For six months, this 19 years old Sergio Arboleda University student will be in Bursa, the ancient capital of the Ottoman Empire in the XIII century. ORI NEWS spoke with her about her expectations and preparation for the trip.
Why did you decide to search an internship in a foreign country?
Several semesters ago, I decided to have a work experience in another country, because I consider that this is the best way to integrate what I have learned along the career, and it will allow me to have more consciousness of my culture and to learn about new lifestyles. Then, when I return, all these knowledges will give me a broader perspective and the capacity to observe situations from many angles.
What about the process? How did you search the company? How did they get in contact with you? What where the tests?
I had notice that AIESEC (Association Internationale des Étudiants en Sciences Économiques et Commerciales) contributes with the search of international internships and I contacted a few college mates who are volunteers at this organization to know more about the process. The first requirement is to have minimum a B2 level in English. Then, you should create an account in the AIESEC Opportunities Portal (opportunities.aiesec.org), which is the meeting point between companies and potential trainees, fill the profile with accurate information and fill out the resume in English.
In parallel, AIESEC members give you a continuous advice, they are responsible for sending the curriculum to different parts of the world and when a company is interested, they contact you. For this reason it is important to be open to whichever opportunity, it is possible to find an internship in a nearby country like Peru, but also in China.
Did you receive other proposals to do your internship in a foreign country?
I had opportunities in Santa María – Brazil, Istanbul – Turkey, New Delhi- India but I applied for the first one that I had received. It is Gasan Gas Springs, a company located in Bursa, Turkey. I was contacted to do the interview via Skype, in which they asked me about personal aspects and aspirations in my life. After two weeks I was informed that I had been accepted and, subsequently, the company carried out a new interview to align expectations.
Which place are you traveling to and what have you found out about this?
I will travel to Bursa, a northwestern city of Turkey. It is one of the most industrialized in the country, thanks to the automotive, textile and food industry. The currency is the Turkish Lira, which is roughly equivalent to $ 1,100 (Colombian pesos), although the Euro is also handled. The official language is Turkish and an important percentage of the population speaks English. It is know as Green Bursa, thanks to its nature. Its landscapes are beautiful, so I have seen in some photos. The climate is warm and temperate, the annual temperature is about 13.6 ° C.
They are not direct flights from Bogotá to Bursa. To arrive there it is necessary to travel from Bogotá to Istanbul, in a flight of, more or less, 17 hours. From there, you must board a ferry and then a bus to Bursa, which takes about 2 hours. Nevertheless, the arrival of Turkish Airlines to Colombia in May, will benefit the flow of travelers between the two countries.
Which are your expectations?
I hope to get out of my comfort zone, I consider that going to a completely different place of my origin country should make me learn about me in a personal and professional level. It is a challenge to apply abroad what I’ve learned all these years at the university and also to face a different culture, as business and marketing strategies used here are totally different from those used in Turkey. But that is the challenge for us young people, in this globalized world: we do not study to work in our city, region or country; we are global citizens and our actions are consequent throughout the world.
What are the job responsibilities that you will have in the company?
The company in which I will work, Gasan, is the leader organization in Turkey in the manufacture of gas springs, which are produced using high technologies and automatic production lines. I will work in the marketing area in search of potential worldwide customers for the company, with the help of market research, generating new ideas and strategies to increase sales and attendance to international fairs for commercial relations.
How are you preparing for your trip and when is it?
Currently, I’m enriching my English business vocabulary. I also try to read daily information about Bursa, the company and the industry sector. In the next days I will make the visa process, I will prepare all the necessary documentation with the help of AIESEC and I will buy the tickets because the travel is scheduled for the next July. I’m also interested in learning the basics of the Turkish language, I already know how to greet: merhaba.