When thinking of doing practical training, many consider that it is much better to choose any country rather then your homecountry, as the assumtions are that you will get more experience abroad rather then in the culture you grown up in. However, my experience showed it differently. After studying abroad, in JAMK, my homecountry culture became something international and the way I looked at it was already from a different perspective.
During summer 2017 I was working as a marketing trainee at a local small IT company in Minsk, Belarus. I had rather friendly environment and people being surprised of the practical approach I was bringing to work from the very beginning. I learned that there are not always big things happening in the working environment. Sometimes we had to go for a meetings and present our services, create presentations and it was fun, very interesting to see how partnerships are built and in Belarus it is more formal with the communication or the way you present yourself and a company service rather then what I saw in Finland, where even the working environments is quite informal sometimes. Other times for weeks I would just sit in the office and do the routine market research, research of the competitors, reading and translating legal documents, which is an important part as well. It might be not that exciting, but I developed strong skills of minimizing time for the research on the internet by knowing which keywords to enter, which information is the main to go fo when looking at a potential partner company. This is an important skill and now, when I am full time employed I see how efficient I am when I need to conduct a market research.
I had very little knowledge in IT sector and especially software development, which was one of the main services of the company, so I had to learn and read a lot to be able to professionaly present the company. I learned a lot, probably I would say back then it was a starting point for me getting very much interested in IT sector that I am working currently in. One of the struggles, but a very needed skill was making cold calls to other companies and offering our services. I am not a big fan of cold calls, however it is a great experience to learn how to shortly and strongly present yourself, your company, how to be able to sell it and attract a totally unaware person just in minutes or sometimes in seconds. Let’s be honest, not many like sales people calling and offering their products, so I faced a lot of refusals and this teaches you not to get upset but just move on to another potential customer and prepare a unique approach for each of them. That is an important point, because offering your services to different people with the same approach wont make them interested, but once you research about their company and once you see the key feature that particulatly they will be interested in, you got their attention.
The keypoint for my practical training is do not think that coming back home will not give you the experience you are thinking to get in some other country, it’s all great and a valuable for sure and you might be even surprised how the working culture of your homecountry might open up for you from all different sides.