This summer Pala connected with the Bundeshandelsakademie 1 Salzburg Business School in Austria, who asked if we would be keen to host one of their students for a month-long internship at Pala. Funded by the EU (good while it lasts!) we welcomed Julian, at the beginning of the month as one of three students we interviewed. The calibre was so high we would have taken all three if we could!
After four weeks of hard work (feels like Julian has always been a part of the team here) and completing a spread of tasks from marketing to wholesale in the internship role, we thought it would be a good exercise for him to pen his thoughts as to his experience thus far, and get an idea of what his expectations were before joining us. We’ll certainly be learning from our month together and thought it would be good to share with others who may be considering hosting an International intern. Read on to find out more about the role in Julian’s own words. Want to check out the rest of the HAK1 programme? Head over to discover more about what they do!
‘I’m very grateful to be part of this programme, it has almost felt too good to be true. Being able to spend a month in the beautiful Brighton on behalf of the EU has been incredible. My Dad always said that nothing in the world is free, so I thought to myself, where’s the catch? For some people participating in the Erasmus+ programme the catch is having to work. Personally, I never really shared this view and was ready to get going. I love the UK, especially the language, and this work placement provided an opportunity for me to improve my English further.
In all honesty, my expectations for the work placement itself weren’t high at all in the beginning, I thought that I was going to be assigned jobs in a large (boring!) office, knee deep in paperwork that no one is going to ever look at again. Oh boy, how wrong I was with that assumption. I love my work here! I’ve been involved in a whole spread of interesting tasks, including video editing, social media engagement, producing content, researching retailers and many more. This is truly extraordinary; I have never had a job this interesting and challenging.
This is what placements are supposed to provide in my opinion. I’m here to learn something, and I’ve learned a lot so far already. It feels like I’m actually valued and that my opinions and suggestions get treated with respect and are taken seriously. Something that I feel was lacking in previous internships! What I like the most is that I´m allowed to have a lot of insight into the company and get to know every aspect of the business. This insight is going to be very useful for my future endeavours and I will never forget the experiences I’m making here.
What must be hard for employers when it comes to Interns, especially from another country like me, is trust. Allowing some random 18-year-old to take care of important tasks seems risky and I understand that. However, I urge anyone that is currently employing an intern from a work placement, or thinking about employing one to give them a chance to show what they can do. We are often underestimated because of our age or lack of experience, however, in a positive and constructive environment with tasks that are engaging and actually demand a bit of skill or outside the box thinking to solve, I promise we will surprise you…like a birthday party one day early!’