Name: Loc Nguyen
Degree programme: MSc in Business - Major in finance
Home country: Vietnam
Some of the common myths about internships, such as learning how to make coffee, photocopying documents or working unpaid for weeks might discourage students from applying. However, from my perspective, the internship at Nordea was the first milestone that paved the way for my career. Here are my personal tips that might help you along the way.
From the internship application and to the interview stage
Working at Nordea was my dream job for the internship period of the 2nd semester at BI's Master program. However, as an international student, I was well-aware of the difficulties in competition with other candidates. I knew I had to prepare a good application. First of all, an early application at the end of the 1st semester gave me adequate time for preparation. Thankfully, BI' s instruction during the application process also provided meaningful support.
With proper preparation, together with my achievements in various activities, (BI case study club, BI business society and International Student Association) during the bachelor and the master's degree study time, I became one of few candidates to pass the strict recruitment process of Nordea. I got into the interview stage for the internship!
How to nail the interview
In the interview stage I believe the best approach is honesty. Personalities play an important role in the recruitment process. It is one of the key points to identify you as a potential asset for the company. Therefore, in my opinion, be honest, take ownership and dare to fail.
Network is everything
Eight weeks is not a long time to thoroughly learn any sophisticated skills, or knowledge in a working environment. However, the most valuable experience of an internship is to build a network, and experience real working experience in Norway. Developing relationships and understanding a company's operations gave me an early foundation for my future on the corporate ladder.
Hard work pays off
On completing my internship, I was accepted to become a temporary employee of Nordea until my graduation in 2017. The journey as an internship turned into a job offer, which helped med afford the costs for the rest of my studying time. Working hard and being determined on my preparations for the future, resulted in a permanent job at one of the finest corporations in Norway – Nordea, immediately following graduation. In 2018 I got into the Top 100 list of Young Executives of the year 2018 in Norway.
My advice to fellow master students during an internship:
- Always ask for honest feedback from people to improve your weaknesses.
- Sometimes stop and look back at what you have done, and try to think before moving on to the next step (reflection)
- Never say no. A yes will lead you into different situations, and it is the best way to learn, and to experience what you have never had before.
Good luck, hopefully this will help you have the right attitude toward applying, interviewing, and getting the internship. It should be a solid chance for you as a student to step ahead in your career.