Internship in Research Institute for Managing Sustainability (RIMAS). Vienna- Austria. 2013
I cannot believe my internship is over! Three months have passed so quickly. It feels like all of it was just a dream, but all my gained knowledges and experience prove that the internship was real.
Actually, it was not my first internship. I once used the “Erasmus” – programme to go to Krakow, Poland. I had a great time there and gained a lot of experience, which already influenced my career. But Polish people are too similar to Lithuanians, therefore I was strongly motivated to gain more knowledge and toexpand my network in a more intercultural and different enviroment.
I was so dissapointed when the international programme manager from my university told me that it is not possible to participate in an “Erasmus” – programme again. But the manager informed me about the possibility to participate in the “Partners 4 Value“ – programme.
Thank you very much for this programme and for the opportunity to experience an internship – not once but twice until now!
Why did I choose Research Institute for Managing Sustainability?
Fist of all, the “Research Institute for Managing Sustainability“ at the “Vienna University of Economics and Business” is an independent university institute specializing on research for Sustainable Development and Corporate Sustainability. RIMAS is committed to tackling the societal, political and economic challenges which arise in the context of sustainable development with interdisciplinary approaches in research, education and consulting.
I was interested in having the internship with RIMAS at the “Vienna University of Economics and Business” mainly because it primary focuses on the areas of the Sustainable Development and Corporate Social Responsibility. These thematic areas are closely related to my Master paper. I also had the opportunity to perform my internship in a working environment which was very interesting and beneficial in terms of my study objectives and career prospects.
I was expecting, that the internship with RIMAS will be beneficial in terms of getting thematic knowledge, multicultural working experience, real-work experience that will enable me to enhance my research skills and projects development skills.
This internship definitely served me well in carrying out a preparatory research for my master paper. Moreover, it has already influenced my career and my personal life.
My daily life in RIMAS
At my internship I had to work 5 days per week and 8 hours per day. But to be honest, every employee of RIMAS had to organize its work and working hours by itself. It was not mandatory to come at 9 a.m. and to leave at 5 p.m. The most important thing was to do your task until shortly before the deadline. Moreover you could also work from home. But as I wanted to get to know RIMAS and their daily life better, I went there every day. I had my own room and my own desk, so I could seriously concentrate on my tasks.
At first I was introduced to the activities, structures and functions of the Institute. I had to help RIMAS-team at different tasks. Mainly I had to do desktop researches related to several projects, supporting the team in preparing conferences and workshops. The most interesting and practical task was to help the team at the proposal submissions for the European Commission.
Another part of my duties was to investigate and analyse some data.
In the beginning it was quite difficult to work alone, without any presence of my boss or other co-workers. I had to learn to organize my work-time, in order to finish my tasks on time. Later on I adopted and improved my organizing and my planning. Moreover I substantially improved my searching and my computer and English language skills.
I have to say that it was interesting to work there not just because of the institutes working area and approach, but also because of the co-workers. The people working in RIMAS were very nice, helpful, creative, intelligent and friendly. Most of the RIMAS workers were not from Austria. There were employees from Italy, Poland, Bulgaria, Croatia and Slovak and so on. For this reason I had the possibility to learn not just Austrian’s but also other languages and culture habits.
I was working in an intercultural environment.
About leisure time and everything when the working hours were off…
My internship period was from February until May. I saw the city in two different forms: in the winter and in the wonderful spring. Vienna is an amazing city. I will always remember it as very international, cultural, beautiful, with plenty of palaces; where everything (including public transportation) is perfectly organized. Viennese people are very polite, friendly and helpful. Every time I opened my map on the street, they asked me if I need help. As I don’t speak German at all I was surprised that almost everybody responded in English at a very high level.
It was difficult to find accommodation for 3 months. For the first month (February) I got a room in a dormitory. I had so much fun there; I met a lot of nice people from all over the world. We organized trips and we explored Vienna together.
It was expected of me to stay in the dormitory for the whole stay, for three months. Unfortunately, I had to leave, because all the rooms were booked for the month of March and April. I tried to find another dormitory to live in, but the answer was always the same – everything was booked. I started to search for a cheap flat to rent. It was a really difficult period for me, because nobody was interested in renting a flat or a room for such a short time. This was a big problem I did not want to have.
Fortunately after some searching I found a very nice flat with a very social flat mate. The owners of the flat have five daughters, so they treated me like the 6th daughter. They involved me very quickly in their family life: every Sunday we had a family-dinner with a nice atmosphere and original Viennese food.
I was really happy to have a lot of friends and a true Viennese family.
I was never bored. There are a lot of interesting places to see in Vienna: museums, palaces, churches, attractions, wonderful parks and other places. I also visited in Austria beautiful places like the mountains or the small old villages that had grape plantations.
Besides all mentioned things, Vienna has a very good geographical position, so it is not expensive to visit other countries in the neighborhood.
In conclusion I really loved my stay in Vienna and my statement would be: if you want to change your life in three months, you have to go for it – for the internship!