Laura Lienen, Sales Intern
21 years old
July 2015 – January 2016
My name is Laura and I am a 20 year old student. Normally, I live in Germany and study International Business and Management at Fontys International Business School in Venlo, the Netherlands. A couple of weeks ago, I moved to Elgin in Scotland for my first Work Placement Project which is a mandatory part of my studies.
This internship is actually my first real business experience. Naturally, I have graduated some smaller ones before, but mostly with a duration of only a couple of weeks. Besides, I needed to make sure that this internship matches my university’s requirements.
I started looking for internships about half a year before the actual starting date. I did not expect to be offered an internship position within the first weeks but after a while one got frustrated because companies rarely replied or just declined the applications. One day, I found several job and internship positions offered by ESPA on my university’s website. The internship positions interested me very much so I had a look at ESPA’s website. Here, I found out everything about the application procedure and the benefits which come with an internship provided by ESPA. I well-liked that the service ESPA provides is free, unlike various other websites I encountered. In addition, I preferred doing an internship in an Anglophone country and company. Therefore, ESPA was a perfect match for finding an internship in the United Kingdom.
I contacted ESPA and sent them all relevant documents for further applications. I got interviewed by Jane Ma on Skype and she patronized me throughout the whole application process until my move to Scotland. During this, Jane was constantly encouraging me and supporting me while focussing on finding me the most suitable internship matching my university’s requirements. During the interview, we talked about my experiences, my studies, the expectations which I have and all the requirements stated by my university. After my Skype interview, she suggested that I applied for the position of a sales intern at one of Europe’s leading companies in food manufacturers in Elgin, Scotland; which I gladly did. After a couple of weeks, I was invited to participate in a Skype interview with the general manager and the sales manager of the company. A week later, I got the news from Jane that the company wants to have me as their intern. From there on, Jane constantly managed the exchange of information between the company and me, as well as the landlady later on. I received a go from my university and the contract to acknowledge the internship.
The accommodation provided by ESPA and the company is wonderful. I share a house with the landlady (although she travels a lot) and another flatmate which will be moving in in a month. Momentarily, I got the house to myself which is pretty exciting because it is my first time actually living on my own and being far from home for the first time. As the accommodation has been provided for me on my arrival, it really took a lot of stress from me. I did not have to travel to Scotland before or to rent anything blindfolded. I got a 2 minutes’ drive to work (I brought my car) and the city of Elgin is just lovely. It’s a 10 minutes’ drive to the beach and I’m not far away from Inverness where Loch Ness lies and a lot of castles and other historical places. Scotland has an amazing nature to offer, the country is just fascinating.
The People and Colleagues
Although I am totally on my own for the first time, there is no need to be afraid or feel alone or anything. The Scottish people are nice and very likable. Especially my colleagues create a great atmosphere to work in and I am really enjoying my internship so far. They are all very outgoing and sociable, as I encountered on a night out with some colleagues at dinner and drinks at a bar in my first week. The town offers a lot of activities and occasions to make new connections and friends.
I am looking forward to the rest of my internship here in Scotland. In total, my internship has a duration of about 6 months, from July until Christmas 2015. My supervisor here offers a lot of tasks to be involved in and gives feedback on my report for university as well.
I would like to thank ESPA for this opportunity and their support. They have offered great help and I am really pleased with my internship experience so far.