How to turn an internship into a job

The goal of having an internship here at Synculario is to gain experience and expand your knowledge in order to make the later job search easier and smoother. But we also often see these people’s qualities develop and we end up not being able to let go of them. So we hire them ourselves! Kristyna is one of these employees that started off as an intern at the recruitment department, and after her internship with us was over, we decided to take her in for a permanent position in our company. Being an intern here helped her better her skills and now she’s got a chance to show them off. We conducted an interview with her to find out how she felt about the internship, what her struggles were, what she enjoyed the most and how she managed to end up with a position at Synculario.

What convinced you to join Synculario for an internship and not a different company?

When I first heard about Synculario from Bianka, it was during a presentation she held in my employability classes. So that sparked my interest as like an alternative way of using my hospitality degree. I come from a family that has a background in an insurance company - they work as insurance agents, which is very similar to the work of recruiters, like there is the paperwork and emailing, but also calling and I very much like that. You can also choose if you want to have contact with people or not and you can do this job remotely which is great for me. I applied to some other companies, also to some remote positions and I had one other company in Denmark that would be on-site. But when I had an interview with that Danish company, we didn't really click and I didn't quite like it. So afterwards, I had an interview with Synculario and I liked how they handled themselves. Both during the interview and when I found out more information about Synculario, I just found it to be a better fit for me at that moment.

How well did your position at Synculario fit the studies you were undertaking at the time?

Not really to be fair, because I was studying hospitality management, so recruitment is not related to that as much, but we have a lot of lessons regarding leadership or how to be employable - all companies structure, company culture and then that applies to everything else. And of course communication. So it was relevant, but it wasn't like the primary way my studies could go into a career later.

How was your experience with working remotely in the company?

On the practical side, I really liked it. Because there is of course the freedom, flexibility, I don't have to commute in the morning and I don't have to look nice every time. But the lack of human interaction - that kind of small talk when you come to the office when you have a coffee break or lunch break, that was a bit of a challenge. But I expected that to be the case, so I wasn't surprised. But yeah, definitely that was a downside of a remote position.

What were your responsibilities like? Did you feel like you can manage to work with all of them at once or needed some help to figure out how are you doing?

So I started learning about all the social media platforms and some job portals - how to search in them for suitable candidates. And during the first month, I was basically just emailing and sending LinkedIn messages and I felt that I'm ready to move on to the next level, which is calling the candidates and also having a little bit more of human interaction. So I felt that it's not more responsibilities than I can handle. I would even prefer the process to be a little bit faster. I was scared of the other, tougher responsibilities too, but after like 4 weeks of just emailing and LinkedIn messages, it was just boring and I wanted to do more.

What was the most challenging thing during your internship?

Probably the calls. Even though I wanted to make them, I always got nervous, even now, also because I am a bit self-conscious in my IT knowledge. I'm not an expert and sometimes the candidates make you feel that they’re aware of that. And of course, they are human, so sometimes you encounter some rude candidates and you are forced to be professional, nice and handle that gracefully.

What was the best part about your internship?

I would say the fact that I am able to handle the whole recruitment process by myself. I learned very practical skills like I can find a job for a person who needs a job, or I can find an IT specialist for a company that is in need of such service. That makes me very proud of myself that I managed to learn that. But also I feel like the meetings, I've never worked in a company that has like weekly meetings and this kind of stuff, so that was also something new.

Do you have any funny stories about these ‘cold calls’?

I don't know if it's funny, but my very first call was up with my supervisor, but also with the candidate through teams. So it was with cameras and everything. It was my very first call so I was very nervous and very scared and it was apparent very early in the call that the candidate is much more aware of the job position than I am. At one point, my supervisor had to take over the call and I tried to do as much as possible, but if I was just sitting there smiling and nodding. It was obvious to me that she’s on a different level in technical knowledge as compared to me. But it's always nice when you have a call with the talkative candidate and you ask them one little sentence and they tell you their whole life story. That's very interesting to hear, and then on the opposite, you have another call with the person who doesn't tell you anything. If you don't ask them directly and specifically about what you want to hear, they will just reply either ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

Did you previously, during the internship, consider staying permanently in Synculario or were you just thinking about it after getting the offer?

I think after the first month of my internship I started to look into the career of a recruiter in general. And then I was thinking that I might be offered a position in Synculario so, I would say that in around the mid-part of my internship I started considering it.

You were initially an intern for the recruitment department and now you're officially working in it. Did your workload and responsibilities change a lot between these two?

No, I would say actually my workload decreased a little bit because I'm no longer responsible for making the job descriptions for our website for everybody, only for the positions that I am responsible for. So I’m focusing more on defining the candidates instead of the administrative tasks.

So how difficult is it to recruit new people for the company? Do you believe you were always somewhat good at it or you became better with the time spent here in the company?

Definitely became better here. And I'm more comfortable as well, but it is a bit of a funny thing that it also depends on the candidate specializations. So for example, I started looking for Python developers when I was an intern and I didn't have a problem with finding people who replied to me, whether it was a negative or a positive reply. And then when I first started as an employer, I looked for .Net developers and I usually got nothing back from them, they just ignored me. No answer, not even like a simple ‘No, thank you. I'm not interested’. So yeah, it is hard. It's not easy to find someone, because it depends on the people you’re reaching out to, and not as much on you.

Do you remember the people that you managed to recruit? Or maybe at least your first success?

Yes, I do. I do remember also because I only had two successes so far. At the first one, he was looking for a position that would wait for him, because he was still on a project and was looking for something after the project finished. But the project was prolonged several times and now it was prolonged yet again. So he wanted something more flexible. Then the second one he is going to be ending his second month in the trial period and so far what I heard from him and also from the client they are mutually happy with each other. So it seems like a really good fit. And both of them were python developers.

Why do you think students should apply for an internship in Synculario?

I think one of the main reasons is that Synculario actually lets you do the tasks that you would do if you would be employed in the same position, which is very important because some companies would rather just use you for fetching coffee and wouldn’t value your work or your opinion. And that’s something that is not going to happen here at Synculario. And the second one is that you have a possibility of getting offered a job that's always nice. Synculario is a new company - they are still evolving and growing very fast, so it is highly probable you're going to have a lot of responsibilities and you can learn how to work with lots of different people.

Any tips for people interested in applying for the internship after they get in or before?

Just apply, be honest and be ready to work hard. Nothing else comes to mind.

Written by - Jakub Machnik   

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