When I was presented with a chance of doing practical training at the end of my second academic year by one of my teachers, I instantly got excited. The company that was looking for an intern from JAMK was one of the bigger hypermarket chains in Finland, Prisma. Their Estonian office, Prisma Peremarketid, wanted to establish connections with Finnish Universities. I was eager to accept such a unique opportunity and was interviewed multiple times over a couple of weeks. In these interviews I was in contact directly with the head of Estonia’s department as well as their head of human resources. In these interviews I was asked what are the things I’m interested in and what sort of things have I studied and would be studying the following year. This was done in order to allow me to operate in such a way that my practical training would have maximum efficiency when considering my future studies as well as allowing me to function so that Prisma would benefit from my presence and actions as well. It was decided that I would work closely with the HR department, but my tasks would also include a lot of marketing as well as management.
When I was a bit more acquaited with the company and the Estonian employment situation, I was to design a system that would have a positive impact on the company’s recruitment process. We agreed on a start date and they were kind enough to help me find accommodation and help me with necessary connections so I could have the basics to survive in the country.
After I was introduced to everyone working within the office I was also introduced to the various heads of each individual Prisma in Tallinn. During the practical training period I would be working closely alongside most of the people in the office as well as all the Prisma heads. My tasks and responsibilities were quite extensive, which for someone who’s been often described as a cerebral person was quite the fantastic experience, as it allowed me to continuously engage with variety of new challenges and opportunities to be creative and learn. Even though my tasks varied I didn’t feel I couldn’t get into a certain subject deeply enough since the tasks were all still very much related to HR, marketing and management which were the main interests I had expressed before the start of my internship.
My tasks included but weren’t limited to occasional overseeing of the Prisma locations within Tallinn, investigating the competition, being involved with job interviews, participating in the meetings of the operating committee while all the time taking notes as well as on rare occasion working alongside people within the store locations, mostly shelving. All of these experiences would also be supporting my big final project, developing a presentation that’d contain suggestions for the development of the recruitment process in Estonia.
While my tasks varied quite much, I never felt lost as I was always merely a question away from help. I was being closely monitored and managed while also given a plenty of room to operate independently which really allowed me to thrive. I was treated well, with respect and as a full-fledged employee by everyone I encountered. I also had weekly discussions with my overseer, the head of the HR department, both considering the development of my assignments as well as my well-being. Having these steady scheduled events to keep me paced within sometimes a busy environment helped in keeping me well grounded.
The internship turned out to be a once in a lifetime type of a learning experience which I’m unmitigatedly grateful of. The working- and life experience I gained was invaluable. Experiencing working with a partner, in a team, independently were all different kind of challenges and opportunities to learn and grow both as an employee and a person as well as utilize my interactional skills. The ability to use my creative side allowed me to thrive and develop my problem solving, presentational and research skills. Learning how to prioritize tasks shortly proved to be an important lesson to meet deadlines I was set.
Overall, I cherish the whole period I spent within the beautiful country of Estonia In the lines of Prisma Peremarketid. I can safely say not only did this internship teach me how to be a more functional employee but a more complete person.
Author: Joni Järvinen