Internships are a crucial aspect of many students' academic journeys, offering valuable opportunities to gain practical experience in their chosen field of study. Whether it is a requirement for graduation or a personal choice to gain work experience, internships provide you with the chance to apply classroom knowledge to real-world situations, network with industry professionals, and learn new skills.
Internships can also help you to clarify your career goals and make informed decisions about your future career paths. In this article, we will explore Yordan's internship experience, discuss common challenges faced by him during his time in Slovakia, and read the recommendations for new-coming interns.
Yordan Krachunov is a Bulgarian student from the University of Vienna. He came to Slovakia to have an experience as a Customer Service Trainee in a Slovak branch of a global company present around the world. He was responsible for ordering material asked by customers (representers of other enterprises), making and sending invoices, checking the delivery of the material - whether it was delivered in full quantity and at the right time, writing emails to inform customers about this status or to ask the shipping agency about the situation of an order.
We asked Yordan about something new that he may learn in his field: “This internship taught me how to optimize my working performance in a certain period of time - in other words, it made me think about which tasks are more important to be done sooner than others and respectively apply this principle so eventually I became more productive.
Besides this skill, I also learned how to provide information to business partners in a professional manner and with certainty so that they could feel satisfied after receiving it.
Most importantly, in my customer service team, I did develop my ability to cooperate with my colleagues which meant that I managed to coordinate my work with them and to make us all react quickly and effectively to finding the right solution to a particular problem. “
Talking about overall support from mentor and colleagues in the company, he shared: “My two mentors stood at disposition near me at the beginning so that I could become familiar with processing orders as well as communicating with customers professionally and especially showed me how to provide them with the right and certain information about the material they asked for. During the last 2 months when I used to work on my own, without the help of my mentors, they were always ready to give me advice on how to deal with an untypical order, unexpected situation, etc that appeared sometimes on my workflow.”
Yordan added that the most pleasant part of his work was when he successfully processed big and demanding orders of customers and saw after that that the whole material was delivered on time at the right place. The most difficult part of his work life was when he had to complete many orders in a limited time and there were questions and complaints of customers I had to give responses to as soon as possible in between.
He also commented on his living experience in Slovakia: “Slovakia for me is maybe the most quickly developing ex-communist country in Europe. Besides this, the country has wonderful nature as well as historical sites to show to everyone visiting it. The Slovak people are very open-minded, gentle, hospitable, and last but not least - hardworking. Maybe exactly those elements of their personality make them a nation that successfully integrates into the EU. In comparison with the society in my homeland Bulgaria, they managed to remove some negative characteristics of their mentality which generally could hinder international cooperation as well as the spirit of socio-economic change.”
He also mentioned that the most pleasant part of his Erasmus+ internship experience in Slovakia was the possibility of enjoying the Christmas party at the office in December where he could meet so many co-workers, exchange impressions with them and get to know the Slovak people better, and in a pleasant, chill atmosphere. While the most difficult part - is being forced to remember a lot of information about products, workflow, scheduling tasks, and customers in order to become a competent member of the Customer service team.
Yordan kindly left some recommendations to new coming trainees: “Don't be afraid of getting more tasks from your mentors to complete or being told to learn much about every detail of your work process - just do this. The age of a university student is the right time to gain new knowledge most effectively because then you have time to think about the purpose of every action performed by yourself - whether this could be your professional field in the future or how you could avoid your mistakes. Regarding the last point - also don't feel upset after doing a mistake - as an intern, nobody would punish you for it.
Third and last advice - work hard and smart, when you aren't working - have fun, meet new people, travel - all this refreshes your mind and makes you more productive.”
From our side, we congratulate Yordan on completing the internship in Slovakia! This is a significant milestone in his academic and professional journey. Completing an internship requires hard work, dedication, and a willingness to learn, and he has demonstrated all of these qualities during your internship.
Yordan, may the skills and knowledge you gained during your internship help you achieve your career goals and contribute to your personal and professional growth. Remember to stay curious, continue to learn and grow, and always strive for excellence in everything you do.
If some of you want to have such an experience as Yourdan had, do not hesitate to fill out the form on our website and we will contact you if you passed the 1st stage.
Best regards from Bratislava,
Placement Slovakia team