Last September, I decided to apply for an internship abroad through my school, Keuda. Keuda is a Finnish vocational education provider with over 10 locations in various cities within 30 to 80 kilometres of Helsinki. I've been studying Media and Visual Expression here since autumn 2021. The opportunity to complete my internship as part of my final studies was very appealing, as I've always been interested in other cultures and countries. I sent an application to my school's international affairs office, and they forwarded my application to GCH Hotel Group, where I would do my internship.
Sometime later, I received a positive response that the internship with the hotel group in Berlin was confirmed. Subsequently, we scheduled an interview with the coordinator for international affairs at my school and the managing director of GCH Hotel Group. The interview went well, and I secured the internship position—I was immediately thrilled and very grateful for the opportunity. The months flew by, and it was finally time to pack my bags and leave my home country, Finland, for two months. It wasn't easy initially, but I looked forward to exploring a new city, meeting new people, learning new things, and gaining new experiences.
During my internship in the marketing department of GCH Hotel Group, I learnt a lot, not only professionally but also personally. I was warmly and professionally welcomed by colleagues in the department and was looked after during my time there. I also gained valuable experience in this international work environment, which is a significant advantage nowadays. After onboarding and team introductions, I dived into my main tasks, which included preparing and assisting in creating marketing materials (e.g., factsheets, flyers, banners, footers) and various advertising campaigns, optimising Google Business accounts, as well as various graphic design and research tasks. I took photos of staff and company events and had the opportunity to be on the set of a film production supported by GCH Hotel Group.
In addition to the new knowledge, I acquired in these areas, I also learnt to be more patient as it's not always easy to adapt to a new environment. I became more independent as well. I would say my internship abroad was one of the best decisions I've ever made. I have made many new friends in Berlin, memories I will never forget, and experiences and knowledge that will help me for the rest of my life. Therefore, I will always be grateful for this opportunity and for everyone who made it possible.
For this post, I also had the chance to ask Sascha Hampe, the CEO of GCH Hotel Group, a few questions:
Since when has GCH been collaborating with colleges and universities?
- We are proud to have been collaborating with tourism colleges in Germany and abroad since 2012. We have continued to expand these collaborations since 2021 and are currently working with 3 Finnish hotel schools as part of the Erasmus+ program, an EU program to promote education, training, youth, and sport in Europe.
What is the advantage for GCH and for the students?
- Our goal is to provide students with new experiences and knowledge to help them achieve their study goals. For us at GCH Hotel Group, it is equally important to attract potential and welltrained professionals to our company.
I also had a chat with Sofia and asked her some questions. Sofia is a 20-year-old student and a dear friend of mine who came to Berlin to do an internship at GCH as well.
Sofia, why did you decide to do your internship at GCH Hotel Group in Berlin?
- One of the main reasons I wanted to come here is my love for travel and keen interest in other cultures. One day, my teacher called me and asked if I would like to go to Germany and work at GCH, and without hesitation, I said yes.
What have you learned during your time? What were your main tasks?
- I have learnt to work even faster and more precisely. My tasks changed every day. For example, I made sure the hotel is clean and in order for the guests and staff. It was particularly exciting for me to interact with many new people and gain work experience in a highly international environment.
In summary, I can say that I spent eight wonderful weeks in Berlin. If you were to ask me if I would do an internship abroad with GCH Hotel Group again, I wouldn't hesitate for a second. With my blog post, I also want to encourage everyone to pursue their goals and dreams, even if taking the first steps in that direction is sometimes challenging. It's definitely worth it!
Your Elias Kuusisto