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 first begin and why did you decide to take an Erasmus+ internship in Slovakia?
My initial plan was not including this internship at all. I was trying to find a job to travel and visit my family in Vietnam. At the last minute I realize that I really need is to get some professional experience. Everything happened so fast, I found this internship in Lenovo, Slovakia so here I’m.
Can you tell what responsibilities the company gave you at work?
In the first days of my internship I did some administrative tasks, and then I got used to the routine and I got more responsibilities. I start doing CV screenings, which mean make the decision if the candidate if good or not for the position. Also I did phone and face-to-face interviews with the candidates and active search for candidates.
What were your expectations and were they met?
I usually don’t have many expectations. I wanted to get to know the big corporate environment. For the other side I wanted to find out if I was made for HR and recruitment. Knowing new people and new cultures was very important for me too. I have to say that all those expectations here meet.
Were there any tasks given to you that you had no idea how to complete? If so, how did you solve it?
I had experience in recruiting before, so there was nothing new for me. The only task that has new for me has the active search; however I had a full training and instructions so it went good.
How did you find out about our programme and how would you evaluate our assistance provided during your period here?
One big plus is the accommodation, because is very hard to find a place to stay in the a new country. However I had some problems with the Visa process to come here, and Placement Slovakia also help me with that.
Do you have any suggestions or improvements to our placement programme?
Improve the communication, is definitely something that you can work on.
What do you think of the lifestyle in Slovakia?
To be honest Slovak people are quite conservators and reserved, ad that affects the city and the activities. However it didn’t affect me, I went out with a lot of international and Erasmus students.
What did you find as the most different from your usual environment, country? Was there any culture shock?
I have to say that Vietnam is Asian version of Slovakia, being ex-communist countries, they are going through a great development and the living sanders are not so high in here too.
What did you like the best here in Slovakia (food, place, cultural aspect, work…whatever you can think of)?
Compared to Finland is super cheap in here. Other thing is that Slovakia is a pretty safe place to live. Slovakia has a perfect location in Europe, is easy and cheap to visit different places.
Did you have enough time to travel and explore Slovakia and neighboring countries? Which places did you visit and what left the biggest impact on you?
In Slovakia, I went to High Tatras and Slovak paradise. Outside I went to Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, I also took a flight to Milan and The Netherlands, the tickets where very cheap. It is very nice in the company because they are very flexible with the days off.
Which moment of your stay in Slovakia has been the most memorable for you?
I meet a lot of cool people; I hang out a lot after work, playing sports and go for a drink. The most memorable was my last trip to High Tatras.
What are your future plans after finishing the internship?
I’m going back to Finland and finish my school. Then I’m going back to Vietnam and apply to another Erasmus in March.
Is there anything you would like to say to students still deciding whether or not to do an internship in Slovakia?
The internship is something that had a lot impact on my life; you should go to another country and explore a new country and culture. Slovakia is dynamic and there is a lot international companies where you can improve to the maximum your skills and there is also a work opportunities after.
Thank you Vivian for your testimony, we wish you all the luck! :)