We live in a time where globalisation makes it easier than ever to connect and build a network around the world. Also, collecting work experience at a young age is almost required nowadays, since competition out there is tough. So, why not connect both?
A group of four interns: Gizem from Germany, Johnny from Portugal, Georgiana and Simina from Romania offer us an insight into the work life of EDUopinions in Athens, Greece.
The idea of working for a start-up that promotes the values of a global student network and improved education with the help of authentic student reviews is what got all of them interested at the beginning of summer.
Now, 3 months later, they are ready to share their different experiences at EDUopinions with you!
Student at Academy of Economic Studies – ASE in Bucharest.
Before I decided to take this internship, I had no idea how many things would change! I remember I was always thinking about how things would be when I come to Athens. ‘What will the other interns be like?’ ‘What will Athens be like?’ ‘What will working for this start-up be like?’ I had so many questions.
After almost two months, I can finally answer them. My experience working for EDUopinions was amazing! What made it so special is the passion of the people. It is unbelievable how many things can be accomplished with passion and perseverance. This is one of the main learning points in my experience. Working in a start-up means growing together as a team. Everyone’s effort and ideas count and make a difference. It is the perfect environment where you have the chance to express yourself and be appreciated for your input and contribution.
I was impressed by the particular attention that was given to us by the rest of the team. Every day we had coffee break meetings in addition to weekly updates and brainstorming sessions. Even if it was a remote job, I could see the effort that the rest of the EDUopinions team was making for us to feel comfortable as well as happy with what we do. Thus, I discovered something new about myself – I really enjoy having a remote job and travelling to different countries – something that I am planning to do in the future.
Working abroad is not only about work. It is also about the place. Let me tell you about Greece, particularly Athens! Surprisingly, Athens does not feel like Europe. ‘Then what does it feel like?’ one might ask. Well, Athens is a mix of different cultures, which makes the city unique! Its history, people, traditions, music, and … hills! Yes, hills. Did I mention that I saw the most amazing sunsets on Mount Lycabettus and Pnyx? These are the best places where you can see The Acropolis and The Ancient Agora. Two of my favourite things to do while I was in Athens were going to Greek tavernas to enjoy the traditional live music and relaxing in the rooftop gardens. I can still picture the view as if I were still there! Perhaps the funniest and most adventurous moments were the weekends when all of us used to go on different trips. Delphi, Nafplio, Aegina, Poros, and Hydra are just some of the beautiful places that are in Greece.
To sum up, this experience was a continuous learning process for me! Not only professionally, but also personally. Living and working with people from different backgrounds and cultures made me feel part of something different. Something that has an impact on society. These months proved to me that there are no boundaries when people want to make things work. They can work together from anywhere – may it be Athens, may it be Crete, may it be Ireland, and so on. If I can describe my internship in just one sentence, I would say that; life happens outside your comfort zone.
Student at ISEG – Lisbon School of Economics and Management.
I had always wanted to have my first professional experience in a foreign country, and when EDUopinions gave me the opportunity to work in Athens for 2 months, I didn’t even hesitate. I am a person who never settles and wants to step out of my comfort zone, so this was the perfect opportunity to develop my soft skills and my hard skills while getting to know a whole different culture and experiencing new things. I had the pleasure to work with Simina, Georgiana, and Gizem, and it was really interesting to have daily contact with people from different countries with totally different personalities and backgrounds. This made me have a better understanding of the world and I learnt new work methods, combined with a great cooperation in the team.
We all had general tasks, and more specific ones as well. My main tasks were contacting student associations, as well as individual people, in order to promote the company and collect more reviews. As I had never done these kinds of tasks, they were very challenging for me. Nevertheless, with the support of my boss, Nikos, I got more comfortable and he gave me the space to implement my ideas and the freedom to try other approaches.
I went to several of the Greek islands with the other interns and every weekend I had new stories to tell. The whole experience was unforgettable and everyone from the company made sure that I was having the best time in Athens, with all the tools needed to be productive and get good results. I will always have a soft spot for Athens and EDUopinions, and it was a remarkable summer.
Student at Academy of Economic Studies – ASE in Bucharest.
It’s been 10 weeks since I came to Athens as a Business Intelligence Intern at EDUopinions. If I were to describe the whole experience, I would say that I had the opportunity to learn new things in a different environment with a very hard working team. From the very beginning, I was coming up with ideas about how it will be, what the atmosphere will be like, and what I will be doing. Once I arrived in Athens and met the team, I settled down and got to work, and got answers to all of my questions. I have been able to see how, over time, we have all developed personally, becoming a united team with strong goals.
Being an internship on remote, I had the opportunity to work in different places, which is more inspiring and more enjoyable. Although we are all in different places, we have kept in touch all the time and we have become more than work colleagues – friends. It is my first experience at work and I can say that I am delighted with everything that has happened at EDUopinions. I had the opportunity to try different tasks, other things besides those that fit my background. This was one of the things I appreciated most during the internship – flexibility.
Throughout the internship I can say that I managed to merge my work with the fun, the result being an unforgettable adventure in the Greek realms. Every weekend, it was a new journey, discovering the most beautiful islands, such as Mykonos, Crete, Naxos, and Hydra, getting to know new people with the same strong desire to discover the unknown, and making many beautiful memories with international friends. Leaving aside weekend escapades, this internship meant for me an open gateway to knowledge. Furthermore, I can say that the practical part has been perfectly matched by the lessons I have learned in a new environment. I have learned what patience and perseverance in getting what you want actually mean in a startup company, have learned what it means to work in a team to achieve a goal, and that you always have to have a backup plan, be a solution-oriented person, and open to trying something else.
In general, I can say that I had a wonderful adventure, I managed to discover new realms, new people and their cultures, but most importantly I managed to rediscover myself. In the end, I can say that I achieved my goals for this experience and I would repeat it anytime. So, are you ready for this kind of adventure?
Student at Leuphana University of Lüneburg.
When I decided to join EDUopinions in Athens, all I wanted was an experience that would teach me more about life after school. I craved stepping out of my comfort zone and collecting new memories, as the routine at university started getting to me. As I have never had work experience before, my expectations were not that high. Maybe that is exactly why I was and still am so positively surprised by my whole experience as an intern here in Athens.
The first thing that always comes to my mind when I am asked about what I would like to do after school finishes is working in a start-up company – maybe my own. The reason for that is that I wish for the feeling of impact, a feeling of having a meaningful role in the company, which was the case with my work at EDUopinions. Since we were only a small team, everyone’s distribution counted, which was reflected in the weekly team meetings and effective brainstorming sessions.
However, being in a new working environment like that was only one side of the experience. Of course, I need to address the fact that I suddenly lived in a country that I had neither seen before nor knew the language of. Athens has a lot to offer, like the charming old neighbourhoods, for instance, Plaka and Anafiotika or the impressive buildings and constructions such as The Acropolis, which displays the ancient history of the country. I learned quite a lot about the music, food, traditions and even the language. Above all, I, of course, need to mention the adventurous trips our group of interns and volunteers had on the weekends, that really showed me the value of travelling. I saw the most stunning beaches in Agistri and Aegina, witnessed the magic of Naxos and Mykonos, breathed in the salty ocean air in Crete and was starstruck by the sunset in Santorini.
All in all, I can say that I learned how to work in a new environment. I felt responsible for the team’s and company’s developments and enjoyed thinking about new ways to see growth. It was inspiring to be around a team that believed in the idea of the Start-Up and its vision. Lastly, being around so many people from different countries did not only teach me a lot culture-wise but also made me expand my network around the world, which makes this whole experience a gift for which I am really grateful.