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International Intern Programme – Meet Nancy Masengu
As a mother of three young adults I wanted to take the opportunity to talk to one of our long term international interns, Nancy Masengu and share her journey with you. I was really intrigued to find out on a personal level what this process meant to her.
As a parent I was particularly encouraged to see that these kinds of opportunities were made available by businesses like Daniels. Giving real life experience to young adults in a business environment to complement their learning.
Nancy (pictured in the foreground in the picture above) found us through an international intern register (ISPO – International Student Placement Office) and we were lucky that her needs were matched with our business.
I sat Nancy down with a cup of coffee and we started to chat…
Dee: You must have been really nervous coming over to a new country and leaving your family.
Nancy: Because Imogen and I talked so much (on Facebook) in the lead up to coming over – I felt like I was going to be looked after. I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be.
In France, I lived with my parents and siblings and it was a very lively house. When I came here, it was so quiet. It took me a while to adapt to a new environment.
I was also concerned about the language. I was used to American accents as I watched US TV shows. Initially I tried listening to British people and sometimes it was so hard, I couldn’t understand what they were saying and I had to listen very carefully. Apart from that, it was all plain sailing because Daniels organised everything for me, from accommodation to transport and a mobile phone. I didn’t have to worry about anything.
Dee: So what did you think when you first came to Daniels?
Nancy: It wasn’t what I expected – usually there is a lot pressure on interns and you’re afraid of doing something wrong. But when I came here, I was trusted to just get on with the job. I was told ‘you know how to do it, and if you need help, you can ask’.
This gave me the confidence to think, okay, I can do this, even though I didn’t know anything about Sharps bins. I had more freedom than I did in other roles, and I liked the fact I was surrounded by people who were there to help. I thought: ‘it’s different here, I’m going to love it.’
Dee: What did you think about the job and did you have any concerns?
Nancy: Initially I got stuck in to learning all the vocabulary; who was responsible for legislation; and all the different certifications. It was reassuring to know that I wasn’t under any time pressure to learn all of these things.
To be honest, I hadn’t even considered sharps containers before I was here. I looked at the website and thought of course it makes sense to have bins to put needles in. It just hadn’t occurred to me that there was a whole industry for it. The other day I was watching ‘Sherlock’ on TV and there was a Sharps bin in the background!”
Dee: What other industries did you have knowledge of before coming to work with us?
Nancy: I have done previous internships in banks and finance as part of my Masters in International Trade. As part of my studies I have covered the areas of European and International Law, Trade and Business. I always knew I wanted to do something international related, but didn’t know what that would be.
Dee: Can you sum up one or two concepts that you think you’ve learnt from the whole internship process?
Nancy: I’ve learned how to put theory into practice and also how the practice could be completely different from the theory. You learn things at school but when you apply them in a real situation, it’s completely different.
You also need to take time to build your relationships and be flexible. I have much more confidence in myself and my work.
Dee: Do you keep in contact with other interns (outside of Daniels)? How does your time with us compare to their experience?
Nancy: Daniels is really exceptional. When I talked to my peers about their internship and we compared notes, they were always amazed and would ask me ‘where did you find this company?’
Dee: Did we meet and/or exceed your expectations?
Nancy: Daniels gave me the opportunity to do an internship related to my studies and work in business development. They helped me with the knowledge I needed. Where you exceeded my expectations was the human aspect. The help I received from each and every one of you, from accommodation and transportation to the social activities, was fantastic.
Dee: What are you going to miss most when you return to France?
Nancy: I don’t want to think about it I’ve been here for a year now and everyone here at Daniels has been a big part of life. I will definitely miss that when I go home.
I definitely recommend an international internship to others.
Nancy has really embraced the social events we hold for our staff, as well as attend industry events to support our team. We have thoroughly enjoyed having Nancy as part of our team for over a year and watching her flourish. If I were her mother I would be so proud of her.
If you would like to find out more about our internship programme and you live outside of the UK, then please do contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org, or comment below and ask us some questions!International Interns