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My experience with ProfIntern

Program: Individual internships
Extra: 2-way airport transfer, Accommodation search

23 мая, 2019

If I had to summarize my internship in Moscow I would say something like «a challenging learning experience that had me on my toes the whole time». A big part of that was due to the language barrier and lack of understanding of the overall market I was targeting, but it didn’t prevent me from interacting with most of my coworkers and developing the projects I was tasked with. As a marketing major, I wanted to be fully involved with my field of study and my internship got me a lot of that, however, the specific company for which I worked for had no marketing division so it made my tasks a bit more creative than usual. Even though I was hoping for some guidance and lessons from some marketing experts, I ended up basically in charge of developing the brand’s social media presence almost from scratch. Some of this included opening a blog, social media posts, design work, content creation, internal marketing, and some event planning and assistance. While that was the challenging part the rest of the work experience was a blast. Met some amazing people from both Russia and France (as it is a French-owned company), made some good friends and also learned a lot about the company’s business which was totally unknown to me before. The company was a startup accelerator, which in simple terms means they help startups get off the ground running, a pretty cool business that entangles a lot of business and creative people into one big team. If anything I would suggest Profintern to continue partnering with the company in the future but not to provide it as a viable option for marketing specifically, as the company is much more geared towards IT development and also accounting/financial tasks.

Life in Russia was definitely the most shocking part of my experience, and I mean that in an awesome way. Even though I went in full of stereotypes and behaviors to expect, like the whole Russians don’t smile or they are usually rude stuff, I can happily report they didn’t last even a week on my mind. I couldn’t hold my surprise when people from grocery stores were smiling at me and asking where I was from and if I was a student, it felt pretty welcoming and nice. Also, I was lucky enough to have some friends waiting for me in Moscow but was pretty surprised by how many others I made in the spot. Russian people are a hard egg to crack when you see them from the outside, but when you do finally get inside they are super kind and warm to you, I would even go as far as saying it felt more authentic compared to what I am used to in South America, everyone smiling around just to appear nice. Another distinct aspect of the country is its overall culture and feeling, people seemed much more traditional and separate from the western’s highly spread style of living and thinking. I’ve been in many countries but can definitely say that none of them gave me the breath of fresh air I felt in Russia, so much that I can’t wait to get back. While I was there I made a point of understanding and reading on the country’s vast history and important figures so I could get a better grasp on the people’s way of living and behaving, its all really fascinating. Being a psychology fanboy I can surely see how Russian culture may rub people in both a good and a bad way, but it will definitely challenge the way they think about theirs too.

Now as far as Profintern goes, their excellent customer service was just what I needed to tip the scales and get over my doubts when I finally decided to go for Russia for my internship. When it comes to their services overall this is what I think about them. I was really happy with the company placement, as it was quick and easy. Transportation from the airport was a big one for me, as I don’t speak any Russian and was worried about it, but they made it easy to call at any hour and just have them on the phone while I waited for my taxi. Oh well, I also kind of almost froze when I got out of the airport, but that was totally my fault, guess I underestimated the Russian winter lol. I didn’t get the accommodation provided by them so can’t really comment on that, however, had a friend that did use it and she said it was great to stay with some local students in her flat. Also couldn’t take part in the Russian language courses they offered, as my schedule was fully packed most days, but a friend made some surprising progress after just a month of learning so I am guessing they are good. Apart from that I really appreciated that Anna and Maria made an effort to get all of us interns together in the city to hang out, thanks to them met a couple of good friends that made my time in Moscow much more exciting and comfortable. The thing is when you are far from home meeting people in the same circumstances can make a huge difference, I think Profintern is aware of that and tries to make it happen. With all that being said, I would definitely recommend Profintern and Moscow to anyone who is looking for an internship abroad, you can actually feel the team wants you to have the best time possible during your program and their mission of bringing Russia to the rest of the world is one I can strongly support and encourage.

Fernando Anselmi (Peru)
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