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Elina Sironen: “Be open-minded and just do it!”

Age: 22 

Year: 4th (Master's Degree)

Major: European studies: Political Science - Administration and Organisations

Before starting her Master's degree studies at the University of Helsinki, Elina spent 3 years studying at the University of Vaasa. Last spring, Elina was in Cyprus doing an obligatory internship for her Bachelor's degree. What did she gain from the internship in terms of experience and her personal growth? She reveals all in this interview...

Elina, tell us about your internship in Cyprus. 

I did my internship at the Embassy of Finland in Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus. I chose to do the internship there because I wanted to get relevant work experience from my own field of studies and I’ve always been interested in international relations. In addition, an adventure abroad away from my comfort zone was a tempting alternative!

How did you find the experience overall?

The experience was very satisfactory. I got to do a great variety of tasks and learned a lot during those 3 months. My tasks included writing reports, doing media follow-up, attending meetings and briefings, communication and organizing events.

Are you planing on doing another internship or an exchange programme during your Master's?

I’m planning on doing another internship if I get the funding from the university and find an interesting placement. Exchange studies would also be a good alternative.

What have you learnt from working abroad and what advice would you give to those also interested in such opportunities?

In addition to the work experience on my own field of studies, I’ve learned to trust myself more. My advice is to be open-minded and just do it!

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Living abroad somewhere in Europe with my family and working in an international organisation. Fingers crossed!

Can you see yourself work in any other fields? 

I think I've found my field but I would like to try working in different kinds of organisations. I think that doing internships is a good way to find out what you really want to do.

University of Helsinki's Career Services (Urapalvelut) offers consultation and guidance for everything from writing your CVs to information about the labour market and internship opportunities. Click here for more information and book an appointment! 

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