Internships have always been a fantastic way for students to sample life in the working world. They are also an essential part of our DNA here at GMS, so much so that we have continued to run our internship programme despite the challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.
But what is it like to be an intern at GMS? Karina Rudenko, our summer marketing intern for 2021, spills the beans.
Sam Harrison: Hi Karina, so what are you studying at university?
Karina Rudenko: I’m studying mathematics at the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, specialising in probability and data processing. I’m really interested in machine learning and stochastic processes, which are a mathematical term for random processes. An example of this might be the movement of gas molecules, as they are completely unpredictable.
SH: So, I know that you are working with the Marketing team at GMS, but can you tell us what you’re doing specifically?
KR: I’ve been working with the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) team, learning how to support our customers and internal teams using the CRM. I had never used a CRM system before interning with GMS, so this sort of software environment was a whole new world for me. At GMS we are using Salesforce — it’s been an interesting challenge to learn how to use it, and the abilities of this platform are really fascinating.
SH: And how does your role here at GMS relate to what you’re studying?
KR: I actually didn’t choose the CRM team when I first applied, because I’ve never worked with CRM software, and I wasn’t sure how useful I would be to the team. But I had a call with GMS HR, and we discussed what the role would actually be. Once I found out that I would be working with data, I knew it would be a great fit. Having a strong foundation in mathematics knowledge really comes in handy when working with volumes of data, so my degree has actually been really useful.
SH: What was it that attracted you to the GMS Global Start?
KR: I’m a very values-driven person. When I was looking for an internship, I was really looking for a company that shared my values and took them seriously. Here at GMS, the values are not just words, they are an integral part of the company culture.
SH: Was the selection process competitive?
KR: It never really felt like a competition if that makes sense. I do remember that for one stage of the process we had a test on how well we knew Microsoft Excel and the test said something to the effect of “We know you can find the answers to these questions online, but we just want to know what you do and don’t know so answer honestly!”
I found that really refreshing, as it felt like GMS wanted to know my skills rather than pit me against other applicants.
SH: What’s the best thing about interning with GMS?
KR: My team. Honestly, I’ve really loved getting to know them. They are highly professional, supportive, and kind. Working with them is a pleasure.
SH: How has working remotely due to the pandemic affected your internship?
KR: I actually like working from home, so this has been a very positive experience. At university, for the past 18 months, we have been studying online from home too. I found that I even sometimes prefer to study at home rather than in a crowded lecture hall. I’ve also saved time commuting to and from university and work, so I’ve had more time for my life outside of them.
It’s a shame we can’t have coffee breaks together or go out for lunch with my team. But we have had a lot of calls and chats and even some social activities. I still really feel a part of the team even though I’ve not met several of them in person!
SH: Would you like to come back and work with GMS once your studies are complete? And don’t worry, you don’t have to sugar-coat it!
KR: Yes! Absolutely! Everyone I have worked with here at GMS are so knowledgeable and supportive, I think it would be a great place to come and work for after I graduate.
SH: What have learned from your time at GMS?
KR: My experience here was really life changing. Previously I hadn’t considered working in data or marketing after graduation. Now I know that I love working with data and with my team here at GMS. I’ve developed several new skills during my time here and I am hoping to come back so I can continue to improve on them.
SH: Are there any other departments/teams in GMS that you would like to work with?
KR: Honestly, I really like what I’m doing now with the CRM team and the rest of Marketing. I find Salesforce so interesting — there’s just so much you can do with it! Maybe one day I could work towards becoming a Salesforce Developer or something similar.
SH: What advice would you give somebody to help their application?
KR: Every selection process is stressful but try your best to stay calm and be true to yourself. Make sure you prep for your interview — be ready to talk about yourself, your studies, and your plans for the future.
SH: Do you have any advice for next year’s interns?
KR: Be yourself, be kind, be a team-player, and above all be curious and open-minded. You are lucky to be here. This an incredible place to grow and learn about the working world — life after university! Take advantage of every second you get while you are here, you can learn so much.