In 2018, I started my journey as an international business student at Tampere University of Applied Sciences. In my studies, I was able to choose specialization fields and my choices ended up being HR and Tourism & Experience Economy.
I thought I had very clear plans when it came to my studies and my future plans regarding my career path. However, now after entering my final year of studies I have realized that things don’t always end up as you have imagined.
In this blogpost, I will tell my story of how I got my internship, what my future plans look like at the moment and how my studies in international business helped me with figuring out what I really wanted to do.
Challenges in internship hunt
When I first started thinking about my possible internship position, I was hoping to do something related to HR or tourism as those were something that I had specialized in during my studies. However, when it was time to start applying to several internship positions, I realized that it was quite hard to attract the attention of recruiters and was starting to lose hope of finding an internship place for myself.
It didn’t help that this was also during the time when the COVID-19 pandemic was starting to escalate, and many internship offers were on the line of getting canceled.
Internship position at Edunation
I soon realized that maybe I should start looking for internship places out of my range of expertise. I started expanding my searches to fields outside of HR and tourism and soon stumbled across a posting from Edunation, which said that they were looking for an administrative intern. After reading the job posting, I was happy to notice that the things they were looking for were something that I had studied or was familiar with, thanks to my studies.
International business students cover a wide variety of topics in their studies. It was a pleasant surprise to see how much my studies gave me in terms of knowledge and skills, which could be applied to administrative tasks.
I was really motivated to apply to the position Edunation was offering. I decided to take a leap of faith and really put effort into writing an appealing cover letter. The position was not what I initially considered, as it was not within my field of specialization. Writing cover letters was also something that we had the opportunity to learn about at school. I made sure to really take advantage of that information
Fast forward to July, I got a call from Edunation that they would like me to intern at their company.
Believe in yourself
This process of looking for an internship position and applying to them taught me that it’s important to have an open mind and keep your options open. You might find the best internship position for yourself from an unexpected field or from a place that you didn’t think about looking from in the first place.
Also, whatever you might study, be confident in your skills and yourself. This was something that I struggled with, because there are so many others applying to the same position as myself, so how could I possibly make myself standout? This is not the right mindset, which I soon realized.
It is imperative that you trust your own abilities and are willing to show that. If you don’t, how can you expect recruiters to believe in you either?
Uncertainty and changed career plans
At the moment, I am in the situation that many university students find themselves in. I don’t have a clear plan for my future. Initially I was really scared of my situation because uncertainty is not pleasant for anyone. It feels a lot more secure to know exactly what you want, how to do it and when.
However, during my few years of studying at a university I have discovered a few things. The plans you thought you had set clearly for yourself and whatever you thought you wanted from life can change. It is scary to suddenly not know what you are supposed to do. Not being sure about what you want to do is scary as well. And that’s completely okay.
This time during our twenties is exactly when we are supposed to do as much trial and error as we can. We need to experiment and see all the different possibilities that we want.
Gain as much experience as you can from different fields. Don’t settle for anything if the field you are currently working in or studying doesn’t suit you.
My original plan for my future was to become a tour guide in another country. I wanted to work in the field of tourism, which is why I specialized in it during my studies. However – as it turned out – that didn’t end up being what I wanted to do.
I discovered that I want to be able to work from anywhere in the world. I also want to be able to travel freely. In order to achieve this, I have to employ myself and become an entrepreneur. Another alternative is finding remote working possibilities.
I have been able to focus my wants and wishes when it comes to my future plans. However, they are still not clear and there are many question marks left to answer.
Perks of my international business studies
I thought that my studies in international business didn’t help me at all regarding my future career. After all, I expected to become a professional in the field of tourism. This didn’t happen, but I got something else.
My studies helped me to discover that a job in the tourism sector is not what I want. I was able to get a foundation to start pursuing a possible career as an entrepreneur to build my own business. In addition, I also got what I needed to land my internship position at Edunation.
I also realized what I really want to achieve in life; freedom. Now it is left for me to figure how to utilize the knowledge and skills that I’ve acquired in order to get to that goal. The first step is to finish my internship and see where to go from there.
Even though things might not go according to plan, it may not always be a bad thing. Life is a huge learning curve and that’s the beauty of it. That is the moral of this story.
You can find and read more student stories here!