Doing internship abroad can be a huge advantage in working life. It improves language skills and gives ability to work in international positions. We interviewed three Metropolia students who are at the moment abroad doing their internships. Read what Johanna, Jenni and Jere have to say about their interesting experiences.
Johanna Narkiniemi traveled all the way to Santiago, which is the capital of Chile to do her intership. Her internship lasts five months. The picture below is a picture from Santiago that Johanna kindly sent us.
Tell briefly about the company and your job? I am working in a company called ChileXtremo, which organizes tours in Santiago and nearby such as surfing, paragliding, trekking, skydiving, rafting, climbing and wine tours. I am working with sales and marketing, and also sometimes doing promotion on tourism fairs.
How does the local culture differ from the Finnish culture? People are super friendly and treating foreigners really well. Seems to be also helping if you are blond. In generally people are really slow on doing things so you have to wait a lot, they also forget things pretty easily, and Chilean time and Finnish time are totally different concepts. However, you have to be at work on time since people work hard and a lot. There is not existing word “No”, it is either “yes” or “maybe, why not” even though it means no. Also if you have agreed to meet somebody, you always have to confirm on the same day is it actually happening. Traffic is a chaos compared to Finland, nobody knows where to bike, walk or drive so when driving a bike you have to have eyes on front, side and on the back. Culture in Chile is also much more conservative than in Finland for example divorce has been existing only five years.
What has been your best experience during the internship? The nature in Chile is amazing; Andes, beach, desert, Patagonia etc. and also one the best things has been friendliness of the people.
Your regards to the blog readers? Doing my internship abroad was one of my best decisions because of the new friends, connections and ideas I have got during my stay. I really recommend it to everybody.
Jere Suikkila is doing his internship in Berlin, Germany. He works for the company for seven months.
Tell briefly about the company and your job? Every Finn knows Nokia but what people do not often realize that it is the world’s largest mapping company. Nokia acquired Navteq in 2008 and it is today a part of Nokia’s Location & Commerce business unit. My job as an intern in the Communications team is to support my colleagues to communicate with employees and media. I have been involved in many things ranging from managing Nokia Conversations blog posts to creating intranet pages for employees.
How does the local culture differ from the Finnish culture? Finnish and German cultures are quite similar but there are some major differences. However, culturally, Berlin is a special place where people are open and tolerant.
What has been your best experience during the internship? My best experience has been the pleasure of joining a great team. Every day challenges me to learn something new. Earlier this week we launched HERE, a new brand for our location assets. Being part of such a huge project has been amazing and it will take a couple of weekends to reflect what I learned from it.
Your regards to the blog readers? I hope everyone is able to find an internship they love and where they are able to learn new things and find out what they want to do in the future.
Jenni Jokinen is doing her internship also in Germany. More precisely in Karlsruhe. Her internship lasts five and a half months.
Tell briefly about the company and your job? I work for a social media start-up aspiring to build a new online portal for job seekers and companies
How does the local culture differ from the Finnish culture? Germany is generally considered to be relatively close to Finland when it comes to cultural distance. Everything functions well and efficiently, and business in conducted in quite an official manner. Nevertheless, in Germany things are notably more formal and bureaucratic. For example in business, the dress code is a lot stricter as well as people’s general manner (e.g. how you talk to others).
What has been your best experience during the internship? Overall, I like the company. The management, employees and my tasks are great and it’s a wonderful feeling to always go to work happy.
Your regards to the blog readers? Travel while you’re young and gain new experiences. Before coming to Germany I studied two semesters in England, after which I greatly missed home. Nevertheless, when I was offered the current place I knew I had to go, because later in life moving to another country for a while on a short notice would most likely be difficult.