My experience with ProfIntern

My program included:

Program: Individual internships
Destination: Russian Federation
Extra: Accommodation search
Destination: Russian Federation

February 13, 2017
Hugh Owen

Could you please introduce yourself? Your name, nationality and educational background.

- My name is Hugh Owen, I was born and raised in United States. I graduated in May 2016 from Trinity College in Connecticut, where I studied Russian language and culture studies.

And why have you chosen Russia as your internship destination? Maybe you can tell your story in short.

- I’ve been to Russia before. I studied here abroad and I decided that after having had an experience of studying here I wanted to have some professional experience here and to see that aspect of Russian life and culture even.

Please tell a bit about your internship experience in Russia.

- ProfIntern found an internship for me in the international management consulting firm.  I worked 5 days a week from 9-30am to 6pm and I really enjoyed it. I was mainly occupied in data processing, doing research, analyzing companies and industrial parks in the region of Saint-Petersburg , which has a history of being a significant region industrially speaking. I’ve met with leaders of corporations and managers of industrial parks and been there for discussions and negotiations. I also had experience contacting them individually, doing cold calls and also setting up meetings.

What were your general goals of interning in Russia? What role this internship is going to play in your future life and your future career?

-My purpose of interning in the management consulting firm was 2 fold. For one, it lands itself to working in the United States - this experience can be useful there. And secondly it gives me a little much more credibility as an applicant to firms at already existing Russia. So I have the opportunity to either potentially stay in Russia or to go back to the United States and it increases my opportunity of finding employment in both cases significantly. Moreover the opportunity to demonstrate familiarity with Russian language and your ability to use it goes a long way in United States for 2 reasons: one, it’s difficult to do and secondly there’re a very large number of companies that do rely upon Russian language and business and that applies to a large number of industries.

How does knowledge of Russian language helps you during your internship? Do you think it would be possible to intern if you has less knowledge of Russian language?

-There’s a great number of experiences that I benefited from that not necessarily required having mastered or having a significant familiarity with Russian language. A lot of the activities that took place in the office did take place in English and that implied even for Russian native speakers. That being said, if  you would like to use your Russian there’re certainly many tasks that require that you know Russian. Everything is quite flexible or depending on your level of Russian. So if you would like to use your Russian you certainly can and definitely feel it will be appreciated. But if your level of Russian is not that great, that’s also something that people accommodate very easily.

Why have you chosen Saint-Petersburg for internship?

-Saint Petersburg is an interesting location to intern in. For one, it’s a little bit more intimate and personal: the office of the same company in Moscow is much bigger and much more of a «factory» I think. In SaintP companies you get a lot more personal attention. And it’s also a much more friendly and personable city, that I think is preferable especially for someone who hasn’t had a lot of experience living in Russia.

What are the stereotypes about the life in Russia or Russian mentality, which you faced in the US and European countries and how these stereotypes were broken when you came here?

-I think like with most stereotypes there is a little bit of truth but there’s  huge exaggeration also. For one I found in Russia that people are extremely serious and focused on their work and especially the young people. That’s something that surprised me a good deal. The young employees here take their job extremely seriously and it’s an overall environment that people are very motivated towards accomplishing their respective goals.

Hugh Owen (United States)
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