My Internship at UN City Common Service Office: Saint Petersburg – Budapest – Copenhagen
Every young person chooses how to spend his or her studying period time. Some choose just to study in the home university, others search for a job and studies go to the second plan or vice versa. However there is one more option – to study and work abroad while you remain a student in Lithuania. Many of us are aware of these possibilities – unfortunately not everyone resolve to take such chance.
In the beginning I was afraid and hesitated as well. There are a lot of fears in our heads, when we plan to switch our usual and daily life to an unknown and different environment, where we will face various challenges that we simply don’t face at home. In my case, it was exactly what I wanted – to challenge myself and to gain as much experience as possible. An international environment, in my mind, is the best place for that.
My journey began at Saint Petersburg State University where I spent two semesters of my bachelor studies. Probably most people would ask, “why Russia?” My answer is very simple: if you want to understand the West first of all you should go and try yourself in the East. In my master studies I understood that it was not enough for me and I went to study to one of the most beautiful cities in the world – Budapest – and studied at Corvinus University. While studying there I realized that I still have one option left that I should definitely try – an Erasmus internship. It is common that most young people choose to spend their summers working and earning money for different needs, because to do that during studies is more complicated. However it is usually only temporary and seasonable jobs, where only a few get opportunities to use such experience in their future lives. That is why I want to thank you, Partners4Value, forgiving me the chance to spend three months in UN City Common Service office in Copenhagen.
Living in Denmark
For most people Scandinavian countries are the places where everyone would like to live. Most of us have heard about their welfare system, big salaries, high living standards and free education system. Denmark is exactly that kind of country with a huge choice of possibilities. However under this nice image there are many problems as well. One of the biggest is finding living accommodation. It is one of the hardest missions to find a room in Copenhagen, because the demand is so big and supply is really small. Thus, if you want to go there to study or to work, you have to start searching in advance and try to contact your every friend.
Luckily I got my room quite fast and could concentrate on my internship. UN City is a really young and unusual architectural building which brings eight UN agencies under one roof. My working place was in the Common Service office which is responsible for the maintenance, financing, procurement, ICT and e. x. of the building.
Firstly, what I would like to stress, is that UN City is completely international. I had barely entered into the building when I noticed people from different parts of the world and they all were smiling at me! I was introduced to all the operations and throughout the internship they treated me not like an intern, but like an equal colleague. I could always and anytime without hesitation come and ask questions and discuss various topics. Regarding my direct activities, the main function of mine was to assist in preparing Business Operation Strategy, which aims to harmonize all resources and expenditures of agencies in UN City. Also I had my own project: to prepare the framework for the procurement of the bicycles for the whole UN City. Practically every day I had appointments with supervisors during which we discussed what I had prepared and my future steps to accomplish the task. Thus, I learnt a lot about relationships between managers and employees and understood how to effectively run the office. Communication with people from different countries helped me improve my language skills and I got acquainted with various aspects of cultural communication.
All in all, I am sure that it was one of the greatest experiences of my life, because I got an opportunity to work in a highly professional environment with people who are always ready to help and advice. As far as I know, Partners4Value offers many different possibilities to go abroad and gain valuable experience in different environments. We just need to use this chance! I am sure no one will regret after and it will be great platform for everyone for their future career.
By Andrius Sankauskas