Cristina, Sustainable Energy Engineer, Swedavia

“I see an internship as a bridge between academic and professional career”

Cristina Varela moved to Sweden two years ago. With a master’s degree in Sustainable energy Engineering you wouldn’t expect it being difficult to find a job that is relevant to your education. It turns out it is! Cristina found that some of her biggest obstacles were the lack of experience and the “Swedish speaking only”- restrictions. “Furthermore, it is often said that having good contacts is the best way to get a job here, and as a foreigner I don’t really have the option.”, she adds. Cristina agreed to share her story with us by answering some questions:

-What is the reason you chose to apply for an internship via Jobbsprånget?

On one hand, I see an internship as a bridge between academic and professional career, so I thought it would be easier for me to get into the Swedish labour market after the internship. Additionally there is also the fact that it is aimed at international people, so speaking fluent Swedish wouldn’t be a requirement.

-Do you feel that the internship has helped you so far in any way? How? Be as specific and thorough as possible!

There is no doubt that the internship has helped me so far. First of all, when you have so little work experience it can be scary to think about being part of a company and whether or not you’ll be able to handle the responsibilities. But now I have gained more confidence, so I think that it has been the optimal way for me to go from being a student to working. I now have a better picture of what I would like to work with in the future and what can be expected from me.

-Do you think that the internship will improve your chances of getting a relevant job to your education when you are going to apply for a job by your own? How and why?

Absolutely. I feel now more confident speaking Swedish, so I will not limit myself to English-speaking jobs. It is also seen as something positive to have some experience working in Sweden, so I think that is something that future potential employers will take into consideration. By performing the tasks I got also a better idea of what my strengths and limitations are, and the type of jobs that I could be better at, so when looking for a job in the future I can focus on positions that I know can fit me and I can feel more confident when going to an interview. Finally I have gained contacts in the industry through the program, which can be useful when looking for a job.

-What will you take with you as lessons when the internship is over?

The importance of having a good working environment, to not limit myself and assume I won’t be capable of doing something and to not be afraid to ask for help when I need it!

The last question might just as well be a recommendation to you- do not limit yourself!

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