Meet Jakub Magdolen, a business student from Slovakia who visited Dublin with the Internship Programme and Erasmus+ back in October. He was nominated to Student of the Month for his curiosity and eagerness to make the most of his time abroad and claims he had a great time here and would like to return at some point, or travel other parts of the world with his new-gained confidence and sense of independence. Jakub interned at Dublin Citi Hotel in Temple Bar, where he managed the reception. We asked him a few questions about the project and how it has inspired his hopes for the future.
Tell me a little bit about yourself and your background.
I am an 18-year-old teenager who studies at the Business Academy in the small town of Topoľčany in the western part of the country. I have been studying English for nine years, but in high school I made a lot of progress thanks to my teacher. Now I am in the last year of my studies. I live with my mother and two younger brothers, because my parents got divorced. I still get on well with my father. I have common hobbies, like playing football or going out with my dog. I think I am friendly and I enjoy meeting new people, as I am not shy at all.
What sparked your interest for the Business Academy?
I decided to study here because I like Maths. Thinking about it now, it was the only reason. However, I must say it was not a bad choice. I have learnt a lot – I got skilled in accountancy, I am able to type really quickly. I also had this great opportunity to go to Dublin and spend a month gaining new knowledge, skills and experiences.
What was best moment of your trip?
I think the best moment for me was the trip to The Cliffs of Moher, I have never seen something so beautiful. I also really enjoyed spending time with my colleagues. All of them were absolutely amazing. Speaking with people in a different language from my own was difficult in the beginning, but my colleagues helped me and with time I got more confident speaking English.
What was your work placement like at Dublin Citi Hotel?
When I learnt I would work at the reception of the big hotel, I was really happy as I considered it very challenging. And I like challenges, you know.
What were your tasks?
My first task was to write a presentation about famous places in Dublin for the website of the hotel. Then I learnt how to check-in and check-out guests. I learnt how to make a booking for our future guests. I counted and checked money from bookings every day. No tasks were that difficult, but very interesting. Sometimes I helped our guests to find a way to places like the Dublin Castle, The Spire and other city landmarks.
You were nominated because of your enthusiasm for the project. What drives you forward?
I tried to do my best during my internship. I wanted my mentor to be satisfied with me and hopefully offer me a job in the future. I always try to do things the best possible way. One day I would like to be successful and I believe hard work, a positive attitude and a smile can help achieve my goals.
How would you compare your work placement to your work or school back home?
I have had a lot of part time jobs in my country, such as selling coffee machines, working in a factory or as a waiter. But the attitude in my country is not as kind and friendly as in Dublin and that is a big difference. My colleagues in Dublin treated me like I was a new employee, somebody equal, not like an intruding student.
How has this experience inspired you?
When I heard about the internship I considered it impossible. I wanted to try it but I was also afraid I would not manage it. The best thing about it all was that I am more confident now, I trust myself more and after undergoing this internship successfully, I am thinking of pursuing my dream. I have always wanted to work for the army. Far from what I study now, I know. But this internship made me realise nothing is impossible.
What have you learnt from the trip?
I learnt how hotels operate. I learnt how to travel in a big city. I could compare living and working in Ireland to Slovakia. I can say only good things about this experience. It has meant a lot to me. My English improved a lot and I don’t regret a single minute of being in Dublin. I can imagine living there, because it is a nice place. Everybody should jump at the chance of being a part of Erasmus+.
What have you found most exciting about working and living in a new country?
I stayed with a host family without any of my classmates, who were also in Dublin. I think it was better for me, because I was challenged to speak English all the time. And speaking with my host mother was great because she was really kind and friendly I grew fond of her really fast, actually. At work, the best experience for me was speaking with people from different parts of the world - for example Brazil, Bolivia or Romania. I also learnt a lot about their countries and culture.
What are your plans for the future?
I want to study at university or travel around the world and explore new countries, people and nature. I hope at least one of these things will happen.
What would your advice be for students who are about to go on the Internship Programme?
My advice is to be yourself everywhere you go and be proud of your home country, be friendly, have your eyes open and enjoy every little bit of the internship, because it is worth it. And, of course: don’t be afraid of new things.
Jakub visited Dublin with our Internship Programme, a project eligible for funding from Erasmus+. We also arrange work experience projects in London. Don't hesitate to contact us if you would like more information about what we do and how to get funding. Call a Country Manager today on +44 2084249424 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.