Internships can help you discover what you want to focus on in future
Julie Villadsen has just returned from a six-month internship at the Danish business office in Bangalore, India. She feels the experience has helped her find out where she wants to go with her career.
Name: Julie Villadsen.
Through her business experience, Julie has discovered that her future job has to have some interdisciplinary elements:
”I’ve realised I want to work with people with different educational backgrounds, since this gives the workplace a completely different dynamic.”
As a result of her experiences, Julie has also decided that in future she wants to look for jobs that give her more human contact. For that reason she recently enquired about becoming a student adviser at the Faculty of Law, where she has just started studying. Julie feels her work experience has affected her dreams and decisions about a future career in a fundamental way, which wouldn’t have happened if she hadn’t investigated the possibility of going abroad.
During her internship in Bangalore, Julie fulfilled her aim of gaining insight into what it might be like to work as a lawyer for the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She’s also acquired a number of skills that will be useful in future. For example, she’s had to learn how to assert herself in a completely different way than she ever had to before. As she says with a laugh:
”To do my job I had to find parts of myself I didn’t know I had.”
It’s important to seek out new professional challenges, even when it comes to student jobs
Even before she started her studies, Julie wanted to inform herself about the opportunities in her chosen profession. So she found a job as a secretary assistant in a major law firm, and in the second year of her bachelor programme was ‘promoted' to student assistant. However, after four years in the law firm, Julie wanted to explore other, more international career paths:
”I started feeling that it was really important to find out what my opportunities will be when I graduate. And I knew the easiest way to find out was to go out and work in another workplace. ”
Julie also wanted to get some experience of the public sector rather than the private sector, where she’d worked until that stage. She therefore started exploring the chances of getting an internship in a Danish embassy. For this she used both KU's Job Bank and the Ministry of Foreign Affair's website. She sent out many applications. It all paid off when she got an internship in the business office in Bangalore in India in 2010.