Internship is mandatory component of qualified specialist’s training
Second-year students of the Master Programme “Business and Politics in Modern Asia” are required to take an internship. When choosing the place for it, special attention is paid to the needs of students and further career plans.
This year two second-year students, Veronika Chechetko and Bulat Gilyazeev, took part in the internship with a new partner of the programme – the Special Economic Zone Alabuga, which is located in the Republic of Tatarstan. In our interview, students shared their impressions about this internship and plans for the future
Why did you decide to take an internship in the SEZ Alabuga?
Bulat: Choosing the place for internship I was guided by the opportunities for my own professional growth that will be opened after completing the internship. In addition, I read the interview with a graduate of our Programme who worked there and spoke very warmly about her work in this place
Veronika: Before internship I read about SEZ Alabuga in the Internet. I was impressed by the scope of SEZ and its modern infrastructure. Its official website is very convenient and informative and I got full information about the place I want to go to. I decided that Alabuga is suitable and interesting place for getting new knowledge and wok experience
Both of you had the internship in different departments. Can you tell us more about your departments and responsibilities?
Bulat: I had the internship at the Department of Investment Attraction. It is a kind of Alabuga’s “heart” as here potential residents and investors are looking for further projects. The office combines two departments: Investment Attraction and Marketing. It is interesting because decisions are made together. The field of my responsibilities was analyzing the market and interests of the Russian market in the niche. Moreover, I helped colleagues to make videocalls if the investor was a representative of a Korean company.
Veronika: I had the internship at the HR Department. From the first day I was engaged in conducting a project to attract foreign students to study and work in the SEZ. The fields of my responsibilities included communication with foreign embassies (37 states), preparation of official letters to the embassies in both Russian and English languages, creating dictionary of 100 Russian words for foreigners to study, organization and conducting video meetings with the representatives of the embassies, creating following materials about program for promoting abroad (presentations and advertising texts in English). The level of responsibility was high because I was involved in the preparation and implementation of an important project. The internship can be called a full-time job, as my schedule was 5/2 for 8 hours a day. The days at work were very intense and interesting. It was necessary to overcome fear and nervousness when communicating with ambassadors in a foreign language. This experience has helped me to become bolder and more confident in my abilities. I was glad that my supervisor in Alabuga appreciated my work and my internship was paid.
What challenges did you faced? And what was the most difficult for you in practice?
Bulat: Difficulties are more likely not in work, but in everyday life. I had to try a little to get used to the regime and the schedule. But colleagues from my department were very responsive and responsible, so over time we were able to cope with it.
Veronika: It seems the first 3 days in the SEZ were difficult. I lived in the modern comfortable hostel located in the SEZ. I needed to spend some time making living. The nearest store is in the neighboring city Elabuga located 10 km from the SEZ. So, it was necessary to get used to taking care of food, medicines, and everything necessary in advance in order not to travel to the neighboring city every day. I would like to note that logistics in Alabuga is built conveniently. Every morning a shift bus picked us up from the hostel and quickly took us to our place of work - the management company of the SEZ Alabuga. It was also possible to go to the city for groceries on the shifts. Trips on shifts allow you to once again not spend money on a taxi. As soon as I got used to this system, life began to play with new colors. Also, my colleagues and my neighbors in the hostel were always ready to help. Mutual assistance and support are an integral feature of life in Alabuga.
What did you like most about the internship and what impressed you?
Bulat: People. In Alabuga work incredible professionals in their field. I am very glad I managed to get into such a team.
Veronika: Most of all I liked the team in which I was lucky to work. When you work among young, talented specialists every day, it inspires. My colleagues supported me throughout my internship in Alabuga. If the task was difficult, it could always be discussed with colleagues and my supervisor, so the solution was found quickly. I would like to note that Alabuga has active corporate life. A lot of attention is paid to comfortable interaction, communication, and events within the team. Therefore, a newly arrived employee, if he/she feels lonely and sad, can find like-minded people and new friends.
What skills acquired at the university were the most useful in practice? Have you learned anything new?
Bulat: I consider everything was useful. I especially remember the moment when the knowledge of R-studio obtained in the course «Methodology of Contemporary Asian Studies» was valuable. I needed to make a table, and for some reasons I decided to do it through R.
Veronika: Knowledge of three foreign languages (in my case English and 2 Oriental languages), the ability to analyze large amounts of information and identify the main thing, cross-cultural communication skills are only a small part of the competencies acquired through the university. My internship in Alabuga allowed me to put this theoretical knowledge into practice.
What advice would you give to students who are just about to take the internship?
Bulat: Tune in to work and take a kettle and other dished with you.
Veronika: I would advise you not to be afraid of everyday difficulties and be ready for them in the first week of your stay in Alabuga. Take some electrical appliances from home (kettle, hair dryer) with you, so as not to purchase them there. Also, it is important not to forget to put business clothes for work and shoes for a change. In Alabuga all the managers dress stylishly and fashionably. It is advisable to observe a businesslike and neat dress code. In Alabuga you can definitely find like-minded people and new friends.