Career

Internship at NIS – from selection to a day at work

Aleksandra Savić 27 August 2019 • 7 min

The very fact that you started reading this text means that you are considering applying for a three-month internship at NIS and this text is just for you! Just a few months ago, I was in your place too – in the Infostud newsletter I happened to see a summer internship contest at one of the largest companies in Serbia and thought it was a good opportunity, but I was bothered by a few things that probably made you too now it bothers me: how with all the other obligations to fit 8 hours of work; will I be in charge of “bringing meet-pies and yogurt” and will I be bored sitting in the office all day? The fact that none of these issues has swayed me has led to one of the best decisions in my professional career to date, and now I will immediately tell you why.

Selection Process

The first step of the application was quite simple – filling in a form asking for basic information about me and a few questions to think about, such as which skill I have acquired in the last year or so, or why I enrolled in the college I am studying. A few weeks later I received an email saying I had gone into the second round, talking to a HR person, and that I would be contacted shortly for an appointment. There was a call from a girl from HR with whom I had one of the most pleasant conversations so far – she told me all the details about the practice (some of which I will give you below), and then I talked about myself, my experience , interests, and areas where I find myself the most (tip: be sure to read some company information before the interview and try to incorporate it into your presentation – I was particularly interested in how a company employing 11,000 people communicates with everyone, which in the end turned out to be crucial when choosing the department for my internship). HR then also, given that I was most interested in PR and marketing, briefly outlined the work of both departments, and so together, we came to the conclusion that the Internal Communications Department would be the right place for me. The next round was a conversation with mentors from that Department, and at that time I received detailed information about what I would do during practice, and I especially liked that they spoke candidly about how much practitioners’ opinions meant to them and that suggestions about changes and newspapers were welcomed. Now I can confirm that it was not just a story. A few simple formalities followed and that was it – I was one of 40 selected students from Belgrade, Novi Sad, Pančevo and Zrenjanin to spend the summer working at NIS.

What I would point out most importantly is the fact that my mentor and all the other team members treat me as an equal from the beginning – involve me in projects they work on, give me complex tasks without constant scrutiny, give me the opportunity to express my opinions and make suggestions which were considered in the same way as the suggestions of long-time team members.

Aleksandra Savić

Advantages as compared with other places of internship

What was crucial in deciding to apply for the NIS internship was the flexibility – you were supposed to spend 320 hours in practice in three months, which is practically 40 working days of 8 hours each, and you were given the opportunity to, in consultation with mentor, do the whole practice in two months or take the day off when you need it or not work for 8 hours but less – all within the official quota, and as you see fit. I agreed with my mentor to be in practice for 3 months, but to take days off if needed because of planned trips and other obligations. Another benefit for me was training at Corporate University, an educational program that NIS provides to its employees. It was a unique opportunity to meet and connect with other practitioners (some of whom I now privately hang out with), as well as to cover both theoretically and practically important soft skills topics from top experts. The last but important benefit is that you don’t have to think about meals – NIS’ business centres have their own restaurants with great food, and the practice covers those costs as well as transportation costs.

A day of an intern at NIS

Talking to other interns, I decided that everyone’s workday looks different – it all depends on the team members’ habits and you can join them or create your own. I liked the schedule of my team and fit into mine, so we all go to breakfast and lunch together, and in the meantime, everyone does their tasks, which are varied and include numerous projects, constant meetings and a whole bunch of emails. What I would point out as the most important is the fact that my mentor and all the other team members treat me as an equal from the beginning – involve me in projects they work on, give me complex tasks without constant scrutiny, give me the opportunity to express my opinions and make suggestions which were considered in the same way as the suggestions of long-time team members. Occasionally, we also work in the field, so on the second working day I had the opportunity to go to Novi Sad, but also to visit the refinery in Pančevo, as well as the gas station near Velika Plana. The job at my department is truly colourful and involves working on organizing internal events, researching corporate culture, assisting with video recording for employees, writing texts for internal Portal and internal magazine, creating newsletters, preparing for GDPR and many more. I also accidentally learned to work in one audio program. What I know for sure every morning is that I won’t be bored and monotonous.

This was briefly my story of the NIS practice experience and I sincerely hope it motivated you to apply for a challenge that will bring you unique experiences as well as acquaintances with great people!

Good luck!