Today we bring to you the full testimony of Vivian. Vivian comes from Vietnam but moved to Finland to attend a bachelor degree of International Business in Vaasa University. After five and a half months in Central Europe, let’s go deep and try to understand what this experience brought to Vivian.
How did your story begin and why did you decide to take an Erasmus+ internship in Slovakia with us?
"This was not my initial plan at all. I was trying to find a job, then travel and visit my family in Vietnam. At the last minute I realized I needed to get some professional experience. Then everything happened so fast, I found this internship in Lenovo, Slovakia, which I liked the most, and so here I was. Big plus was also the fact you are providing with accommodation, because is very hard to find a place to stay in the a new country. I had some issues with the Visa process, but Placement Slovakia also help me with that."
What were your expectations and were they met?
"I usually don’t have high expectations. I wanted to experienced the big corporate environment and I wanted to find out if I was "made for" HR and recruitment as my professional path. My goal was to get to know new people and new cultures. I have to say that all those expectations were met."
Can you share your thoughts about your job, responsibilities you had? Was there any struggle for you?
"In the first days of my internship I did some administrative tasks, and then once I got used to the routine, I got more responsibilities. I started to do CV screenings, meaning I was making the decision if the candidate was good or not for the position. Also I did phone and face-to-face interviews with the possible candidates and active search for candidates. This was actually the only new task I learned, as I had experience in recruiting before, so there was many things I was familiar with. I had a full training and instructions so all went good."
What are your thoughts about Slovakia?
I have to say that Vietnam is Asian version of Slovakia- ex-communist country, they are going through a great development and the living standards are not so high in here as well. Slovak people are quite conservative and reserved, but luckily I met a lot of nice local and international Erasmus students. If I would compare to Finland, Slovakia is super cheap. It has a perfect location in Europe, what make it easy and cheap for visiting different places and countries around. Other thing is that Slovakia is a pretty safe place to live in."
Did you have enough time to travel and explore Slovakia and neighboring countries?
"In Slovakia, I went to High Tatras and Slovak paradise. From neighboring countries I went to Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, I also took a flight to Milan and Netherlands, as tickets from Bratislava where very cheap. My company was very flexible with days off, so I was able to travel a lot."
What are your future plans?
I’m going back to Finland to finish my study. Then I will go back to Vietnam and perhaps I will apply for another Erasmus in March :) ."
Is there anything you would like to share with students still deciding whether or not to do an internship in Slovakia?
"The internship is something that had a lot impact on my life; if you have a chance, you should go and explore new country and culture. Slovakia is dynamic with lots of international companies, where you can improve and gain new skills, it also provides plenty of work opportunities after."
Thank you Vivian for your testimony, we wish you all the best :)
With great pleasure we would like to present to you the testimony of Nora. Coming from Vietnam, Nora moved to Finland to continue with her education. Nora then took her chance to start internship with us, in Boataround as a Digital Marketing trainee. By the end of her internship, she was offered a full time position, and she decided to stay in Bratislava.
How did your story begin and why did you decide to do an Erasmus+ internship in Slovakia?
It was part of my degree program to find an internship. I was looking for a place in Western Europe, or other place, not too far away. My university sent me an offer from Placement Slovakia, and I decided to give it a try.
Can you share some of your responsibilities at work?
I started as a digital marketing trainee, but since I worked in Start-up company, our marketing department is not that big, so then I took over several tasks: Social media, website, marketing research and data analysis .
What skills did you improve the most during your traineeship?
Everything of "hands on skill" on marketing. I worked as a normal employee, so I learned a lot. They provided me with all the resources I needed.
What were your expectations and did you meet them?
From a professional point of view, I exceeded my expectations, even though I was just a trainee I had a full time work experience.
Were there any tasks given to you that you had no idea how to complete? If so, how did you solve it?
Working with the IT department, but they really helped me.
What would you like to say about Slovakia? Is it too different from your usual environment? Have you experienced any culture shock?
Coming from a post-communist country, I have to say that I don’t find a lot of differences. People here drink a lot :). The living here is much cheaper than in Finland, for sure, but similar to Vietnam, I would say. I like Slovak food, but it can be very heavy some times.
Did you have enough time to travel and explore Slovakia, or other countries? Which places did you visit and what left the biggest impact on you?
I didn’t explore Slovakia that much, but I explored some neighboring countries near by. I visited Vienna, Budapest, Prague and many more cities of Czech Republic.
What is the best moment of your stay in Slovakia you would like to share?
I remember many great moments from the office for sure. But recently, there was one moment- lady gave up her place in the supermarket queue because I had just a few things, from this little act of kindness, I really felt accepted in this country.
What are your future plans after finishing the internship?
I’m staying here :). By the end of my internship I got a job offer from Boataround. I will start to learn Slovak, I guess :).
Is there anything you would like to say to students who are still deciding whether or not to do an internship in Slovakia?
Be prepared with the paper work, specially for non-EU students! Be open to the experience. In the beginning,I didn't had a good impression of Slovak people, but then, I met more nice people. One last thing, just explore Bratislava by night!
In the context of Erasmus Day celebration we, Placement Slovakia, presented a very original way to explore other cultures. ! In the festive spirit that the Erasmus+ program provides us, we dived in the Latin culture. We all know that Latin people always love a good party and what could be more Latin that dance? To honor their culture, we at Placement Slovakia, prepared for all of you a workshop of Latin dances.
This event took place in KC Dunaj, one of the most original bars in Bratislava, and Fernando presented us with several different types of dances: Kizomba, Bachata, Salsa and Meregue.
The Latin night was a great success. We would like to thank you all for coming and to make this evening unforgettable. Here in Placement Slovakia can't wait for the next event.
Antonio from Croatia spent 7 months in Bratislava doing his traineeship as a Business Support Coordinator. According to his own words, he learned a lot of new things and met amazing people that have raised the bar when it comes to future co-workers. We are happy Antonio had a wonderful time in Slovakia and below you can read the whole interview he provided us.
We usually have trainees who come to Slovakia for 5 or more months, but Yash is the 1st one who originally came to do a 6 months long traineeship and liked it so much, that he decided to do the 2nd one almost right after that, again with Placement Slovakia, on the same position and in the same company! Having a short 1 month break between the two traineeships, to visit his family, Yash recently came back to Slovakia and is now enjoying work and Spring in Bratislava. Below you can read an interview about his first traineeship on a position of a Logistics trainee in Lenovo Slovakia.