name is Stelios and I am from Crete, in Greece, I am 26 and have a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Crete. I had my Erasmus Internship in Slovakia, Bratislava in big international company at the accounting department.
1. Why did you decide to take the Erasmus + internship opportunity? Why did you choose Slovakia?
I decided to take the Erasmus + internship because it’s a great opportunity to live abroad, meet new people, new cultures and gain some professional experience which is really important nowadays for your resume. I chose Slovakia because I had been in Bratislava in 2017 for 3 days while was travelling in nearby countries and I loved the beauty of the city and the nightlife. It’s also in a great position in Europe so you can easily travel to many different countries and explore beautiful places. I did not regret my choice of Slovakia.
2. What were your main responsibilities and tasks while you were on the traineeship?
1. Daily allocation of incoming payments
2. Comparison of payment details with open receivables booked on customer account
3. Research and resolve payment discrepancies
4. Active communication with internal customers and business units in order to ensure smooth process of cash application
My tasks were identical with the learning agreement
3.Did you learn anything new in your field? Tell us bit more about your acquired skills and competencies.
I learnt how to work in a friendly team environment, providing and receiving assistance when needed. I learnt how to communicate in a professional, polite and positive manner with my colleagues, I managed to improve my patience and my efficiency, my time management. I learnt how to use SAP and Excel with great success.
4. What was the most beneficial part of your work?
To work with a great team that was really helpful during my whole internship. A manager that had a great positive influence on everyone. Due to these I enjoyed every single day of my job.
5. What was the most difficult part of your work life?
Waking up early in the morning and month end closing-activities.
6. What would you say about Slovakia? Have you noticed any cultural differences between Slovakia and your country?
Slovakia is a beautiful country, and Bratislava is so graphic and beautiful, with Danube and the bridges it provides spectacular sightseeing and relaxing over the river. It's small sized compared to other European capitals and Athens but for me it's nice since I prefer less “chaotic” cities. The biggest cultural difference is that Greek people are a bit "warmer" and friendly than Slovaks and like to party a bit harder.
7. How did Covid influence your life during the internship? Pros and cons?
The covid-time is and the lockdown was one of the worst things that could have happened since it prevented me and my friends to party and go out as much as we would like and also prevented me from meeting new people. You have limited time to meet your friends and spend time outside, and also you always need to bear in mind to be careful around people so you don’t get infected. The only pros I can think is that you can work remotely which worked well enough for me at least for half of the week. And also, that you can appreciate more the “freedom” and the little things in life that we missed during covid.
8. Would you like to recommend anything to the newcomers?
To try to grasp every opportunity they have, never say no to a night out, to explore and travel abroad and in Slovakia as much as they can and to prolong their internship as much as possible, and to drink a lot of beer since its only 1,8 EUR.
9. How would you evaluate overall support received from Placement Slovakia team?
Could never be more pleased. The assistance from Anastasiia and Karol was immediate whenever it was needed and they were always available to communicate whenever there was a problem. I am very grateful for everything they provided me.