The first time Taiwan was mentioned to me as a potential location to complete my placement year for university I thought this is my opportunity to kick-start my travelling dream and experience a whole new culture.
Where I’m from opportunities like this are merely just that, Dreams. When I got offered my place at VIA to complete a 10-month internship I felt nervous, happy, scared and excited all at once. Leading up to the days of leaving the UK to come to Taiwan I tried to imagine what it would be like to live on this beautiful island. However, no matter how much I imagined nothing compared to the real thing.
Coming from south London, the hustle and bustle of a city environment are like second nature to me, but Taipei is definitely much more than a concrete jungle. From the outstanding views up Taipei 101 and the range of different sights and tastes from the night markets in the cities to the tranquility and peace in the mountains and specks of untouched nature scattered throughout this hidden gem.
Work Hard, Play Harder
From my first week at VIA I realized two very important things – no day is the same and unless there are at least 10 different scrapped ideas on something you are working on, it is not ready yet! Working at VIA has allowed me to get on my hands on a range of projects in different roles that relate to my BA International Business degree that I am completing at the University of the West of England, Bristol. From data analysis and budget preparation to marketing pitches and content creation.
My time during my internship has taught me that no idea is too big! Despite the unspoken rule of an office that the boss’s word is final, the VIA team have done everything to break this stereotype allowing me and my other colleagues to be deeply involved in projects of value to the entire company.
Not only have they created a great working environment, but I also guarantee this only one of the companies where one day you will be discussing how to promote a DMS system for a dashcam and another day singing KTV with all your work colleagues (Managers included!).
Dreams to Reality
As I come to the final months of my internship and I think about returning home, my time at VIA and in Taiwan has definitely inspired me to pursue working for a company internationally after I graduate. At VIA I have learned what it is to apply textbook theories to real-life work environments, stepping out of my comfort zone, and most importantly how to order bubble tea in Mandarin! I thank everyone at VIA for this life-changing experience.
Written by Siannah Grace, Global Business Development intern at VIA, and undergraduate BA International Business student at the University of the West of England.