Internship – Lilly Meuser in the Chamber of Commerce

Lilly Meuser came to Metropolia from Berlin School of Economics and Law. In MBS she was a European Management double degree exchange student. During her stay in Finland she found a 3 months internship in the German-Finnish Chamber of Commerce, located in Helsinki. Here is her internship story.

Chamber of Commerce

“I found a three month internship in the German- Finnish Chamber of Commerce located in Helsinki. The organization is generally offering services for German and Finnish companies that are searching for new business partners in the opposing country. As they are entering foreign markets, they often need advice on the legal requirements of that area or the market conditions and developments. We are also organizing periodical events in order to bring those companies together.

Through an online forum, I found out that the German Chamber of Commerce was an option that did not require fluent Finnish language skills (I have basic Finnish skills which was considered a plus in the application). Unfortunately, the office did not have any vacancies at that time but I decided to send in a free application and they contacted me after approximately two months.

My main tasks are falling under the Market Penetration & Development department. Some of the tasks include basic administration tasks, translations, and finding German partners for interested Finnish companies and vice versa. I am also welcoming business partners to the office and organizing business trips for Finns in Germany and arranging the accommodations for their stay there: where they will stay, how, whom will they meet and so forth.

I found that although the Chamber of Commerce deals mainly with Germany and Finland, there are also other Scandinavian countries contacting us on different occasions. In matters of internationalization, Finland is smaller and more secluded, whereas Germany is a central European country with trading partners everywhere. Despite this, Finnish people usually have better English language skills, especially in lower position jobs and the culture is quite open to foreigners.

Some of the benefits of working here are the flexibility, shorter working hours than in Germany, and the fact that hot beverages and light snacks are provided for free by the employer. The challenges I’ve had so far are: finding out specific information about a Finnish company in English, excessive Finnish modesty, and having some tasks that are routine work (for example, I can search for addresses or make phone calls for a few days in a row before moving on to a new task). I do get to aid companies in both Germany and Finland in finding out information and new business partners which is really meaningful, real life work.

In the future I would like to work in an international company, with a multicultural environment and the possibility to experience working abroad. The department would be Marketing, Management or HR as these are my areas of interest and what I studied in university. It would be nice if the company had some relations with either Finland or Northern Europe. This internship is helping me realize what I would like and would not like to do in the future. I consider it has an important role for my personal development in general. It was the basic training related to my field of studies that most interns everywhere have to experience.

My advice to current students looking for a work placement is to start looking for vacancies very early on and to figure out/research what field and position you would want to work in. Do not hesitate to call and visit the companies you are interested in, be a speculative applicant if need be.”

Olivia Nastase (With Lilly Meuser), Edited by Helena Ikonen, Photo by Lilly Meuser