When I went abroad, I knew that I wanted to gain some experience working at a local company. At the non-credit internship fair, I came to realize that there were not many internships overtly available for a business student like myself, but after speaking with the representatives there, decided to apply. I eventually landed an internship with Transitions, an online magazine whose mission is to provide free speech to post-Soviet bloc and other underrepresented countries.
My role at the company was somewhat up to me to decide-they are a small company who can use development in many ways, so there was an opportunity for me to craft the role based on my strengths and what I wanted to learn. I ended up becoming a Business Development intern and completed a lot of research on competitors to see potential ways we can grow our business and other platforms that the business team at Transitions would use with their new website. The company was in a transitional phase throughout this semester where they were making a lot of changes to their business model and their social and online presence, so it really felt like we were helping shape the company with the work we were doing.
Originally, we were told that we had to complete 8-10 hours a week of the internship, meaning that we were in the office from 9-5 at least one of the days of the week. However, we were soon assigned to a new boss, the head of Business Development, and met with him and the other business interns for a few hours every week. My internship then became a pretty regular pattern where work was assigned to us every Monday, we would each work on our assignments, and then share our findings the next Monday meeting and get a new assignment. This was a great setup for me, as I was able to travel and do school while easily balancing work remotely at the same time. The hours became less important than the actual quality of the work I was doing, and the amount of time I spent on the internship every week was “however long it took me to complete my work”.
I really enjoyed my time working at Transitions Online. The company is doing great work with regards to their mission, and the team members are friendly and willing to help. I am glad I got to be a part of a team where my work leads to direct impact, and where learning and collaborating is valued. The flexible hours made it very manageable between travelling and studying. Most of all though, I realized how important being a business person is, even at non-traditional business related companies. I would encourage business majors to look a bit more outside the box when it comes to internships (especially abroad) because the opportunity to work in a different country and a different sphere that you would work back home will give you an unmatched experience that can really set you apart!