Eilidh Hajost is a Finance major graduating in May 2019. Last summer, Eilidh interned with Startup League in Barcelona, Spain.
If you worked on a big project during your internship, please describe what you did to help. I had the opportunity to design and analyze effective budget models across departments and for the entire start-up company. I conducted cost/benefit and other types of analyses and submitted findings directly to the CEO. I was also able to co-chair Conference Event Management and projected budget/timeline initiatives. It was a valuable experience being able to present budgets to senior management and suggest spending improvements that increase investor ROI.
What did you find most challenging about your internship? International internships provide great opportunities for you to experience the working environment of a global company. But like any other job, there will be of course be good days and bad days. For that reason it is important to manage your expectations and mke the most of your time abroad. The most challenging aspect of my internship abroad was a lack of communication, but that just meant I had to be willing to ask questions and learn to adapt to a different work environment.
What advice do you have for other students that are also considering interning abroad? Get involved! A summer internship only lasts for so long, and it is important to display your value and interest right from the beginning. Become friends with your coworkers, and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. Chances are you will not be the only intern at your company, and getting to know your coworkers and supervisors on a more personal level will make it a much more enjoyable experience for everyone.
How did Eller (or your previous coursework) prepare you for your internship? Several of my classes have tied into real world examples for my internship experience. For example, many of the skills I learned in my Finance classes have helped me to succeed on projects, such as developing and analyzing the prospective budget. Having this background knowledge also allowed me to provide valuable insight on how we can improve the company’s ROI, and I even had the opportunity to present suggestions directly to the CEO. However, even if your responsibilities are not tied directly to your major, having strong communication skills and learning to work as part of a team is essential when working with an international company.