Hello! I’m Essi, FACC’s new intern for summer 2015, which means I will be handling Consulate issues and taking care of FACC’s matters during the quieter season when many Finns and businesses are on a holiday. The duration of my internship is four months and as I’ve been told, I’m lucky to experience some of Florida’s hottest temperatures over the course of my stay. The office luckily has air conditioning!
I’m a communications enthusiasts currently finishing my Master’s degree at Aalto University School of Business and looking to graduate in September when I return to Finland. I’m majoring in Corporate Communication and International Management, which is why this internship opportunity caught my attention in the first place. I’m aspiring an international career in the field of communications and, thus, having a chance to be in charge of the marketing and communications activities of FACC here in the US seemed like a perfect opportunity for me to develop my professional skills in the field of my studies.
I have pretty extensive international experience having both worked and studied in several different countries and continents. However, this is my first time living in the US for a longer period of time. Already as a cultural experience, I believe this summer will teach me a lot. I thought I was familiar with the American business etiquette since my Bachelor’s degree has been taught my American professors with an American perspective. However, during my first days I already realized that I had a lot to learn about the phone etiquette here. Compared to Finland, phone calls here follow a certain, very polite pattern. Being used to a very direct and to the point Finnish phone etiquette, I realized I needed to adapt my behavior to the local culture.
Luckily, I get to do much more than answering the phone here! I’ve been especially excited about the responsibility I have been given with regards to taking care of FACC’s marketing and communications activities. I have been planning, marketing, and organizing different events, writing and editing a monthly newsletter, updating FACC’s website and social media and writing blog posts. As an intern here, I’ve been lucky to get to participate to several interesting events both hosted and attended by FACC. The highlights so far have been the World Strategic Forum held in Miami (you can read the blog post about the event here) and the ABiCC event, which is a networking event for bi-national Chambers of Commerce in Florida (you can read more about it here). These events have been great opportunities to network and get important contacts in the US.
As mentioned, the internship is shared with the Honorary Consulate of Finland, which has given me a valuable chance to see what kinds of services Finland provides to its citizens abroad. So far I’ve been assisting at the Finnish Parliamentary Election, issuing an emergency passport and helping many Finns with documents they need to register a marriage or a child who has born here to Finland. It has been an eye-opening experience to see how many Finns actually live in the US let alone in Florida!
I can recommend this internship to anyone interested to learn how business in done across the pond. I’ve been excited to apply and develop my communication skills and get new business contacts. The internship has definitely helped me to develop myself as a communications professional that I aim to be. However, it is much up to the intern what areas s/he wants to concentrate on. A communications background is definitely not a must although I would say a business background is advantageous.