Ralitsa Dodova, 3rd year IMEM student
Q1 Can you shortly summarize who you are?
My name is Ralitsa and I was born in Sofia, Bulgaria. When I was 18 I moved out of my home country and came to Breda for my studies. I love travelling and moving around and I’m always open for new adventures.
Q2 Where did you do your internship?
I am currently on my internship in Barcelona, Spain. Macsha, the company that I worked for, has an extremely friendly environment and their values include making their employees feel like home while executing the work tasks. I functioned as a graphic designer and social media intern. Macsha is an international company and most of the employees were not Spanish which brought the global atmosphere to the office.
Q3 How did the employees welcome you?
On my first day, my supervisor made a tour around the office and I met all my colleagues, the partners, the CEO and everyone that’s part of the Macsha team. They all spoke English and I had absolutely no language barrier stopping me to communicate properly. Most of my colleagues were Argentinian and part of their culture is to be polite and welcoming when there is a new person joining their small community so I felt at home from the very first day.
Q4 How was the transition from school to business?
In the beginning I was afraid that they expect more from me than I can offer, however NHTV is a great school and I feel like I was prepared enough to have a great start with no issue whatsoever. Business is different than school, of course but the most important thing is to keep calm and do your thing with confidence and no doubt in yourself.
Q5 Was it hard working with professionals as a student?
For me it was not hard at all to work with professionals, however I do not have direct contact with clients. My main tasks included horizontal professional communication, meaning I only had to communicate with my supervisor, the marketing team and the other designers. In this case, being able to communicate correctly within your team is important but not crucial for the overall impression of the company.
Q6 Who is the most interesting person you met during your internship?
The person that really inspired me throughout the whole 20 weeks of my internship was the marketing manager of the company. She is a young and successful woman, handling work and family life like it is the easiest thing on Earth. She taught me not to be afraid of challenges and to escape my comfort zone is I have the chance. She inspired me to be myself and to trust my instincts when it comes to handling important decisions that will affect the company in one way or another.
Q7 What is the most interesting thing your learned?
The thing that I am most proud of learning and I consider it as a challenge that I overcame is the ability stand up for myself and to defend my ideas and concepts in a respectful and professional manner. I learned that nobody is going to agree with my decisions if I am not confident enough to explain and defend my work. Another skill that I developed as an intern was to manage multiple projects at the same time. The trick in this is to do everything in advance, so you have time to make mistakes and correct them.
Q8 Were the assignments you did connected to what you learned at NHTV?
As I mentioned before, NHTV prepared me for the business life in a very correct and realistic way. I feel like a lot of people start their jobs and learn how to manage their tasks on the way, however I already knew what my supervisor was expecting from me and even when I did not know exactly how to do it I had the right approach to ask for feedback. In my opinion it is extremely important to listen to the guest lectures presented by people who work in the industry, since they give very accurate and useful tips and information on how things are in business.
Q9 Do you have any tips for the upcoming interns?
There are many things I can say to help the future interns, however it also depends on what tasks you are going to execute. The universal answer to this question is also the most common one – believe in yourself and your abilities. It is also important to ask for feedback and to not be afraid to ask for help if you need it. You have to be confident and realistic at the same time. And most importantly – do it for yourself, the moment you stop enjoying your work process all the magic goes away.