After falling in love with Edinburgh, German-speaking graduate Jessica explains how she found her placement brought her much closer to the world of business in her adopted country.
What's your background?
I am from Germany and studied a double degree Bachelor. This started as 'European Business Studies' in Aachen, Germany, made me spend one semester in Troyes, France, and finished as a First Class BA Hons in 'Business Management' from Edinburgh Napier University.
Why did you apply?
When I came to Edinburgh for the first time, I immediately loved the atmosphere here. Once I settled down I couldn't imagine going back to Germany straight away when my studies were finished. I knew that I wanted to do a Masters degree starting in September/October but I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do and where. And so I was basically looking at an internship opportunity that would allow me to stay here for the summer (at least) and earn money and look good on my CV. Talent Scotland (now ScotGrad) offered exactly that and on top there was the prospect of further employment, after the placement was finished.
How have you benefited?
I have benefited in several ways. It allowed me to gain some first valuable work experience abroad, and helped me to understand how business works. I had done internships before in Germany, but it was a new challenge to work in a foreign country. It turned out really well. Also, the two-day training course was a huge benefit for me as well - especially the part about how to be a good salesperson. And the dinner provided on day one of the course gave me an impression of how a business dinner could actually be.
Any advice for other graduates?
I would say be confident in yourself. Even if a job advertisement demands a lot and you might think "what a responsibility, I don't know if I can do that...", try to be confident in your skills and your ability and apply for it. Of course, you have to try to find something that suits your skills, but also be open to maybe try something that you might not have thought of before.