Currently in Brussels munching on waffles and fries, and working at ESN, Europe’s biggest student network, Stefan will wrap up his Global Intern experience in Sydney this winter. With a bachelor’s in European Studies, and tons of international experience – from studying in the Netherlands and Turkey to working in Switzerland and Belgium – Stefan’s next challenge revolves around learning how to surf Down Under and avoiding poisonous bites in the Australian bush.
Stefan kindly took some time off his busy schedule for a little Q&A. We want to know: what has this continent-spanning, border-bending and mind-expanding experience really been like?
Q: Your Global Intern experience isn’t over yet, but so far, what would you say has been most memorable about it?
A: There have been so many memorable experiences that it’s hard to highlight one. Maybe the moment when I went to the train station on my last day in Zurich and realized that the first two months had already passed. My first day at the EF headquarters in Zurich was also really exciting!
Q: What skills did you gain in Zurich? And Brussels? And what skills do you plan to gain when in Sydney?
A: I learned a lot about online marketing in Zurich, and also from the multicultural working environment and company culture. At ESN, I mostly applied things I learned during my studies, working on research projects that relate to students and EU affairs. This was especially interesting for me because that was an area I focused on in my bachelor’s degree. In Sydney I plan on learning how to surf, and of course how an EF language school really works.
Q: Aside from developing professionally, what have you gained personally from this experience and what do you still hope to gain?
A: I always wanted to travel to Australia, so that’s a personal dream I’ll be able to realize thanks to the internship. Another personal goal is coming back from Australia without having been stung or bitten by one of the many poisonous animals they have over there. I hope I’ll achieve that.
Q: What do you like most about this internship?
A: Definitely the fact that it’s so international, and the fact that you have the chance to live in such amazing cities. It’s great that I could choose one of the cities as well.
Q: How do you think this internship will help you in your future career?
A: It will certainly help me find out what I want to do and, of course, it will look great on my CV. Besides that, I learned a lot about how big companies work and what things to focus on, not only in the job, but also in the job search.
Q: Where will you be in 2019? And what will you be doing?
A: Five years is quite a long time… I hope I’ll be working for an international company, EF would be a good choice. I want to have a job that requires some creativity and independence. Considering that I will have lived in six different countries in less than two years when I come back from Sydney this spring, I have no idea where exactly I will be.
And on that note… Stefan, we wish you lots of luck and heaps of happiness in 2014 and beyond. Remember: the world really is your oyster.