We took the time to interview an Internship supervisor to give you some background info on the variety of companies we partner with and also to see how they benefit from international interns!
1. What type of company do you work for and how long have you been working in this industry?
I am the manager of my own karate equipment distribution company. I had been working in this sector for 12 years until I founded Hajime Karate, an online store that sells to clients worldwide.
We are constantly developing our product line and we try to attend as many events as we can at a national and international level. We take special care in offering top customer service and we are specialists in what we offer.
2. Why are internship students important for your company?
I think they are a fundamental part of our company because I think they enrich our team and also we benefit them too. On the one hand, we are an online store that sells products internationally so we are constantly strengthening our presence in new markets- and students give us their vision of the market they are in.
For example, we are now testing in the American market and we are getting a lot of insight from interns by giving us their vision of the consumer there. They help us to know what is important to the consumer, what he/she focuses on, what makes them feel secure to buy outside their country, our strengths our disadvantages in regard to our competition over there etc.
3. Do you think internships are important for career development?
Internships are very important to students because they get to work in a company that has real needs. Even now during a pandemic it can be even more valuable for them, as they get to see how companies are getting involved in this new context, what ideas or solutions are being applied to the decline in sales, and how professionals are discovering new ways to reach more audiences, etc…
Internships are really important for professional development because students work in a real environment for a few weeks and act as a normal worker, thereby testing their skills and forcing them to do their best.
4. How much experience have you had working with international interns?
We have been working with EUROACE for a year or so and I could not be more satisfied with the professionalism of the service and the quality of the students that have come our way.
5. What are the advantages of working with international interns?
I think the main advantage is that we can observe the market from the perspective of a native viewer. For an online store this is a tremendous help because they offer us their experience as consumers and also help us with content, publications, etc… I think that their contribution really improves our methods and our sales techniques.
6. Are there any difficulties taking on international interns?
I can’t think of any, they all bring value and are willing to communicate and keep in touch at all times by WhatsApp, email, etc. They respond quickly, resolve tasks we set for them, and have a very proactive attitude towards the company which is what I like most.
7. What advice would you give to a student who wants to take an international internship in the future?
Well, I think that in the current situation, a student must seek to bring added value to the company, not just carry out the tasks entrusted to them. In other words, it is not enough to meet the needs of the company, but it is necessary to provide a plus. Those are the students you miss, the ones you would hire to be part of your company. For me, a student gives me added value when he/ she takes risks, sends us opinions or solutions, suggests new ideas, and generally contributes to our company’s goals and projects. The work is learned, but the attitude to things goes as standard!
8. From your experience, how can international interns benefit from the experience?
I believe that students can benefit greatly from developing themselves in a real environment, from testing their skills, knowledge, and attitude to things in a real and international environment. In other words, you get out of your comfort zone and see how you work as a team, how you can contribute something to the company, what degree of demand you are asked for, etc… Today, almost everyone travels for work or ends up working in a different place than they have grown or studied. Therefore, it’s important to experience work in another part of the world and gain international contacts along the way.
Stay tuned for more Q&As with students, teachers, interns, supervisors, volunteers, and more!