Internships with VIA students

Collaboration between VIA University College and companies in Vitus Bering Innovation Park

Have you ever thought about having an intern in your company? Or have you thought about being an intern in Vitus Bering Innovation Park? How do companies and students find each other when looking for interns or internships? Which possibilities are there in Vitus Bering Innovation Park, and where do you turn to for help? The network in Vitus Bering Innovation Park is a good starting point for companies – and some of the places are the Career Service Center and BusinessHorsens, who help companies and students to make contact.

At the moment the next batch of students at VIA is looking for internships for the fall. Many applications will be sent out, and many companies will be investigated. Some companies are preparing too, some are not, but even though a company is not actively looking for an intern, it does not mean that they will say no to an unsolicited application.

Company Dating is coming up
A good way for companies and students to meet is to use Company Dating. Company Dating is held once every semester at VIA campus in Horsens – the next is on October 22nd 2014. A company that uses these events to get into contact with students is the company Greenbyte. Greenbyte participated in Company Dating during Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 where they talked with many students. They had a specific goal to find a marketing intern. After an application round they decided on hiring Sarah, a Danish marketing student, who they also talked with during the Company Dating event. Greenbyte will attend Company Dating again in order to find their next intern:

“The good thing about Company Dating is that we can talk to many different students and we meet students from different fields of study. We can find interns who can help us both within sales, marketing and IT, and therefore we can have interns both in Spring and in Fall,” says Helene Steffensen, Communications consultant at Greenbyte and continues: “But this does not mean that we do not accept unsolicited applications. Our last intern got into the company by sending us an unsolicited application, and this is still a good way to get in contact with us.”

Apply unsolicited and get your dream internship
Another company in Vitus Bering Innovation Park, Camsoft, did not do anything active in relation to interns, and last Fall they still had two interns; a marketing student and an ICT engineering student. Both applied unsolicited and the owner, Torsten did therefore not need to go search for them himself – they both found him because he was located in Vitus Bering Innovation Park. Zuzana Jandikova was one of the two interns; she is from Slovakia and a newly graduated Bachelor of International Sales and Marketing Management from VIA University College.

“I used both Career Service Center’s and Vitus Bering Innovation Park’s webpages in my search for an internship. Furthermore, I also looked at the house screen to get an overview of the companies in the park,” explains Zuzana.

New knowledge and advantages for your company
According to Torsten, Camsoft have had very good use of their interns:

“My two interns complemented each other really well, and they built a CRM (Customer Relation Management red.) system custom-made for Camsoft. This is a tool I still use, and will continue to use in the company.”

Torsten also stresses that it is very important to equal expectations between the intern and the company, in order to make sure that both will get something out of the internship, and both know where they are going. It is also important to have enough tasks for the interns:

“You have to be ready for them and willing to spend some time on them. You must be willing to change attitude depending on their stage in the learning process and stand by and give them the information they need, when they need it,” says Torsten.

Greenbyte’s last intern was a Polish ICT student:

“He worked on two specific assignments that he solved independently. One of the products we have just released to our customers,” says Helene.

Greenbyte is very flexible in relation to their interns, so they can match the internship to the intern, the field of study and the demands from the supervisors. Their current intern, Sarah, is mainly responsible for Greenbyte’s new product Kalenda, where she manages a range of dif-ferent sales and marketing assignments, e.g. customer and market analysis.

“We offer continuous guidance to our interns, but as an intern here you have to be independent, as you will be a part of the team on equal basis as the rest of us. We will listen to the pro-posals they have and the knowledge they bring from their education because we find that it is good to get a new view on how we do things,” explains Helene.

“It is very interesting to be an intern in a small company, as I actually get to do something. This is also the reason why I chose Greenbyte, even though I had other options for internships,” says Sarah and continues: “I wanted to actively “work” with the things I have learned in my education and with sales. This is why, after the interview with Greenbyte, I chose them, as I get to sell and learn at once,” explains Sarah.

About the whole environment in Vitus Bering Innovation Park Sarah says:

“Vitus Bering Innovation Park is an interesting place to be, and I like the roof top and all the possibilities you have in VBI. But it was not the location which was the background of my decision.”

The link between students and companies
Career Service Center is very interested in developing this collaboration between companies and students. They are the organizers of Company Dating and many other activities to increase the interaction between companies and students.  Furthermore CSC has made an internship brochure especially aimed at companies. Here you can see all the different fields of study at VIA, and what the students from the different fields are capable of. You find the brochure here.

An internship can be a huge advantage for both parties; the company and the intern. The com-pany must be prepared with assignments and guidance, and then the interns will bring in new knowledge and theories for the company to use in everyday business. Especially SMEs and start-ups located in Vitus Bering Innovation Park can gain a lot from interns. Camsoft owner Torsten explains:

“I have gained a lot from having interns! There is some work in it too, but if you are open and willing to put in effort, you will end up with a win-win situation!”

internship

Zuzana at her workdesk in Camsoft (Privat)

It is important to notice the different ways to get interns and internship, and often it is a matter of matching the exact intern to the right company, at the right time. Former Camsoft intern Zuzana’s advice is to keep going, and keep your horizon open:

“Even if you feel that you will get the internship (that you applied for red.) don’t stop searching for new ones, it is always better to have a plan B and C.”

Did this sound interesting to you, your company or your next internship?
– For companies: Career Service Center and BusinessHorsens are always willing to help you to get into contact to the right students. You have the chance to go to Company Dating in October – read more here.
– For students: Take a look around Vitus Bering Innovation Park, get inspiration, and then go to Career Service Center if you need guidance.