Practical training blog text by Katerina Stoeva

My name is Katerina and this is my practical training journey. It all happened here, in Finland, at three different organisations. 

The first one is at the Finnish Red Cross and that’s my longest experience, lasting 2,5 years. It gave me the wonderful opportunity to gain valuable skills while helping people in need all over the world. The main responsibility I had was to recruit new monthly donators, handle personal data and provide customer service in both Finnish and English. The first and the most important thing I was trained to do there was the elevator pitch. The nature of the job requires me to stop people on the street and to be able to quickly grab their attention and engage them in a conversation. This can be a very challenging task, as there are so many factors and distractions that can prevent a potential donator from making a discussion. The training I was given and the practice over time helped me learn how to “think on my feet” and adjust my pitch according to the situation. Additionally, I significantly improved my negotiation and communication skills in both Finnish and English. 

This experience taught me lots of practical skills, which can be easily transferred in any business field, and I think that’s what love most about it. I got work in a wonderful multicultural team and got to know the Finnish working culture. 

My other two practical training experiences were at Tuska Open Air Metal Festival and Ilosaarirock Festival, located in Helsinki and Joensuu. It was extremely important and exciting for me to participate in them as my biggest goal is to establish a career in the Finnish music industry. I recommend these to anyone who is a huge music-lover and wants an exciting and dynamic work environment. My duties were various from merchandise seller to cloak room attendant to wristband exchange. All of these required me to provide enthusiastic and cheerful customer service in both Finnish and English, as my colleagues and I were the faces of these festivals. Adding up to the experience was essential to bring the guests back next year.   I was given the wonderful opportunity to get to know the dynamic environment of a festival day, what happens behind the scenes, build networks and the ability to work under pressure. It gave me a great idea of what is really like to be there, as before I only had a picture painted by others’ experiences. Participating at those festivals made me 100% sure that this is where I want to build my career.

Author: Katerina Stoeva