A professional internship opportunity is one of the most advantageous steps a business student can take, providing the hands-on work experience employers value in prospective employees. It also gives the participant a unique first impression of the working field they aspire to specialize in, gaining invaluable insight on what the role might look like in practice. To help further illuminate the benefits that can be derived from such an opportunity, we spoke with Victor, a former Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) student who trained for his degree at Business School Lausanne (BSL).
Victor shared some of the details of his own unique internship experience working at the Banque Internationale à Luxembourg. Continue reading to learn more about his experience.
An Opportunity to Gain Real-World Experience
Given his ambition to work in financial investment as a financial analyst, Victor appreciated the opportunity the internship offered to gain hands-on experience. “The dynamic workplace environment of the Banque Internationale à Luxembourg allowed me to observe how managerial decisions are made in a bank, how departments work synergistically toward a project, how to develop a project, and much more,” he recalls. By gaining practical experience working in a professional setting, Victor was able to develop his skill set in all kinds of ways. He notes that, “It was a great opportunity. I learned a lot about myself, and gained multiple hard and soft skills.” Anyone enrolled in the bachelor business administration can expect to gain the same level of benefit from the internship they pursue, as they develop their skills in a hands-on environment.
Different Challenges and Lessons Victor Learned During His Internship
One aspect of his internship that Victor hadn’t anticipated encountering was a generational gap and different mindset at the workplace. Working in a well-established bank, he quickly discovered change and improvements were complicated to achieve. He also observed that the fresh and fast mindset appreciated in a start-up environment was much less applicable in the banking setting.
“Working in a bank brought me to work with ‘old school’ people, who have a hierarchical approach, where the boss is in charge, and tasks are not questioned,” he notes. Victor admitted he found this to be challenging, describing himself as someone who is typically unafraid of “questioning the unquestionable.” Yet working in a different kind of environment taught Victor how to change his approach to adapt to working with different mindsets. “Most of the time we work in an eclectic environment with different types of cultures, knowledge and beliefs which can create a gap between people and the harder part is to create a synergy between everyone. Being able to live this situation was an incredible experience…” he says.
It Helped Pave the Way for Advanced Opportunities
The hands-on professional experience Victor gained at the Banque Internationale à Luxembourg opened many doors, starting with an immediate opportunity at another bank in Luxembourg. Victor turned down that offer to pursue further business studies, but he feels the experience undoubtedly contributed to the strength of his application to the Skema Business School. In fact, he was accepted into the Master in Financial Market and Investment program. “Without my internship I wouldn’t be accepted to this master,” he maintains.
Internship Search Support for Those Enrolled in the Bachelor Business Administration Program
For those enrolled in a business administration degree program looking for an internship, Victor has some helpful advice to pass along. He advises going for an industry you truly aspire to work in, and applying to a larger company that’s well-structured and reputed to offer good support to interns. He also stresses the importance of patience and persistence, noting that, “Finding an internship is a journey that takes a lot of time and it is a lot of frustration because we receive many negative answers.”
While studying at BSL, students have access to an internal job and internship search platform, continually updated to include opportunities from our community of alumni, partner organizations, and social organizations both in Switzerland and abroad. A dedicated career counselor works with students, providing one-on-one career advice, resume writing consultation, and recommendations for suitable opportunities. The end result for many like Victor is the discovery of a truly meaningful and fulfilling professional path.
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