As I am sitting in the airplane this afternoon heading to Barcelona for my upcoming exchange (as part of my studies), I thought it would be a good moment to reflect on my lessons learned at ErasmusX…
You may recall from my previous blogs that, from a young age onwards, I have always worked in the hospitality industry. And although it was hard work with long working days, I have always loved it as it allowed me to be in a social atmosphere with other people. Then during my studies, I began to consider what type of job I wanted to pursue in the future and I must admit I was a bit lost. When the opportunity to work for ErasmusX presented itself, I decided to take it in order to get experience in a different field. Looking back, I am very happy that I did, as working here taught me a lot.
So, what are my main lessons learned?
Lessons and skills this internship taught me
#1 Be accountable
Farshida (Zafar), the captain of the ErasmusX ship, does a great job in establishing a culture in which everybody takes responsibility and is dedicated. Because I was given so much liberty, I had to take responsibility for my own actions and efforts. It gave me a great sense of commitment and desire to succeed.
#2 Failing is a learning opportunity
Sometimes the feedback people receive may not be positive, yet Farshida always entrusted her employees to try again because she believes we can. I was taught that if something does not work out or went wrong, you don’t necessarily fail in terms of how the word is described, “be unsuccessful”. Instead, failure is an opportunity to figure out what went wrong, improve, persist, and succeed. This not only improved my ability to accept constructive criticism, but it also increased my confidence to work independently.
#3 Be an effective team player
Working directly with Jonathan, as well as working in a small team, taught me to actively contribute to the completion of our projects’ goals and duties. I learned about different communication styles. Besides that, working in a multicultural team required me to have an open mind while working and communicating. In addition, it taught me to appreciate and respect other people’s work styles.
#4 Communication is key
I discovered that good communication skills are an essential component of being a competent employee and team member. I learned firsthand how important honesty and straightforward communication are crucial to working effectively with others.
#5 Be structured
ErasmusX taught me the importance of structure. While working remotely could be challenging at times, I have noticed how having defined tasks and good documentation has a significant impact on productivity and success.
#6 Marketing and branding expertise
This internship provided me with the hands-on approach to learning that I had always wished for, as well as the knowledge needed to perform duties in an organization’s marketing and branding department. As my studies had lately included many marketing-related classes, which piqued my interest in pursuing a career in marketing, the internship provided an excellent chance for me to explore my interests in this field. Jonathan (Flores) taught me to create brand content and to assure it is both aesthetically appealing and consistent with the company’s mission.
As I already mentioned I had a fantastic experience at ErasmusX and am appreciative of everything I learned. This internship provided me not only with significant lessons and professional skills, but also with some valuable personal insights. I realized that I enjoy event organizing and would like to pursue a job that allows me to interact with people. Also, this internship taught me that there is still a lot to learn, and I want to continue to broaden my horizons once I finish my bachelors’ degree. Although, to be honest, I’ve never really enjoyed my education, I’ve recently felt the need to explore my aspirations, skills, and passions, and therefore to keep learning to find out.
So, what’s next? Maybe something entirely different? I am even considering taking a premaster and master’s in finance & investments… Only time will tell. But, for now, I am going to enjoy my exchange in Barcelona, continue working as a student assistant for ErasmusX and, most importantly, continue learning and exploring.
I would like to thank ErasmusX, particularly Farshida (Zafar) and Jonathan (Flores), for the wonderful time I had as an intern there, for having the trust in me, for the lessons learned, for the personal insight gained, and …. for being awesome!