In the summer of 2010, I had an educational internship with Associations in Cultural Exchange Language Institutes. The time that I spent there was very beneficial, because I have learned a lot in the sphere of marketing and management, as well as culture and philosophy. It was a very important and serious experience. During three weeks I studied the whole organization. My work started with research, and my internship started with observation of classes and collecting information. It was interesting because it gave me an understanding of how the organization operated and what are its purposes and goals.
The company not only invests in developing its personnel, but also does everything to keep the staff satisfied in their work. This company’s culture is very interesting, because there are friendly relationships between all the co-workers, and what really surprised me – they feel comfortable in talking with the President as well as with the marketing person or front door person. There is no hierarchy; everybody feels equal and respects each other. All decisions made by the director are discussed with the managers.
I took a part in all meetings and conferences, even little routine situations like removing a student from one house to another was discussed between the director and managers of the department. Those little situations were important because as I understood all big projects consist of pieces which have to be collected together. As far I could do something for this company I felt very happy and proud of myself. I was taught to make a web commercial, and after this I made some commercials myself. Also I was really useful for the translation of the web site into Russian. Maybe because of the management of the company and the staff’s philosophy I had a desire to help them somehow, and because it is a non-profit company, it cares about students more than anything else. It is not because they are clients, but also because they enjoy helping people.
Probably that is the reason why everybody was so hospitable to me and made me feel at home! All my questions were answered very clearly and I did not feel like I annoyed anybody. The Director gave me free access to all archives and documents of the organization. Therefore I could see whole situation of the company and understood some decisions better. Also I took a part in tours with students of exchange programs. It allowed me to relax from work and it was fun!
Besides I met a lot of different people from different countries. I learned some specialties of their culture. It was great to notice specific characteristics in mentality and the way of doing business! Also I learned different philosophies of making business. For me it was very strange to hear that business can be not for profit but for connections and helping people. That there are people who are just happy with conversations and learning new cultures and who try to make something good for their own nation.
I believe that I learned not only marketing and management structure and everyday work, but also I opened my mind and began to see out of the box.