Experiences of my internship

Etelä-Pohjanman liiton henkilöstö: Nicole Le.

I am a third-year student of Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences, and my major subject is International Business. I have been in Finland for almost 3 years. It’s pretty good for me to experience one of the highest-quality educations in the world. Kind people, a reputable educational system, clean atmosphere are special attractions to me. Of course, the bone-chilling weather in the winter should not be forgotten.   

It has been remarkable for me that I was chosen to be an intern in Etelä-Pohjanmaan Liitto – Regional Council of South Ostrobothnia. Every working day has always been my new experience with new knowledge. Fortunately, despite the Covid-19’s spread-out situation all over the world, I was still able to work daily in the office.  

My major task was researching the areas of cooperation between Vietnam and South Ostrobothnia by the Memorandum of Understanding on Promoting Cooperation (MoU), which was signed in 2019. We made more discussions concerning topics on cooperation and develop relations, as well as understand more clearly the wishes to continue to promote the joint cooperative framework between the parties to implement annual action programs.  

During the first month, I interviewed some Vietnamese students who are studying in Seinäjoki, to make the survey about living in Seinäjoki and the effects of Covid19 to their life. I have met a lot of key people via online meetings to get their ideas, points of view, and advice to build an overall picture of my traineeship. Hence, I learned how they have worked effectively and successfully. As a result, I send them the invitation for a meeting between students with the Regional Council presentative and key persons. Besides that, they can understand deeply what kind of difficulties and struggles which students had to face abroad, such as homesickness, depression symptoms and stress. However, their decision to live here also plays an important role to clarify the tight relationship bilaterally.  

The labor force is always an arduous issue in Finland because of the aging population, but Vietnam has various skilled workers, which means reciprocal cooperation is essential. According to the MoU, both sides are committed to do their best efforts in seeking and allocating human and financial resources in Vietnam and Finland for implementing any mutually agreed activities. I helped Mr. Saartenoja to write a letter to the Finnish Embassy in Vietnam to get the contact information of the Hanoi People’s Committee.  

Together with Mr Saartenoja, Ms Mai Renko has also been my supervisor during the internship period, who has taught me so much knowledge and experience. For instance, I learned the language and style when writing to senior officials in English and Vietnamese with the best formal forms, how to present messages clearly and concisely so as the readers can get the main points. The most important thing was that she gave me the opportunity to understand as well as to practice step-by-step arranging a video conference between the senior officials from both countries. Besides, she never made things complicated and tried over and over again to explain something to me. She had a unique way of teaching and could explain complicated topics very easily. Thus, everything I learned from her was interesting and that’s why I remember most of the theories and skills.  

It has been my great pleasure to get the chance to meet her, she is not only been my best teacher but also a friend and a philosopher. Despite she has been busy most of the time, she has always tried her best to support and instill in me a passion for learning. “The best teachers do not give you the answer, they spark within you the desire to find the answer yourself¨ – to the world she may be just a teacher but to me, she is simply the best teacher. 

Nicole Le