Valuable internship in ophthalmic company MOODOPTIC in Portugal
Olá! It’s a well known greeting in Portugal, but do not mix it with ¡hola,it’s the Spanish one. How you already understood I will tell you my impressions from the westernmost country in Europe.
I’m a recent graduated who finished studies at Vilnius University, Kaunas Faculty of Humanities. I got Bachelor of Philology. After my studies I wasn’t sure what study subject to choose for the Master degree as in my mind were several possible options. First one – to continue studies in Philology field, however other part of me wanted to opt for Communication or Publishing. Since making a decision was challenging I decided to gain international practical experience and went for an internship abroad.
My 3 months internship begun at the end of the June, 2015. 3 months were filled with nice moments, valuable experience, new people, lot of smiles and sunny days, exploring the places and cognition of cultural background.
For three months my new, temporary home became very nice city called Viseu. It’s located in Central Region of Portugal. This city is just around 100,000 citizens, so it’s cozy, calm and not stressful city comparing to the capital or bigger cities. I should mention that it’s not touristic city as well. Be ready to face with real Portuguese life style and traditions. Viseu is approximately 50 km away from the Atlantic ocean, moreover it’s comfortable to travel to other places in Portugal or even to Spain, from this city. I could say, it’s located in a perfect place for exploring. One more astonishing thing, that this city is now one of the largest cities in Europe without a railway connection.
Have in mind that this country has the Mediterranean climate and very hot summers, but not in the cities which are not far from the Ocean. Viseu is rich in cultural, religious and historical heritage, had diverse things to do, parks to take a nice walk and enjoy the fresh air, lot of activities and an active night life, which is never boring.
I did my internship in MoodOptic, which is a growing ophthalmic store and expanding the chain rapidly. It is e-commerce project based on 3 differentiation drivers: extremely competitive price, speed of delivery and unique customer experience. It has a wide range of products and relevant brands to offer for customers in all over the world, just you need to pay different shipping costs. There are 5 countries in this chain: Italy, Spain, Germany, UK and Portugal, but the supervisor of the MoodOptic said they want to spread and collaborate with more countries in the near future. The inventors of the idea to establish MoodOptic are Nuno Cabral and Nuno Maia, both they are trying to do them best in motivating the staff, searching for new ideas and they really like what they are doing, that’s I think is the main idea. If you love your job, other people will feel this.
Most of time I was translating webpage from English to Russian and Lithuanian language, did a comparison of rivals and prices, wrote an article. I gained a lot of new knowledge about the contact lenses, prescription and sunglasses, had an opportunity to be a part of a very nice and entertaining team. The atmosphere was cozy and really nice, every day here I wanted to smile more and complain less. Why? That’s due to the Portuguese people warmness and kindness, they were ready to help me every time I had questions. Every time was a pleasure to drink an espresso with them and see how positive they are.
One of the challenges was the lack of technical knowledge of the field that I’ve dealing with. However I was very curious about the optical world, thus I learnt new things quickly.
I would like to thank a lot for the „Partners 4 Value Program“, because collaboration with them let me come to Portugal and gain new experience by doing internship, helped me to make further steps towards the knowing that I want to do in the future, let me gain essential experience. I gained skills in how to cooperate with colleagues, how to plan work hours and how to deal with difficulties and misunderstandings. It was not mandatory to come at 9 a.m. and to leave at 5 p.m, Portuguese know how to plan they work time and how to find time for espresso break. It’s a part of casualty of almost every person in Portugal to have um café (port.), deep coffee traditions, believe me here you will find the best espresso and best pastries, not a lot of countries can compare to this. All in all, my internship has been a great and inspiring experience.
I gained a lot more during the internship: improved my English and Italian skills, built the professional network, made friends. As well, I had a nice opportunity to face with real Portuguese life style, cultural features and know more about traditions, cuisine. Most important thing I learnt how to enjoy every single moment and sometimes not be in hurry, take a sip of coffee instead or just nicely sit in a park. Believe me people from south are very positive, energetic and ready to help you even your Portuguese in not good.
My advice for those willing to do an internship in MOODOPTIC to make sure you want to get knowledge about marketing and contact lenses, to master at least two languages (Portuguese, French or German it’s a plus for you).
I truly think that if you want to reach your determined aim decidedly you can do this, just never stop believe in yourself. Don’t be afraid to sail from the safe harbor and leave your comfort zone in order to see and experience something much bigger you can ever imagine. Portugal – is a country, which should be on your travel list, which now has a place in my heart!
To sum up, once again I would like to say a big thank (port. obrigado) for „Partners 4 Value Program” for this opportunity. I had a perfect chance to explore new country, to get valuable experience, get new friends and discover more things about myself.
“Learn everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can, there will always come a time when you will be grateful you did.” (Sarah Caldwell)
Simona Kurcikevičiūtė, VU KHF Graduate