Sisira, tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get here?
I am from Thailand. I came to Paris to get my master’s degree in Project Management at a business school after having studied and worked in Munich, Germany for five years. I studied Finance and Business Administration. I got to know Astrakhan through my sister who has worked here for 8 months. Now I am doing a 6-month internship at Astrakhan, starting from mid-February and ending in mid-August 2019.
I’ve heard you were going to do your internship in two locations, undertaking part of it in Paris and part of it in How-Kong. Can you tell us more?
Yes, I am doing my internship at two locations. For the first two months, I will be in Paris, and after that, I will be in Hong Kong for the rest of the internship period. In Paris, I will receive training in Agility, specifically the Scrum methodology, and Project Management. These are areas that I have hoped to learn more. One of my tasks is to supervise the development of a new website for the Hong Kong office using the Scrum method. My role in Hong Kong will be different from what I do in Paris in that I will get to apply skills and competencies I attain in Paris in real situations. There, I will help create content for marketing and communication but still work on the website. Furthermore, I will assist the Business Manager in the commercial database and consultants in creating training or consulting material content adapted to customers based in Asia.
Taking into consideration your previous internships across the world, what is it like to work for a French company like ours?
Each country has a different culture, and each company has its own corporate culture, depending on the industry and size. My previous internships were at much bigger companies in Germany, so there is quite a difference. Having worked here for two weeks, which is not long enough for me to say about the difference in more detail but long enough for me to see how people work, I can see a slight difference at the workplace. Astrakhan is a dynamic small consulting company that provides consulting services in Innovation & Technologies Management and Business Agility. The organization is more loosely organized compared to the other big companies regarding reporting structures and relationships, and employees here are more self-governed and autonomous.
What has been your biggest challenge since you’ve joined us?
As this is my first time working at a French company with a poor command of French, my biggest challenge lies in the language and the unknowns regarding both the French and the corporate culture of Astrakhan. Up to this point, I am still in the process of learning more about the company and integrating myself into this new workplace. At the same time, I am working on getting more insights into the Agility Management world through a consulting company. Since Agility is new to me, this adds to another challenge as well.
To sum up, what are you hoping to get out of this internship?
I am hoping to get more insights into Business Agility, specifically Agility methods, and Project Management. Bottom line, I want to be able to decide which tools to apply in which situations and know how to go about and solve business or management problems using skills and competencies the case requires. Moreover, I wish to improve my interpersonal and conceptual skills such as communication, creative thinking, and problem-solving skills, while having fun learning at the same time.