How can an internship help you?

As the end of the semester is approaching I have decided to write my final post for this blog. During these four months I have met young, cheerful, smart, ambitious, inspiring students who were more than willing to share their internship experiences. What they all had in common was their great potential and passion to explore and experience.

They got me thinking about education, motivation and success. Moreover, they made me realize how important it is to find a job that you actually like, so it will be like doing your hobby every day, with a little bit of challenges of course. That is why an internship can help you see if your job can really be your hobby.

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Today, with the increase of youth unemployment around the world, especially in European countries, we see a bigger battle for talents and having a degree might not be enough to differentiate from your fellow colleagues. This made me think about doing an internship program next summer and one of the reasons for writing this blog was to share the stories of other students and help people decide what they want, as I was deciding myself if it’s worth it. I had some doubts at first because spending a summer doing an internship is not like spending a summer doing Work and Travel in terms of money and salary. However, after taking a couple of interviews I was already sure that spending a few months for an internship might be one of the best experiences.

So, this is kind of a summary of the reasons to do an internship, according to the people I have written about in this blog:

  • You might find your future employer
  • Test-drive your knowledge and skills
  • Find role-models
  • Strengthen your CV
  • If you do well, you have a network
  • It can be the experience of a lifetime

 

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However, each student had his/her own unique experience and brought more knowledge and inspiration to me and hopefully my readers as well. Aita’s story about Social Management, online media and multimedia journalism made me realize that what I’m doing in classes is very much applicable to the real job like social manager, which is very popular position in the field of media now.

Meeting with Igor was such a fun experience, talking about working and living in the states, while working in a creative agency, doing what you like (not to what most of the students can do if they go to work in the states).

With Timur’s and Nekruz’s interviews it was interesting to know how it is to work in one of the biggest companies in the world like Google (that all, we students love so much) and International Federation of Red Cross.

Victoria’s story about internship at Melon taught me to take advantages of AUBG coursed and accept the challenges even if they seem difficult to accomplish.

Angelina’s story started from design passion which gave her an opportunity to find an internship and develop her design skills more. This is the case when your hobby brings you to your internship and your major. Angelina actually started the JMC major after realizing how much she loves design, while being on an internship.

The last person to share the story for this blog was not from AUBG but Nikolay was so inspiring that I couldn’t help but share it. Turned out that after a few days from the interview, seven AUBG students apllied for Global Citizen Internship, which Nikolay did last summer. Nothing felt better than realizing that you are actually helping someone build their future and find the experience of a lifetime.

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Apart from the interviews I have learned so much in my MMJ class.  Blogging, twitting, writting, taking pictures, shooting and editing videos, editing sounds with Audacity, taking multimedia to the next level with Storify and Thinglink and all this fun stuff you get to do and knowing that it will help you so much in the future.

The MMJ midterm gave me a chance to feel how is it going to be in the real world when you have big news you have to cover in a short amount of time, with videos, interviews, sounds and pictures. It was crazy and fun and the best midterm I have ever had so far.

PR team for MMJ final video

PR team for MMJ final video

Being a part of the PR and Social Media team for the final class video was such a great experience as well. I realized one more time that putting it all out there is essential if you want your work to be seen by many. And of course great team work makes great work 🙂

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After this class I am no longer nervous about getting an internship and getting it in the field of Journalism and Media. Now I dont feel like I NEED to do an internship but rather I WANT to do it. This is something you don’t want to miss doing while being a student.

Here is my picture slideshow of all the amazing people I have met and written about this semester 🙂 Thank you everyone so much!

Being a Global Citizen

I met a student this week who did an amazing internship last summer in Romania. He is not an AUBG student, but I felt like I needed to share his experience and valuable information.

Nikolay Velikov

Nikolay Velikov

Nikolay Velikov is  from Gotse Delchev but he’s been living in Blagoevgrad for five years and studying law at Southwestern University.

Nikolay did a 6 week internship last summer in Romania. Actually, he got to choose from a few countries like Brazil, Indonesia, India, Chec Republic, Turkey and Italy. But Nikolay decided to go to Romania because the program’s goal for that country was to achieve peace and raise human potential.

“ I wasn’t really sure about Romania at first because Bulgaria had some history and political issues with that country, so it was really challenging for him to choose Romania. It was a big deal for me to go to Romania and meet the Romanian people there.”

The internship program is called Global Citizen, which is provided by AIESEC. All the volunteer internships which AIESEC provides aim to solve different issues in the society of various countries.

Nikolay’s job was to provide lectures and sessions to high school students. The topics of the sessions were career and personal development, time management, how to create your CV, what major to choose. AIESEC in Romania has decided that they have big problems with education in the area, so they created a project which aims at educating and informing young generation.  The goal was to develop leadership skills and show the Romanian students that they have a lot of potential.

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Nikolay has been a member of AIESEC for a year now. It is an organization which strives to develop leadership potential and one of the many programs is Global Citizen internship.You can also go on a professional internship through the help of AIESEC, which has a database of 12,000 internships in different fields (Marketing, Business Administration, IT, etc.)

For the Global Citizen Internship Nikolay had to go and deliver an important lecture to high school kids, so he had to implement his leadership skills so the students actually see the point, listen and learn. The most challenging thing for Nikolay was to set an authority in class. Especially since he is a Bulgarian, there was some tension in the beginning but later they got to know each other and everything worked out well.

“One of the guys from high school came to me during one of the events and said: “I used to hate Bulgarians, but after I got to know you I feel like you are one of my brothers.” It was so great to hear because it really made me feel like I did something important. When I go back in time and remember this, I feel like it was one of the best experiences I have had.”

Nikolay have always asked himself if leadership can be developed. After this internship he feels like he is more organized and confident, able to successfully deliver a speech for a big audience. The big lesson for him was to know that leadership can be developed and now he knows exactly how to do it.

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Design Passion

Angelina Chavdarova Markova, senior at AUBG, double majoring in Business Administration and JMC.

Angelina Chavdarova Markova

Angelina Chavdarova Markova

She did her internship last year in Admissions Office. This professional internship lasted for the whole academic year and was paid as a work study position.

She was responsible for all the Design, like creating posters, brochures, stickers and banners.

She also did the map which was used for the virtual tour around AUBG campus. Angelina worked for 8 hours a week and sometimes she would do the work at home and come to the office once or twice a week.  Angelina’s mentor was a freelance designer from Sofia, who was very helpful throughout the year.

The interesting thing is that Angelina hasn’t taken any AUBG design classes before the internship. She was a self-study and took some online classes through linda.com, which is a big online database of courses for design, marketing and a lot of other fields one can be interested in.  The courses are paid, but not too expensive. After taking these courses and doing an internship, Angelina realized that she is very much interested in design and decided to try design courses, which are offered in AUBG. That is how she started her major in JMC.

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Angelina had some difficult classes and directed the musical, so it was a bit overwhelming year for her.

“While studying in AUBG you can manage how intense your courses are. I would recommend choosing some easier courses while doing a one year internship, so you can balance school with the job.”

Angelina is the director of the musical this year and I took a sneak peak at the musical rehearsal after the interview with Angelina 🙂 Check it out

Telling stories with Storify and Thinglink

Today in Multimedia Journalism class we learned more about the benefits of Twitter in the New Digital Journalism World.

For the first time we used a Storify in order to learn how to make a story\news with different tweets. Have you heard of Storify? It is a social network service that lets the user create stories using social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

At first I thought it would be hard to make a story with random tweets, but with Storify it actually worked out very well.

I found out that Oprah Magazine is looking for an intern.

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Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey

If you want to see my whole Storify, follow this link.

 And on my twitter 🙂

The second half of the class was devoted to Thinglink. With this fun plugin you can make images more interactive and engaging for the audience. This tool makes it easy to transform an image into a multimedia experience.

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I took an Image from Oprah’s Magazine and you can check it out if you go the link here.

The Spice of Success

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you will know when you find it.” – Steve Jobs.

I started this post with a quote to remind you that success doesn’t come easy. You have to look for it and work for it. Studying in a university is one of the biggest steps to success. College time is the time when you really try to find what you are interested in, what you are passionate about.

But sometimes you just need to get out to the real life and see how you feel in a particular field. After meeting and talking with the former interns, I can say that the best way to realize what you really love to do is to get an internship.

This week I met with Karim Orujov, senior at AUBG, double majoring in Business Administration and Information Systems.

Karim Orujov

Karim Orujov

Karim did an internship last summer in Bulgarian Stock Exchange-Sofia. He worked on a multistep project, which involved analyzing companies with a potential, checking revenues of the big companies, which want to be traded on the stock exchange.  After they pick the first candidates they start narrowing down the circle and by the end present the summary of 20 best companies, which are transparent and have a good history record.

Karim had an opportunity to do the real job and was thankful to have the proper education and knowledge for this kind of position in stock exchange.

Karim with professor Sullivan

Karim with professor Sullivan

“The professors in AUBG were really helpful, they knew what to teach exactly, what’s important in the real world and the real finance. This knowledge helped me a lot during my internship.”

Karim first heard about this internship opportunity when AUBG Assets Trading and Management Club (AT&M) organized a trip to the Bulgarian Stock Exchange-Sofia. The governors of stock exchange got interested in students of AUBG and decided to do an interesting project for them.  Last semester, CEO of Bulgarian stock exchange came to AUBG to give a lecture, which was well attended. About 20 students applied and 5 of them got a position of an intern.

Karim Orujov (on the right)

Karim Orujov (on the right)

One of the best experiences of the internship for Karim was to be able to rely on yourself, be independent and truly show your skills.

“We didn’t have people who were standing behind our backs telling us what to do every moment. We had to perform independently sometimes for 2 weeks in a row. But every time the supervisor would spend time with us, he would always teach us something new. He shared his knowledge and experience with us, which was quite valuable.”

Karim strongly suggests that students should get an internship, even if it is unpaid but the company is very good.

“Don’t just pick any internship, where your responsibilities would be to make and bring coffee. If you can find a valuable internship, it will be worth it.”

Accept The Challenge

After a fun fall break I’m getting back to the blog and finding interesting internships for you to consider and just get inspired by our successful AUBG students.

This week I met with Victoria Antonova from Russia. Senior, double majoring in Political Science and Business Administration.

Victoria Antonova

Victoria Antonova

When she came to AUBG she knew Political Science and International Relations would be her major. However, she didn’t want to miss the opportunity AUBG gives to have double major, so Business and Marketing sounded interesting for Victoria to study.

Victoria did her internship last summer in Sofia, Bulgaria. The company is called Melon and it was founded by AUBG graduates about twelve years ago. It is an IT company, which provides a range of services, develops applications and software, provides different tech solutions to companies and individuals.

Victoria was working in the marketing department.  One of her main responsibilities was preparing LinkedIn social media strategy for the company.

She was also one of the planners and organizers of the annual team building, which was one of the most fun parts during Victoria’s internship.

Melon annual team building

Melon annual team building

How Victoria found this internship was quite interesting and inspiring.  She took Intro to Marketing class, where students worked with real clients and Melon was one of them.  The company challenged the students to develop a business strategy for the Hotel booking app. Victoria and her project partner decided to participate in this challenge. At the beginning they didn’t even think about it as a competition, just another assignment. They presented the target group, the communication channels which are best to use, the visuals, basically the whole business strategy.

 “We did our best and surprisingly for us even, we won the challenge.”

The prize of the challenge was the opportunity to have an internship in Melon. Initially it was supposed to be only one internship for one person. However, Victoria ended up having an internship over the summer and her project partner is doing an internship there this semester.

Melon team building. Victoria on the right

Melon team building. Victoria on the right

It is important to get out of AUBG for some time and be exposed to the real life challenges. Working with the real company that has been around for a while gives a lot of benefits and opens new doors for building you future career. For Victoria, working with professionals, who are always nice and helpful was valuable.

“I liked their corporate culture a lot. A lot of the employees are AUBG alumni, who always had interesting stories to tell about our university ten years ago.”

Melon has about 140 employees and they speak Bulgarian and English. For those who don’t speak English, there are special language courses. The company promotes the speaking English environment, so they were glad to have Victoria.  Students who major in Business can always check the website and look for internships available. Moreover, since Melon is the IT company, Computer Science students can always check it out as well.

Here is an advice from Victoria for those who are looking for internships.

“Take advantage of your classes and your professors. They are the people who can help you and direct you in the right way. They know professionals, alumnies who actually might need you in the company.”

Here is a 5 shot video with Victoria, checking the Melon website 🙂

Taking Fine Arts minor to the next level.

Dear Readers,
In my Multimedia Journalism class we have a very interesting midterm. Our assignment is to make a video and a blog post in 3 hours.

Plamen Kostov

Plamen Kostov

As I was looking for news to write about I saw an interesting post of my friend on facebook. His name is Plamen Kostov, AUBG student who has been taking acting classes for years, but only after participating in AUBG play he was recognized internationally.
While he was in the states last summer, he applied for the main role in MTV series. A few days ago he received a letter, stating that he received the main role and they really liked his portfolio. Plamen said that the company was particularly impressed with the AUBG play which was posted on YouTube.
“I think this is going to be great for my internship for Fine Arts minor and it’s going to increase my chances of success significantly in the future.”
Nedyalko Delchev, acting professor at AUBG was excited to hear about the news.
I’m very happy to see that my students are proceeding with acting later. Some of them became directors or work in art institutions. And as you know, Plamen became sort of a local star and hopefully he will participate in this major art event.”
I took a look at the new acting class while chatting with Nedyalko. Hopefully, this semester there will be some great talents as well. You never know, maybe there will be some more Fine Arts students by the end of the semester.
We are lucky to study in such university which promotes diversity not only within the student body but in education as well. You can do an Economics major but still be able to minor in Fine Arts, participate in plays and even show your talent outside of AUBG.

Check out my interview with Plamen and a sneak peak to Beginning Acting class of this semester

How is it being a part of the largest humanitarian organization in the world?

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Yesterday I met with Nekruz Mamadalizoda from Tajikistan.  He is a senior double majoring in Business Administration and Economics.

Nekruz did his internship during summer 2014 in Geneva, Switzerland.  He worked for International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). Currently it’s the largest humanitarian organization in the world with 189 country members. Since Red Cross is associated with Christianity, some countries (where Islam is the dominant religion) decided to adopt Red Crescent as well.

Nekruz’s job was about organizing a huge set of data, which was collected from the national societies. Using some quantitative tools, he carried out the analysis and then reported the outcomes on the website. Therefore, the national societies could look at themselves and compare their situation with other countries.

At AUBG Nekruz learned a few technical skills, mostly how to think critically, which was one of the strongest assets he gained from AUBG.

However, a lot of new things he learned while working in the summer. For example, he didn’t have extensive experience with Excel but overtime he was dealing with a large set of data, which helped him improve analysis and data skills.

“The ability to fit within the professional corporate environment was one of the most important skills I gained during my internship.”

While Nekruz was on ISEP exchange program in the states last semester he applied for the position and got an interview at the organization, where he was asked to analyze a financial statement during the internship interview.  Luckily, he got the position which brought him a great amount of benefits.

“I’m interested in finance, in numbers and business. But at the same time I want to contribute to this world. So this internship was a good opportunity to combine both.  Still doing what I’m passionate about and working in an organization which involves humanitarian work is the best experience. “

Moreover, this organization is leading in terms of responding and preventing the spread of the Ebola disease in Western Africa.  This is rewarding and gratifying when you work in such an organization.

“I was constantly communicating with the member countries. In one day I would call 10 to 20 different countries, talking to the representatives and collecting data.”

The project Nekruz worked on was called Federation Wide Databank and Reporting System (FDRS). It’s like a cycle, which happens every year during the summer when a large set of data is collected, analyzed throughout the year and then published on online platform. The more data you have, the better analysis you get.

“I enjoyed developing professional connections in Geneva. So hopefully this internship will serve as a gateway to a better career.”

Nekruz Mamadalizoda

Nekruz Mamadalizoda

Check out the video, where Nekruz is reading an ECO textbook after the interview.

Google It

Dear readers,

Last week  I decided to find someone outside of the JMC department and find out about the internships in the different fields.

So, a couple of days ago I met with Timur Huseynov from Azerbaijan. He is a senior at AUBG, double majoring in Business Administration (concentrating in marketing) and Political Science.

Timur Huseynov

Timur Huseynov

From mid June till mid September of 2014 Timur was in Poland, doing an internship in Google.

He was working for the Russian market, particularly Customer Support for the online advertisement platform.  Half of his time Timur dedicated to the Russian customer support by e-mail, chat and the phone.  Some of his responsibilities were helping to set up or optimize the account and proceed with payment .

During his internship Timur had an interesting project, which was “Google Russian Channels in Social Media.”  It’s basically BTB channels, Google + and Vkontakte. He was creating the content for Google+ and Vkontakte. He was also responsible for Twitter, the largest google account. Timur was improving the work flow of the team (about 30 people) and supporting the mentors in their daily activities.

As you can see, Google keeps you busy.  And Google pays their interns for good work.

“The people in Google are very nice and supportive. When you come there, you don’t know everything or anything at all. They are always willing to give an advice. They want to integrate you in their company. “

One of the benefits of this internship is getting a nice network, meeting with a lot of new people from different countries, communicating with Googlers from all over.

In past 3 years Timur did a lot of things like Student Government, Resident Assistant, TEDx and everything he learned there he could implement during his internship.

“After such an internship I’m not afraid to graduate in May.”

If you got interested and consider such an internship, how do you think you find it? You Google it.

 “Don’t be afraid to apply to big companies. Make sure to apply and show them that you are shiny.  Show them you are the special one, because you really are.”

First steps to video shooting

Today my post is not about internships. I was editing a video for the first time during my Multimedia Journalism class at AUBG. We got the cameras, microphones and everything we need to make our first video.

My partner and I went outside to look what people are up to on campus and saw resident assistants playing chess. We made a video and added some music, text and a couple of effects to try new things in video editing. It’s a little blurry but it’s just a first try 🙂