Transcript of the podcast
Leea Lepistö [00:00:12]: Hello! You are listening to TUURA podcast. Today is the 5th of November 2020 and I'm interviewing Song Tran. My name is Leea Lepistö and I'm studying Musical Theater in TAMK. Welcome and thank you so much for joining me today. Song, would you like to tell us a little bit about yourself?
Song Tran [00:00:33]: Yes, so my name is Song Tran and currently I'm a third-year student in International Business Degree in TAMK. And I just finished my internship in Tampere.es, it's Tampere Entrepreneurship Society.
Leea Lepistö [00:00:53]: All right, so today we are discussing internships. We'll just start, I'm going to ask you how did you apply for this internship? How did you find it?
Song Tran [00:01:05]: Actually, this is an opportunity that just came to me because the chairman of Tampere.es, he knew me since long time ago. We were classmates and we were also teammates in some project. And then he knows about my competence, about my attitude and how I work in a team and also individually. So, he just offered me to join the team.
Leea Lepistö [00:01:36]: Oh, that's nice! Lucky coincidence. How about during and after your internship, how did you contact the company or was it just that your friend asked you?
Song Tran [00:01:52]: Actually, that is, it's about network. So, I have a network there and some people in the company also already know me, so they were happy to welcome me to the team.
Leea Lepistö [00:02:06]: That's great! How about during the internship, did you have any challenges during it? What was the most difficult?
Song Tran [00:02:18]: I don't have a language barrier since we all are international people, there are some Finnish fellows as well. But Tampere.es is a very international entity, so I don't have any language barriers. And the working culture is also really good. I think the most difficult is that since we are a student-led organization, so it’s not structured. And everything has to start from scratch, so I don't have any guidance or any actual process to start at the beginning and I actually have to create it myself and for the organization. So, it's just a little bit too difficult that you don't know how to start but then when you start it and when you take the control, everything feels really good.
Leea Lepistö [00:03:17]: Could you actually tell us a few words about Tampere Entrepreneurship Society? I don't think all our listeners know what that is, what does it do.
Song Tran [00:03:30]: Okay so Tampere Entrepreneurship Society is a student-led multi-disciplinary community based in Tampere and we're providing entrepreneurial support, networks and projects to students and to entrepreneurs.
Leea Lepistö [00:04:05]: Okay that's good to know. How about when you were doing your internship and you had your supervising teacher. How do you think the co-operation with your supervising teacher went?
Song Tran [00:04:21]: I think that not even in my internship but during my studies I have a really close connection to Marita. She’s really easy to reach and anytime that I need her she immediately gets back to me and says some suggestions and instructions and guide me on how to do this how to do that. So, the connection is really good and I'm really happy to know her.
Leea Lepistö [00:05:00]: Yeah that's good that you are kind of like practicing your way into work life. But then you also have like the school support there, so you don't have to like figure it all by yourself. So, that's very great. What do you think are your learning outcomes or the benefits of this internship?
Song Tran [00:05:25]: Well I think... okay so to make it clear for the audience I will list maybe three things that I learned the most from my internship. The first thing is that how to work in a team which is multi-cultural. Since the members in my team we are from all over the world, Russia, Vietnam, Finland and other countries in Europe and also Asia somewhere. Also, from China. So that's the first thing. In every country they have their own cultures and we as well. That's the first thing that I learned. To work in a team which is multicultural. Second thing is that how to be active with the organization. For example, it depends case by case. For example, if you apply and you got a job in a company in a big corporate that already have their own projects and you just receive the task and do it. Everything has a guidance you don't need to start from the start. But there are some organizations like Tampere.es or even startups so everyone has to do everything. And you have to be active. We all busy. Every member has to do many things and are really busy. So, you have to be active and ask what you can do, how to do that. And even before you ask you have to do your homework, look it up, try, and if you cannot do it then you actively ask for help. Get the job done. And I think the third one is also really important that I learned from my internship is that try to be prepared in a meeting really because I personally be prepared before the meeting. Yes, because I personally really hate long meetings. Even if you are not the person that controls the meeting, or you are not moderating the meeting. But if you have some idea in mind and you have to prepare and propose this in the meeting so it goes smoothly and everything fast and you don't need to waste your time in a really long like two three hour meeting.
Leea Lepistö [00:08:26]: That's true. You have to have your own stuff figured out, so you don't take everybody else's time with not knowing what's going on in your work. How about what do you think what was the best thing about this internship for you?
Song Tran [00:08:46]: The best thing is that in this internship actually I work on a project and I would say that I own it. So, I have a project manager and also the main person in charge of marketing for the project. So, all those starting from the starting point until the execution and then receiving feedback. The project is still going on so I don't know about the final result yet but it's going really well, and I can check it. I asked for my own project so that's the greatest thing I think that I get from the internship.
Leea Lepistö [00:09:32]: Yeah for sure. How about your plans for the future, what do you want to do when you graduate? Your project is still going on but is this maybe something that you would like to do for work in the future?
Song Tran [00:09:48]: Yes, well I would say that in the near future, like until the end of 2020 I would continue to finish, to complete the project at its best because I kind of really expect and put all of my time and effort all of my life in that. So, I would love to see the result. The best result. So that's for the short term that I will continue and work on my project but not under the internship title anymore. But I will go back to the volunteer-based kind of project.
Leea Lepistö [00:10:32]: How about after you graduate, do you have any dreams for the future?
Song Tran [00:10:38]: Yes, after I graduate, I think this year 2020 is really special to me since I already know that what I want to work on, what I want to work for, and what industry that I'm interested in. So, I'm really into fashion and sustainability and my dream job would be working on something that’s in the industry. Looking for a sustainable label or some sustainable fashion label or sustainable fashion organizations.
Leea Lepistö [00:11:19]: Oh, that sounds great and I think that's a really good plan regarding this world situation I think we all have to think about new ways to find work. And I think that sounds really good.
Song Tran [00:11:33]: And I think that one other thing that’s lucky for me is that my advantage is I'm studying business so basically, I can be anything. I know a little bit about marketing, a little bit about operation. I can be anything on that, as long as I can work in that industry, in sustainable fashion.
Leea Lepistö [00:12:00]: So, could you say that this internship was beneficial regarding that what you want to do in the future?
Song Tran [00:12:08]: Yes, definitely because you know for me besides the work and beside the skill that you can learn it's also the network you can get. During this internship since we are kind of an entrepreneurial organization, so I have a lot of friends and they are all like founders and CEO's of startups and other organizations. So, you know a good network can bring you a next network. So maybe they are not, my friends or the network that I have in the internship, they're not in fact any of them doing the sustainable fashion but they know somebody, so they introduced me. So actually, I already nearly got the next internship throughout my network from this internship. So yeah that's a really cool thing.
Leea Lepistö [00:13:16]: I think the next question is kind of about the same topic. But is there anything that you would like to say for international students in Finland who are seeking for an internship at the moment? You know ways to find or useful things to regard when applying for an internship?
Song Tran [00:13:37]: I would say, I think I have two things to say. First of all is that show your skill, your attitude, your positive attitude, your competence even during schoolwork. I'm not saying for everyone but some people, some students, they are not taking the group work in school seriously. But actually, from that some people can see how you work and can fortify you as the person that have a working mindset, a really professional mindset. So then if they find something or they have an opportunity that they can offer you then you got something. So, show and be professional. Show your skill, your competence, your positive attitude even during the schoolwork.
Leea Lepistö [00:14:43]: And I think because your school mates will be probably your future colleagues. So, it's important even during school that you show that you're professional and you want to do things right. Because maybe someone could be your future employee or your colleague. So, they will probably remember the school time as well.
Song Tran [00:15:08]: Yes, and also the teachers, they will also be your reference. If you're doing well and you have a close connection with the teacher then of course they will send you if they find something that's suitable for you.
Leea Lepistö [00:15:26]: Do you have anything else to share about this topic?
Song Tran [00:15:33]: Yes, the second thing is that learn Finnish. That's really important and not, I mean I speak zero Finish so for me this advice kind of sounds funny. But I would say that not really to learn speak fluently but at least know some kind of conversational sentences that you can start a conversation. For example, in a networking event or in the job fair when you want to approach a company then you can start with Finnish and then you switch to English. They will be more comfortable in that way. I try and it works even though I'm not getting any internship from them but then I still have their contacts and they are still my network and we are kind of having a conversation every now and then. Then if you don't have Finnish skills and like speaking English like me, try to involve and try to participate in as many business events or networking events as possible and be prepared. Read about the topic of the event, prepare yourself about that topic. And prepare yourself with your knowledge, your life experiences, your studies everything to show the people there. Not to show off but to get the people's interest and attraction and they will like to talk to you more.
Leea Lepistö [00:17:25]: All right, that sounds great. I think this was very useful for any international students or future international students listening. And I would like to say thank you so much for joining me today and thank you for all of our listeners for tuning in today and yeah, we say bye bye!
Song Tran [00:17:45]: Yes bye!