How To Turn An Internship Into A Job

Bianka's Success Story

We at Synculario know how important it is to share knowledge and teach people something new! We want to give opportunities to talented young people who are at the beginning of their career path and are looking for internships. So, a year ago we started an internship program that became very successful. We offer students several internship positions in different departments of our company, including Sales, Marketing and Human Resources departments. Having interns in the company is beneficial for both parties; we can teach students practical skills, and they, for their part, can inspire us and share fresh ideas. 

Bianka was the very first intern at Synculario, who successfully did her Erasmus internship at the company last year and then became an Internship Project Manager! We talked about her experience, struggles and challenges, the Synculario internship program and its benefits.

How did it feel like to be the very first intern in the company?

It was a beautiful experience because Synculario was a small company when I started. It was only 3 recruiters and Martin (Managing director). We spent a lot of time together at the office, so it felt like a family. I started together with another girl, so there were two of us at the same time and we were always helping each other. And it was nice that I had somebody to go through this with. In the beginning, the company wasn’t ready for the interns because they hadn’t ever had them before, and they didn’t really know what is required from school, which the scope should be and so on. It was exciting that we were cooperating on the internship program the whole time. Things were changing quite often, and we were trying to find the right way for this internship, to organize it properly, so it could be beneficial for the company and me as well. I have to say there was a biut of chaos at the beginning but it was totally worth of it.

Was your internship mandatory? 

Yes, I was studying at University College of Northern Denmark (UCN), and there was an obligatory internship for 3 or 6 months.

How did you hear about Synculario?

That’s a funny story! I studied Hospitality Management, so my internship was supposed to be within the tourism, so hotel or restaurant - hospitality industry. But it was COVID time, and all of the hotels were closed. I saw in one of the Facebook groups an advertisement for this internship, so I contacted Martin. We started to talk, and it sounded like it could be a good opportunity for me. Yet, I was kind of scared if my school would approve it because it’s not Hospitality, even though we tried to match the scope of the internship as much as possible and my work here with what I learned at school and what I needed to finish my studies. Luckily, we found the right way and the school approved it.

What was your internship position?

I applied for HR Support, but once I started here, I got a lot of other tasks as well. I was helping with sales and recruitment, I was also involved a bit in marketing. It was a really good way how to find out what was interesting for me, what fits me and what does not.

Bianka's day at the office in the morning

Tell us about your everyday duties when you were an intern. You arrived at the office in the morning, and how did your day start?

As things were coming, my scope was changing, and my duties and tasks were changing as well. So, I started with sales. I was trying to do the pre-sales activities, looking for potential clients. Then I was in the recruitment department, and I was helping with the database, contacting clients, doing prescreening with available IT candidates, cold calls, setting up the interviews. I was also doing email marketing with the other intern. After a while, when the company understood that it was a good idea to have the interns, we started an internship project. I had a mandatory call with my internship coordinator at school and with Martin, my supervisor in a receiving organisation. 

He talked to her about possible cooperation in the future, and she told us there was a job portal for UCN university where I was studying, so we published our first vacancies there. And that is how it all started. After the internship I was offered a role of Internship Project Coordinator, where I was in charge of looking for other interns and I participated in the launching of a brand new internship project, which was exciting and valuable experience It was beneficial for both sides because I already knew how the Erasmus grant works, what they needed for school and other things. I could really help them because I knew what they were going through. And it was easier for them to talk to me because they knew that I had experienced it myself.

What was the most challenging thing during your internship?

The most challenging thing was being the only junior here. All the recruiters were already seniors, and they had a problem at the beginning to understand that I needed a different approach to keep me motivated. So, in the beginning, there was a problem with communication and understanding of the needs of both sides, but we figured it out afterwards. They just hadn’t had anyone like me before, they didn’t really know the right approach. The IT industry was new for me, I'd never worked here which was quite scary at the beginning. I didn't have enough information and I didn’t have any background in the area. But at the end of the day all I can say is that it’s not a rocket science and with a proper training at the beginning everyone can make it.

Describe your internship experience with Synculario in 3 words.

Good question! Unexpected, life-changing, experience. I will explain why. I always thought I would end up in some chain hotel like Hilton or Marriott, but this internship completely changed my direction. Thanks to COVID! I don’t regret this decision because I love what I am doing now. I am meeting many different people from different cultures, and I am happy I can speak English every day! I was a bit scared that when I would come back to Slovakia and find a job, I would not be able to use English that much. But because we have an international interns team, I continue speaking English and that’s great.

Did you expect that Synculario would offer you a job?

In the beginning, when things were getting on the right track, not really, but once we figured out what I am good at (communication with students and organising this whole internship project), a space for collaboration appeared. I am also in charge of several team members within a marketing department now because many of the interns are in the marketing department, so it makes sense that a person who is responsible for an internship project is also responsible for marketing.

How did your responsibilities and workload change when you got the position?

At the beginning we were looking for interns only in Denmark, now we cover all the Europe and already analysing of extension of search for talents in Asia . We started cooperation with some universities. In the beginning, I was only participating in the interviews, but after a while, I overtook the whole interview process with the new interns. The same situation was with marketing; firstly I had only participated, but later I started to deal with strategic issues regarding the communication on several social media platforms, so I started to be more involved.

How many interns have you had in the company so far?

It is difficult to calculate! We started a year ago, so I think till now we have had 20+ interns. Many companies have strict periods when they take in interns, but we decided to be much more flexible. Not everyone has a mandatory internship from school, but a lot of people would like to do the internship voluntarily, so we decided not to be strict with start-end dates. What’s more important is if someone is truly motivated and willing to learn new things instead of some kind of „dictate“ from school.

Is it difficult to manage the team, especially when some of them work remotely?

It could be challenging sometimes, usually when people start. Many of them are very young and haven't ever had real work experience before, never had an office job. So they are not used to answering emails, being available for calls; they never work with a calendar, they don't know how to put meetings there. The adaptation period can be tricky, but after that, it is getting easier, especially if people are proactive and motivated. We have developed a complex onboarding plan for newcomers which makes the whole process much easier.

Which is the most popular department for the internship?

Marketing and recruitment. I would say an internship in the recruitment department is a great opportunity for students! They can be a part of the interview process and get useful knowledge about IT, frameworks and recruitment processes which is helpful for their future careers.

Why should students choose Synculario for their internship?

We are very flexible and we are growing. Of course, it is not for everyone because it is still a startup, we are in a very dynamic environment, and things are changing a lot almost every day. We need really proactive people who can keep up with all of the changes. If someone likes repetitive tasks, the routine, it is not a place for them, for sure! We like action, we like the unexpected challenges which come with a recruitment agency and startups. Students can get a lot of different experiences here. It is not that they take only one task and do it during the whole internship. They can try many more things. It is a great opportunity to find out what you really want to do. For example, if you know that you want to do marketing, but you are not sure what kind of marketing exactly. Here you can try and see what is the right fit for you.

We have interns from all over the world; so you can get international experience here. You can do your internship remotely as well if you want. We do everything we can to make remote interns feel they are part of the team. We do online team buildings and ice-breaking activities, so the interns can meet each other and the people from the company and get to know each other a little bit better.

Even though there is the possibility to do the internship remotely, we always encourage the interns to come onsite, because the experience you get from in-person contact is irreplaceable. Besides our office in Bratislava, we recently opened a new office in Košice, so any intern can choose which office suits them better, or can even do a combination, e.g. 2 months in Kosice and 2 in Bratislava. Anything goes!

You can find friends for life during your internship and last, but not least, you can get some tips for your next vacation from your international mates!

If you want to have an unforgettable internship experience in Slovakia, acquire new practical skills, meet different people from all over the world, apply for our internship programs!

article writer profileWritten by - Lidia Samsonova-Zharkova