Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Intern Focus

David Knape

Age: 25
Home Town: Jordanstown, Northern Ireland
Degree: Political Science from the University of Ulster
Previous work experience: Catering work, sports soaching, English language teaching, activity leader, retail work.
Favourite thing about Prague: SaSaZu (the night club), and meeting some great people
Often heard saying: ‘Ah far jaysus’

Internship positions and job roles:
Czech Helsinki commitee – Compiling research reports on foreign media coverage of the Czech Republic and Roma people, and comparing this with Czech views.

GRB International, Casa Latina – Building profiles of health care markets in various countries. From this data acting as an advisor about the best strategies for expansion into new markets.

Agora Ce – This NGO aims to increase tolerance and democracy by organising debates. The main role has been proof reading, but also reasearching media representations in Eastern Europe.

Have your expectations of the internship met the reality?
Before I came I didn’t really know what to expect. The experience has been satisfying though.

What are your plans for the future?
In the short term I plan to go and live in Spain for at least 6 months, and then would like to go to the United States. There is a programme where I could teach politics in a summer school and also starting sports coaching again.

I am not really so interested in going down the business route, but to get a job in an NGO you really need to be a specialist. Having said that a lot of the work I have done here has been involved with research, and I guess I wouldn’t be against doing that in the future.

What tips do you have for anyone thinking of joining a programme here in Prague?
Ask as many questions as possible, so you can prepare before you come. Obvuiously living in a different country there are cultural differences. I think the attitude towards work here in Prague is quite different from in the UK, there is less hurry to get things done, and people are more relaxed.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Intern Focus

Pritesh Mistry
Age: 22
Home Town: Manchester, England
Degree: Architecture (BA) from the University of Liverpool
Previous work experience: Architectural placements, I.T Support Assistant, Millenium Volunteer.
Favourite thing about Prague: The TV tower, St Vitus Cathedral and SaSaZu. I really like how there is so much happening all the time, and there is lots of creative activities to get involved in.
Often heard saying: "Thats well good"

Internship position and job roles:

Architectural Assistant, Jiran Kohout architekti So far my job has involved lots of different roles. Initally I was researching into current building trends and updating the database of various housing schemes around the world. My current project is a villa in Iraq, which is currently in the design development stage. We’re using various methods to try out our ideas, for example on the computer using 3D and 2D CAD packages, making physical models, and drawing sketches. The office is quite an open and friendly space, so we also tend to discuss and bounce off ideas.

Have your expectations of the internship met the reality?
I came onto the programme because it seemed like too good an opportunity to miss. Everything was paid for so that wasn’t a factor to consider, and I hoped to make connections abroad. In terms of my placement I would say that it took a while to settle in. Before I had a specific project to focus on I didn’t feel I was getting the experience I needed. Now I am thoroughly enjoying it.

Being in Prague has also given me opportunity to travel, and see some new places. A few weeks ago I went to Vienna, which takes 3-4 hours. I have travelled before, so not only did it bring back good memories from that but I liked the city too. Depending on money and time I would ideally like to go to Budapest and Berlin aswell.

What are your plans for the future?
I plan to be an architect, but before you can become accredited you have to have 24 logged professional months of experience. This will count as 3 months towards that. It is quite difficult to find placements, so I’m also hoping that when I go back to the UK, having international experience under my belt will make me stand out from other candidates. 

What tips do you have for anyone thinking of joining a programme here in Prague?
Think quite hard about what you are looking for from a placement. Researching companies once you know who you are having interviews with will give you some idea about if your ethos and design approach etc match.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Intern's experience

Maria, a Business Administration and Human Resources Manager

In 2009, I finished my degree in Business Administration and
Law. At that time, I had only done two internships, one in a city
council and another in a lawyer’s office. Needless to say, I had
a lot of questions about my professional future. I didn’t know how
channel my career. I did know I wanted to work in a large company
and for that I needed international experience, which led me
to search for an international internship. And why not Prague?
I could experience a new culture, practice English, and get to
know a new city. It was a wonderful choice!
Gradually, however, all my doubt disappeared. Just a few days after moving to what
is now my favourite city, I started work at Vuste Envis, the company that organized my internship. In those days, the company was comprised of four young and energetic business partners. They did their best to make me feel at home from my very first day of work.
In this company I had a mission. I was charged with developing professional contacts between Vuste Envis and numerous Spanish organizations. I had to search for the organizations, make initial contact, set appointments, and meet with them to introduce Vuste Envis as a potential partner in future projects. I didn’t always achieve what I wanted,
but that is the only way to learn. I learned the importance of relationships, tactful communication, and the responsibility I felt when they put their trust in me. I wasn’t just an intern - I was a partner!
Apart from those responsibilities, I was also in charge of coordinating events for my fellow interns. Being that we were all from abroad, I organised activities to help us
learn about Prague and experience the local culture. For me, this was a great exercise
in creativity and helped me develop lasting friendships with the other interns.
Now I am working in human resources at a large Spanish company, Telefónica (O2).
I am confident that my experience as an intern in Prague helped me secure my current position. International experience with other cultures is mind opening. The fresh perspectives and new ideas it precipitates are invaluable, especially in the world of business.
Brian, a Cartoonist
It was exactly three years ago I arrived in Prague, my adventure
was set up by Vuste and I have never left. I had been studying
and working in England in Animation and Illustration. I had tried
really hard to get some kind of break, but there was so much
competition that it was almost impossible for me to get any experience. Somehow I came across an organisation in England that
organised experiences for people like me to be able to gain use
my knowledge and gain experience abroad. So I arrived nervous
here in Prague with not such high expectations, because up until that time I had always been let down by such experiences.
Vuste was a great organisation, this was the height of the Financial Crisis, but at thattime such programs prove to be even more important, to not just give more skill to the workforce but to also improve moral and champion diversity in Europe. These things are extreamly important to our future. We were provided accommodation by Vuste , as well as help get from the Airport where
they met us. We then received classes for two weeks from a Czech teacher to
improve our knowledge of the country which was very foreign to us. This was all
invaluable much of the the things I learnt there I still use to this day.
During that time I was placed in an animation company called Eallin, who make short films and animation for TV and Internet. _At this company I was finnally able to realize my ambitions of many years and able to work in my dream job. Although the internship arranged by Vuste was only supposed to be for 3 months, the company I worked
for was happy to keep me on afterwards. Today we work on television series and many other wonderful projects.
Coming to Prague was really a dream come true for me, and it wouldn't have been
possible without the program Leonardo that I came on. It is really no joke that I have
done very well because of that program. I have met many famous people, abbasaddors, diplomats, MP's, even Vaclav Havel because I had the chance to realise my ambitions here in Prague.
Without Vuste is just wouldn't have been possible
Saul, an Industrial Designer
I arrived to Prague in January of 2010. My _rst impression
was that Prague was cold with a hard climate, but this only
was my _rst impression.The work from the team Vuste
Envis has done that everything has been easy._ I have
studied industrial design , so my expectations when I have
arrived to Prague, i wanted to get experience and develop
my professional degree. It was easy to explain my skills to
my tutor from Envi. After do it, they started to look a job for me. In a few days I got it
my _rst interview, but was in the second interview when I got a job in line with my
My _rst days in my new job were dif_cult, but I started to learn and to doing things
quickly. So, I needed only one week to get to feel comfortable in the team work. I
have learnt a new things, new skills and overall a new way to work._ I can say, that
was very interest experience that gave me a new perspective to watch the things. I
have worked in different projects. One of them was to create new switches to the light_
yes! Switches, sounds bored but it’s not true). After that, I have done another project,
more interest than the _rst one: Create Lamps of Bohemian Glass!!_ I enjoyed this
project a lot!_About of the culture in Czech Republic, I going to say that was amazing.
It’s true that I like to discovering new cultures and know new countries but in Prague
I have got a unknown culture that never seen before. In this city you have a lot of
things to do, and never been boring. You can go to the opera, Ice hockey, Football,
Ballet, Shows … and of course, you can get fun in a lot of kind of parties!_ Lives the
nights of Prague is something that somebody has to try !If you are wondering if I’m
still living in Prague it’s not true, but you have to know that it’s a point to get in my
future. After _nish my experience there, my boss offered me a job but I couldn’t take
it because I wanted to one degree more._ Today, I’m studying in Scotland, but I thinking
to come back to Prague and try luck looking a job.
This was my experience! I have to say thanks for the all team from Vuste Envis, that
always have been there helping me and doing a nice work.

Shariffa, a Journalist
I had studied Media Production & International Journalism at
university and had always cultivated an interest in this _eld how
ever_I found getting paid work was very problematic, so I worked
on a voluntary basis for a variety of media organisations including
Channel M and X Factor. When I saw the traineeship being advertised by Vuste Envis, I applied straight away, when I arrived in Prague I was given a warm welcome by the Vuste Envis manager Jan, all trainees were also given a 2 week Czech language course which was very helpful._The employees were very supportive and gave me a real idea of what I could realistically acheive through the project. They also gave me the confidence to work at 2 traineeships simultaneously. I worked at 'The Prague Post' newspaper
and 'Radio Free Europe' both as a journalist. I chose them because they combined the mediums I felt most akin to, and I wanted to explore both mediums in order to understand each one better. I interviewed the Mayor of Prague at the time Pavel Bem, it was a fantastic acheivement for me and I finally felt like_I was progressing in the field I had always wanted to work in. At Radio Free Europe I was given introductions and also given my duties which comprised of formulating O-wires from existing news stories. These were published on the website and fed to the Eastern European offices for news updates.
Both of my placements presented a different set of challenges and_I learned a great deal from working with professionals in my chosen field. Most of all_I learn't how to dedicate myself, commit and be a trusted and respected member of the team. I learn't the differences between the genres and the conventions_which make up each of them. I made some great connections, some of whom I still keep in touch with today. The people of Prague and Vuste Envis were_very good to me, their dedication and good nature allowed me to explore my creative talents beyond the scope_I_imagined when I embarked upon the jounrey. I would say it is one of the most positive experiences I have had in my life, working in a different country, with people and surroundings
_whom you are unfamiliar with, gives you a confidence which enables you
to progress in your chosen field.
Today I work at BBC in the Religion & Ethics department,_I work within Production Management which is not something I expected, but after Prague I learned that the best things in life are the_unexpected.

Marcello, a Public Relation Manager
I graduated in Media and Communication Studies in 2006. After a couple of trainings- for an Italian company a training period often means to take on workers for free, trying to exploit them as much as possible, without any training!- I started working for a small advertising company in my own town, Palermo. Even though I liked the job in itself- I worked as an account executive and as a strategic planner-, I had always the feeling that I wasn't in the best place and situation to fulfill and express myself.
After three years, I therefore decided to leave the job and try to find my way.
I had always dreamt to have a work experience abroad, especially after a trip in England, where I had the chance to know many people from all over the world, and I dealt with cultures very far from mine, but because of this capable of enriching me culturally and personally. Being chosen for the project Leonardo was a perfect chance to start, and Prague has given me such a great inspiration and hope for my future! Thanks to Vuste Envis guys, I immediately had the feeling to be in a multicultural,
open-minded and respectful environment.
During the second week of my staying, I had my first interview for a communication consultancy company. It immediately seemed to me the kind of work-experience I was looking for! It was not a classic Pr and communication firm, but they offered many innovative services, giving me the chance to learn a lot. Since the first day, I had an incredible good relashionship with my boss and collegues. They always infected me with their energy, stamina and good mood! During my internship, I was in charge of business development of the company in the Italian community in the Czech Republic and I contributed to the company's communication strategy, as well as to a mailing campaign, made to improve their renown among potential clients.
I also attended many prestigious events and formal evenings, knowing many eminent
people, and I didn't expect that it would have been so funny and interesting! Thanks to my amazing Czech friends, I often used to go to very typical places and I tried so many delicious dishes! Prague is a magic city, an open air museum full of everything you need to have fun and very multicultural. The place where I lived was very cool and I knew many interesting
people from all across Europe, some of them are still good friends of mine.
This experience has inspired me a lot to proceed with my career and most of all it has incouraged me to not stop fighting to fulfill my dreams!

Sara, a Journalist
Prague was just the beginning. The experience was so
astonishing that I continued travelling and learning all
around Europe since then. I felt fulfilled both, personally
and professionally. This was a strong experience for me
that encourage me to keep on trying and be aware that
things are possible if you really want them and make all
that is in your hands to make them true.
The first day that I met the crew from Vuste Envis, they gave me some information about the different Medias where I could do my internship. I remember they were three possible options: Vice Magazine, Prague Post and Czech Business weekly; all of them written in English, so there was no need to panic about the Czech issue and the most important, they were totally related to my _eld. After being interviewed by the three possible placements, I had the opportunity to choose which one I preferred. And I chose Czech Business Weekly. I felt really welcomed by all the staff, specially the editor in chief Cristina Muntean and later on the big boss, Raymond Johnston. Actually, both of them are on my Facebook now :) They knew exactly what they want me to do and I really liked what I heard. I’ll be one of
them. My tasks were totally according to my academic and professional field; I wrote my own pieces and they were published with my signature.
Furthermore, I had the chance to work in a publication focused on the European economics
and politics while Prague held the rotating presidency of the EU (first semester
2009). This made it easier to find spokespersons that spoke English, which was a relief when I had to cover meetings and press conferences.

I learned a lot trough my internship training; I gained an international experience that is still valuable for me and for other companies; I improved my professional and linguistic skills; I met a lot of interesting people from all over Europe; I realized that journalism was defnitely my field and travelling something more than just an option and I discovered one of the most charming cities that I’ve ever seen. And its reaction has been bright and clear ever after.