After applying for Placement Slovakia programme, Emanuel (24), joined the international reinsurance company in Bratislava as a graduate Erasmus+ trainee. At the beginning, he thought of taking the first plane and get back home - to Portugal. Fortunately, he changed his mind and at the end, he managed to turn this opportunity into a full-time job.
Emanuel, your successful story proves that combination of a good internship opportunity and a smart trainee can lead to the full-time employment. How has your story started?
I was about to finish my studies at Coimbra Business School, in Portugal. I studied finance and accounting and my ambitions were to get a job in this field.
Unfortunately, the situation in my home country is not the best – the unemployment rate is quite high, especially among young people (The youth unemployment rate was 25,4% by the February 2017. To compare, in Slovakia it was 19,10%; source Eurostat, edit. note).
The employers rather put preference to applicants with some work experience, ideally from the international environment.
Thus, I started to search for some internships opportunities and my professor gave me an advice there is also a free internship programme called Placement Slovakia. So I applied.
I remember. It was a summer 2016. Originally, you were supposed to start in October. After you were accepted for the position of accountant trainee in a big international company, you decided to come by the end of August. What made you change your mind?
My future team leader told me it would be better for me to start in September. It was quarter closing and she thought that at the same time I could help and learn much more during this period than later. She was right.
What were the most difficult moments for you during this internship?
Also, the first minutes at the station in Bratislava. I wanted to turn around and go back that very second. When I was leaving Portugal, I told my mum I will be back in two weeks.
What made you change your mind?
I did not expect to like it so much. First weeks were a bit harder as everything was new to me, but I was lucky getting excellent support from my team and especially from the team leader. They helped me a lot and I loved the work spirit over there.
Once I started to work, I got very motivated. They dealt with me as with full-time employee, so my tasks were equal to theirs. The work was in my field, plus, I got to learn the financial and accounting processes of a big international company.
Were there any moments when you had no idea what to do?
How did you solve the situation?
I am a simple man. I simply asked my colleagues :)
You told me you were the only male member of the team. How is it to work only with ladies?
To be more precise, there were six ladies and me. I found it very pleasant; they are more sensitive.
Your internship was truly successful. At the end, the company offered a full-time position and you took it. Yet, we are eager to know more about your long-term goals. Can you reveal a bit of them?
So far, I want to stay in this company – there are still so many things to learn. One day in the future, I would like to found my own company – in the field of investments, my passion.
Is there anything you would like to say to students deciding whether the internship is a good idea?
Simply come and do it. It is a great opportunity which will change both your professional and personal life.