As my first year in the Master in Management programme came to an end, the question arose: You have 3 months off from lectures, do you relax and recharge or work full-time as an intern? As you probably have guessed from the title of my blog post, I chose to look for an intern position for the semester break. Being a lateral entrant who studied English and German literature and culture before coming to Frankfurt School (FS), I felt the need to gain some work experience in a business-related area to expand my skill set. And so began the application process. Preparing for the study concentration Strategy and Organisation, I focused on internship offers in the area and applied to a couple of general management internship positions. However, nothing quite caught my eye like Visa’s Next Gen programme.
I applied to Visa for various reasons. First, I had never worked in an international corporation before. Living and studying in Frankfurt, one of the major financial centres of Europe, applying to the world’s leader in digital payments technology seemed a natural choice. Second, the position offered by Visa was a great match to my focus area. The requirement profile mirrored things I see in myself, that I enjoy, or that I would like to improve on. Hence, I applied, and after an intensive interview process, I was offered the position as Strategy and Planning intern for Visa’s Central Europe department. Like many of my peers starting an internship, I had the typical concerns of taking coffee or lunch orders. But as I’d been told in the interview process, I was also integrated in work processes, because Visa wants their interns to gain as much knowledge and experience as possible with the help of their Next Gen Programme.
In accordance with their statement “You’re ready to make an impact. We’ll give you the runway”, Visa’s Next Gen team organised an incredible programme. Thanks to the digital Visa University campus and fascinating webinars, I was able to build foundational knowledge of Visa as an organisation and business. As the newest addition to the next generation of Visa, we interns received technical skills trainings, covering the basic tools required for our jobs. Following the motto “It takes a village”, not only did I have an amazing manager, but a group of mentors who were always approachable. To expand our professional network, we had the opportunity to join Employee Resource Groups, like Visa Pride or Visa Women in Business. I’m happy to say that we are planning our first cooperation event between Visa’s women network and the student initiative FS Women in Business.
After analysing the evolution of the digital payments industry, the competitive landscape, and new technological developments, I compiled the results and developed a clear hypothesis as well as potential solutions and refined them for key stakeholders in Central Europe. My manager even gave me the chance to present the findings to the Central Europe Leadership Team – the absolute highlight of my internship. As a Strategy and Planning intern contributing to a meaningful, real-world project, I learned so many skills that will not only help me for my remaining time at FS, but also for the future. Now, with the knowledge I gained during the internship, I’m ready to start my final year at FS. Bring it on!