Imagine this: you are in a plane, with just a few hours to go until you reach a country you really don’t know much about, on the verge of starting your first six month internship. You don’t know anyone and you don’t even speak the language – with the exception of the very common ‘hello’. How does that sound to you? Scary? Exciting? Interesting? Brave? No matter what your answer is, this will be the most fulfilling experience of your life. Not only will you meet some amazing people who share similar interests to you, as well as being in the same situation, but you will grow through the unforgettable memories you will make along the way. It’s a challenging experience, but also a rewarding one. I am extremely grateful for VIA Technologies for giving me the opportunity to have this experience.
Who I Am
Let me present myself: my name is Simona Petrova and I’m from a small country in Europe, Slovakia. While I have already studied in the UK, I would never have imagined moving to the other side of the world, not even for an internship. But when the situation presented itself and I got an offer from VIA, I jumped at the opportunity. Now, one month away into completing my internship, I have gained valuable insightful and experience in the technology industry, and a clearer vision of my career path. Sadly, my time in Taiwan is slowly coming to an end.
To make sure I was really getting the most out of my international internship, I set out a few goals. Not having a clear path for my future career, my first goal was to learn as much as I can about marketing and the experience of everyday life in an international company. Other goals I wanted to achieve were to apply what I’ve learned during my academic career, improve my communication and presentation skills, and explore not only Taiwan’s culture, but also other parts of Asia. An international internship at VIA has helped me reach all of these goals, in a short amount of time.
As an intern at VIA, I have been given real projects to work on, with tasks including creating Google Ads campaigns, market research, concept development, content creation, data analytics and the chance to contribute to a new product launch. I consider myself lucky, being able to work alongside fellow interns on presentations for our departmental weekly meetings, updating the rest of the team on the progress of our projects, presenting our ideas and discussing the future steps and tasks. I find these meetings really helpful thanks to the feedbacks from others, which have helped me accomplish the goals I have set.
I really enjoy the working environment at VIA. While making a cup of tea in the morning, I am able to talk with colleagues, who are all friendly and helpful. VIA also provides free accommodation for international interns and a dinner box every week day, all of which allowed me to save money for trips, not only around Taiwan but also to other countries like Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines, with fellow interns who are now some of my closest friends.
In Slovakia, we eat a lot of potatoes. Getting to Taiwan, I tried a wide array of meals based on dumplings, noodles and rice, not to mention the world famous bubble tea, which you can find anywhere and everywhere here. The food wasn’t the only thing that was very new and different at first: scooters riding in all directions, garbage trucks that play music – in fact just living in an area with very few Westerners was something I wasn’t used to. In the end, I am very grateful that I have called this wonderful place home for the past few months, and had the chance to immerse into a totally different but very interesting culture.
When you are having fun, time goes too fast. The months have flown by and soon I will be sitting on a plane heading home, reflecting on my amazing experience. Working at VIA and living in Taipei definitely gave me a lot of confidence for my future, and I can truly say that I have a much clearer vision of where I want to go after I finish my university degree. I learned a lot about marketing and I got to experience corporate working culture in an international technological company. I met amazing people from all around the world and created memories that will always stay with me. I am very thankful to VIA for giving me this experience.
Zàijiàn! (Yes, I also learned a bit of Mandarin!)
Written by Simona Petrova, Intern at VIA Technologies, Inc. For more information about the VIA Internship Program, please click here.