Outside Looking In: A German Intern’s View Of A Finnish Company

Kerstin, enjoying her time at Xport

Kerstin, enjoying her time at Xport

My four months internship at Xport is already over, and the time has truly been flying.

During the last few months I have been introduced to a lot more impressions of Finland than in my previous nine month stay here as an international student. The people from Xport and BSTR are an incredible team; their group dynamic is infectious and you feel welcome right away.

Having studied here during my Bachelor degree, I felt fairly capable in dealing with Finnish people and culture, but I found that studying in an international degree program does not compare with Finns and the Finnish culture in a working environment. Their companies’ culture is unlike any other I have ever seen before, which is in part due to the international mindset of Xport, but also because they are still a young company with a tight-knit team.

The tasks and responsibilities I got right off the bat varied greatly. In my first week, I was contacting German companies for a customer of Xport, whom they were taking to a German trade show later that month. Later on I searched for business partners and did some market research. Being able to use my German language skills to the benefit of the company was a good experience, also because I could see the impact I was making in different projects. Other tasks included translating documents, helping with the preparations for trade shows and afterwards with the follow-up and updating the website content.

Even though my command of the Finnish language is limited at best, Xport always took me along on meetings, company visits and networking events, which showed me the industrial side of this region and its potential.

Last month they also presented me with an idea of a project for my thesis, which will not only benefit me, but hopefully is going to benefit Xport as well.

Looking back, I know I made the right decision in coming to Finland and working for Xport. It was an enriching experience and I did learn a lot, which will be advantageous for me in the future. However, as with most things, there is a downside to my work experience here, which is having to leave the company and the team after such a short time. But it was an experience I can commend highly to anyone!

Kirstin Sittinger, International Business Degree Student, Seinäjoki UAS

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