We interviewed our former intern Mircea Mazuru from Romania, he shared with us his experience with our services in finding an internship.
What motivated you to find an internship abroad?
I’ve always wanted to go abroad to work for a longer period of time and I chose Lisbon as I already knew it is a great destination. I wanted to work inside an international team and I also wanted to challenge myself to live alone in another country to prove myself that I can be fully independent.
How did you like Placement in Portugal’s process of finding an internship?
I really appreciated Placement in Portugal’s services. To be honest, it was one of the few companies which actually answered my inquiry email. I could tell from the very start that they offer a professional service because of how my questions were handled and how quick they answered. The process was simple, transparent and effective. I managed to find an internship that matched my requirements & skills.
Were your expectations about this experience met?
I can wholeheartedly say that my expectations were surpassed. I expected a strict & boring workplace and I found such a positive team and I made lots of good friends. The work flow was pleasant and I managed to improve my skills in Marketing & HR.
Would you recommend Placement in Portugal to other people? Why?
I will recommend Placement in Portugal to all my friends & acquaintances who are interested in doing an internship abroad. I also already recommended Placement in Portugal to my university’s Erasmus office, and I have faith that my colleagues will be in good hands. If I had the option to do my internship again, I would always choose Placement in Portugal!
Be creative! Don’t be afraid of coming up with new ideas.
Sometimes companies are still too attached to working in their traditional way, but do not be afraid of expressing ideas that might change or improve their way of operating. Be creative even if this requires challenging the traditional work style, you will be creating a positive impact as an intern.
Be open to feedback.
You may not always be completely right, but that is totally okay! What’s important is that you are willing to correct your mistakes and improve your work. Receiving feedback is always good as we can see our work from a different perspective.
Keep a professional behavior.
Be on time and dress properly, although this is an internship it doesn’t mean you don’t have to play by the rules. Meet the deadlines assigned and follow the company policies always.
Don’t pretend to know it all.
There isn’t a single person that knows everything, an internship is a big chance for students to learn as much as they can. Don’t be afraid of asking questions when you don’t know something. This will not make you look like you are not capable but the opposite it will show that you are willing to learn new things.
Keep an open mind and be respectful.
This point is specially important if you work in an international environment. Whether it is because of culture or religion you should know that every person is different and every mind is a completely different world. Not all of us have the same opinions and what you like others may not.
Be proactive! Don’t be dependent.
Take initiatives but keep in mind not overstepping. Do not always wait for your supervisor to assign you a task. Having an action-oriented attitude will show your interest to play a part in the office; Try to contribute as much value as you can to the company.
Get involved in the office team.
Even if you are an intern and your position does not require help from other people, try to get along with your coworkers. Get to know your colleagues and their way of working. This will help to have a better work environment and even improve the efficiency.
We hope this information will be a key of succes during your placement as an intern. If you do not have an internship yet, and you would like to gain some valuable work experience, check out our available positions!
If you have already made your decision about doing an internship, your next step is probably applying for some opportunities that you will find online. If the company would be interested, the responsibles will want to schedule an interview in order to get to know you and to know if you have the profile they are looking for.
In order to help you prepare for these, check our little guide about how you can be the best during your interview!
Before the interview
1) Take a look on the website
You can spare a lot of questions and time if you do some research on the company’s webpage. Your interviewer will also notice if you are already informed about the company and for sure, it is a big plus!
2) Practise answering typical interview questions before
If you are afraid that your brain will be blocked during the interview, do not worry, just prevent the problem! Of course you can not know exactly what kind of questions you will get, but there are some typical questions which are always asked and you can practise the answers before in case you feel a little bit insecure!
Can you list your strengths?
What weaknesses do you have?
Why should I consider hiring you?
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
3) Avoid technical difficulties
Make sure that your internet connection works properly before the interview and also check your camera and the volume system.
4) Be on time
Make sure that before the interview you have enough time for preparing and be available a few minutes before the interview starts!
During the interview
1) It is all about confidence
Obviously, if you do not appear confident to your interviewer, the interviewer will not have much confidence in you. It is perfectly normal if you are a little bit nervous during your interview, but try to put aside your shyness and nerves, just be motivated and it is already a half of success!
2) Smile a lot
Be friendly, polite and remember that it is not forbidden to smile! If you smile a lot during your interview, it means that you are a positive and happy person and you can gain sympathy really easily! Make sure your body language expresses that you are motivated!
3) Ask questions
An interview is a two-way street. If you have some questions, the interviewer can be sure that you are interested in the position and you did some research before the interview!
4) Articulate your words!
Since you have a wall between you and your interviewer, make sure that you speak not too fast and not too quiet. Take time to articulate your words!
1 – Take advantage of the Erasmus+ scholarship/grant
It is great to be a student in Europe – there are so many options! So you should not miss the unique opportunity that the European program Erasmus+ offers: funding your placementup to 12 months during your bachelor/master/PhD. So do not worry if you find a good but unpaid internship. The grant amount depends on your country and the country where you will do your Erasmus+ Placement. Every student enrolled in a higher institution can apply for it!
For more information do not hesitate to get in touch with your Erasmus+ coordinator at your University, as the process of applying may vary in each country.
*For more information about the Erasmus + project: Erasmus + Scholarship or directly connect the responsible person in the International relations office (External Relations) in your university.
2- Working in a multicultural environment
Many HR managers report that candidates with multicultural work experience have strong advantages in finding a job. That is because you learn how to have more respect and understanding for cultural differences, be more open-minded to other’s points of view. Since the Erasmus+ program is popular amongst European from different countries, you never know what nationality your teammate would be so that represents a perfect opportunity to strengthen a second or even a third foreign language!
Being part of international team is very helpful because people learn how to be more confident to share their ideas, doubts and concerns – all that leads to increasing creativity which would result in better organizational performance.
Honestly, who would not like to add on employee with such experience who can contribute to their team?
3- Professional development and experience
Once they step out of the university “comfort zone” to the labour market looking for job, each recent graduate encounters these two scary words: „Experience Needed“. Deciding to do a placement is perfect bridge between university and labour market. You should not waste time being unemployed. Instead simply take advantage of Erasmus+ grant for your placement – work and gain professional experience. That time is very important to realize if this job/field is suitable for you if that is the case – use that time to learn from your tutor and colleagues. It is a good way to develop the needed set of skills and qualities so you can be more competitive once you start pursuing your career.
4- Skills development and competences
20‘s are the perfect age to develop your professional and interpersonal skills. Internship abroad is a perfect opportunity for you to test yourself and learn in a multicultural environment. You can also develop the so called soft skills (people skills such as motivation, empathy and social skills, listening and understanding) that are so much needed and valued both in personal life and every work place. You will definitely learn how to adapt easily and be more flexible.
5- Travel and explore the country and surroundings
While doing your internship you will have the chance to meet people from Europe and beyond. It is perfect meeting point of fresh young nice people who are ready to explore the world – so why not do it together!? Many low-cost airlines (Such as Ryanair and Wizzair etc) and bus/train agencies offer student discounts so it is affordable to visit other cities and countries.