Candidate Exposé – Alyn Engelhardt

Alyn EngelhardtMy name is Alyn Engelhardt, I am 22 years old and lived my whole life in Viersen, Germany. It is a small town next to Düsseldorf and Cologne. I just graduated from university with a Bachelor of Science in Business Chemistry.

Before continuing with the Master in Business Chemistry I wanted to do a break from university to get some practical experiences by doing an internship. I chose Canada because I was always interested in the nature of this big country and the mentality of the citizens. In addition, I heard that the companies in Canada are really small, that it is not even unusual to know its entire staff. This means, it is more familiar and you might get the chance to get a better overview and learn more than in a big company.

In Germany I worked with an agency, I sent them all required documents and they sent it to Internex who got in contact with me. I was convinced that it is easier to find an internship with an agency that already knows different companies and has experience in working with them.

I was part of two different programs. I stayed for 12 weeks in Vancouver. The first two weeks I went to a language school to do a language course (Business English). Right after that, I started my internship for ten weeks. I chose this program to get some practical knowledge. Right after high school I went to university, which means, I never got the chance to see how a company works.

I am doing my internship at a (non-profit) community engagement organization.

“It is a signature initiative designed to spark, nurture and restore community connections. More than a single place or program, it assembles the hearts, minds, and talents of diverse communities to promote inclusive, intelligent, and inspiring dialogue.”

I am the first international intern they have, but they already had a lot of experience with work students and volunteers. It was an amazing time. They organise different events for people who are interested in community issues.

Alyn Engelhardt (words)

Communication and teamwork are the most important characteristics you need at this internship. Everybody needs to know what the other is working on and what is still missing; otherwise the events might not become successful. You should be good in organizing, and be flexible in general. Plans might change right before the event. You should also be creative; SFU Public Square loves new ideas.

This internship is not part of my education. Actually, event management does not have that much to do with the education I had, but still I can say I learned a lot. I learned to be more flexible and what good teamwork can look like. Also, I learned a lot on personal level during my internship.

I lived with a host family in Vancouver, organised by the language school. I shared the basement with another student. We had our own living room, kitchen and a bathroom. A host family is a great opportunity for people who are not used to live alone.

When I arrived, my first impression of Vancouver was: Now, I know why they call it Raincouver. The weather was really bad. It rained a lot in March and April. But I refused to buy an umbrella. In May the weather got so much better, so we were finally able to enjoy some outdoor activities.

I attend nearly all pub nights organised by Internex. It is a nice opportunity to meet new friends and to plan weekend activities. We always had a lot of fun and saw different corners of Vancouver Downtown. Besides the pub nights I attend other events like visiting the Lighthouse Park or Fly over Canada. Other places I traveled to are the Rockies, Vancouver Island with a friend I met on pub night, Bowen Island, Seattle, Whistler and soon I will travel down the westcoast of the USA with some friends I met at the pub nights. Furthermore I did a lot of activities like watching an ice hockey game, celebrated St. Patrick’ s Day, went to a boat party and I did lots of hikes.

What I like most about Vancouver is the mentality. There are so many different opportunities here. On one side Vancouver is a city, but it is also surrounded by beautiful nature. One thing I had to deal with was the bad traffic. I think it is not working for so many people. It really feels like you live in a big city with millions of inhabitants. Busses are passing by because they are already to full and in the rush hour everybody is stressed out.

I have three big highlights of my stay here. The first is th event I helped organize during my internship. As second a beautiful hike I did to a crushed airplane in Tofino. And last but not least a stay at the first nations hotel in Chase during our Rockies trip with Internex and Discover Canada Tours. My stay here and the entire experience didn’t really inspire me to travel more, since I already did that, but I might want to see the East of Canada as well now.

I would highly recommend the services of Internex. This agency has great contacts with different companies. In addition if your organise everything through Internex, you will get to know new friends because of the events and pub nights they organise.

When I get back home I will buy some good German bread.

– Alyn

INTERNeX Canada: Highlights of the week Ep 14

Hallo, Hello, Bonjour, Nee how

This week was an interesting one and we have three kind of highlights to talk about.

On Wednesday, besides our re-introduced QuiZ NiGHT of course, the PR Team went to an event organized by the Greeting Fluency initiative. This is a project, thought of and supported by the former mayor of Vancouver, Sam Sullivan.

Due to Vancouver being such an intercultural city, the project aims at helping people to overcome difficulties in communication with their neighbors. Many people might be shy approaching someone from a foreign culture, because they simply do not know how to do so. And the other way around, someone new to Canada might feel a bit more welcome, if neighbors would be able to greet him or her in the native language. Making them feel a bit more at home.

Besides getting  an idea about the project itself, which is a very interesting approach at how to support integration into Canadian society, we also had the chance to listen to a few very interesting short speeches. It was an imaginary journey through Germany, Asia, Egypt and several Arabian countries. The guest speakers offered everything from fun anecdotes over musical performances to actual small delicious snacks. All of us were able to actually get a feeling for the culture we were introduced to.

The most practical aspect of this event was the introduction of an app for smart phones, downloadable for free,  which offers users the most useful phrases, like for example hello, thank you, and good bye, in a vast amount of different languages. Including a sound sample and a phonetic description for better understanding (the name of this app is ‘Greeting Fluency’). Absolutely practical if you wanted to greet somebody in their native language. Besides, it’s fun to look up different phrases and to try them out aloud.

The PR team and INTERNeX think this is a really nice project worth supporting and that’s why we made it one highlight of this week.

The second highlight is, of course, our overnight trip to Victoria, the capital of British Columbia. Our group has left Vancouver this  morning to take the ferry and all of us are very excited. It will be a great weekend with loads of fun, nice new insights into Canadian landscape and into one of the most beautiful historic towns this part of the country. Fingers crossed for nice weather and good pictures. We will tell you all about it next week.

Last but definitely not least is more of a sad part of this week’s highlight post. For about two months, we had company in the INTERNeX office. Zehra spent her internship together with us, it was kind of an office sharing :-), and now it is time for her to return back home. Zehra, we got to know you as a very easy going person, had a lot of fun and will remember you fondly. All the best for your trip back home and don’t forget us once you’re back in Germany.

Tschüss, Bye, Salut, Zie jee-en

Annika

INTERNeX International Exchange
International Village,
Suite 2077, 2079 – 88 West Pender Street
Vancouver, Canada -V6B 9N9-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

INTERNeX Canada: Smart saver Vancouver

Are you curious about different topics? Do you want to do different courses but they are always super expensive?

I know for sure that the most of the online courses are expensive even there is no a physical teacher, or physical books… but yes they are still expensive!!But sometime is the best or only option if you are working, studying another thing or you are just busy.

There is one page called Saylor.org where you can do it for free! Yes FREE! They offer 274 different courses! If you are into art, history, economics, engineering, communications, biology…this is your page!

You don’t need to pay any registration fee or any kind of fee to use it!

The courses have been designed by college professor so you will learn a lot about the topic you choose!

Just check it out and hope you do some course!

“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”  I love this quote from Ray Bradbury, so let’s go my friends let’s read, let’s learn, let’s being curious!

Cheers,

Irene

INTERNeX International Exchange
Suite 200 – 211 Columbia Street
Vancouver BC -V6A 2R5-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Phone: +1 (604) 662 8149
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

INTERNeX Canada: Culture Shock

You went to language school, you lived in Canada for a while, you tried to speak English only, and you are still not quite content with your English? Please read in this Culture Shock post how to sound like a real Canadian. There is no problem without a solution, eh?

Eh is a useful word that is the basis of all Canadian communications and will make you sound totally Canadian. It is used at the end of the sentence in order to give your opinion and receive agreement from the person you talk to, like “I hate rain, eh!” It can also be a statement of an unchangeable fact where agreement of the other person is not necessary: “It’s always raining in Vancouver, eh!” You can make your sentence sound like a command: “You come to my place tonight, eh!” You can use the little word at the end of your phrase as a sign for your wish to initiate further conversation. It can be used for anything like “right? Isn’t it?”

In case you started speaking your sentence already but in process decided that you actually wanted to ask a question, you can turn your whole sentence into a question by adding eh. Easy! “The weather is nice today, eh?” Of course you can add eh to a normal question “What does it mean, eh?” The same way you can insert it in any of your phrases like “Thanks, eh! / Sorry, eh!”

But you also can use EH on its own; here are some examples:
Eh! = OK
Eh? = sorry, what did you say?
Eh? = what do you think?
EEH!! = hellooo!
Eeeh! = oh yes, I understand
Eeehhh!! = wow!
Eh! = sure!
Eeh? = not sure…

Try it out and let us know how it works, eh!

Cheers,

Xenia

Thank You INTERNeX!

Hi Folks! It’s Tiffany here. So what’s new today?

Well, it’s sad to say that today is going to be my last day at INTERNeX. As most of you are or have been a student once in the past, the calling duties of school is always an issue. With exams coming up, to my dismay, I will be unable to continue my position as a PR Intern at INTERNeX. So, you won’t be seeing me around the office- but perhaps on the street or up at UBC (say hi if you do!)

It truly has been an interesting experience with many memorable memories and rewards. There is no other place I know of with such a diverse working team. From the moment we enter high school, teachers, mentors and our parents have driven the phrase “to be able to work with a diverse group of people” into our minds. It is not until now that I understand what that phrase means. Having worked in several Canadian cultured companies, I find that the work ethics and cultures of these companies are all very similar although diverse in terms of the work you do. At INTERNeX, I was exposed to so many people from different cultures it was a little overwhelming at times. I was given a glimpse of what the working ethics of people from German, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Mexico and France were like. And I can tell you, it’s definitely an eye-opener.

Personally, after this experience, when my friends say “I worked in a diverse team environment”, I can proudly say, “Well, me too, I worked with people from around the world, literally”. The staff at INTERNeX has all treated me very well especially when it came to my difficult school schedule. They have been very accommodating, flexible and excruciatingly welcoming.

Being given the opportunity to intern at INTERNeX, I was able to learn about how this agency operates and all the efforts that go into placing a candidate. My knowledge of IT management was strengthened tremendously due to spending hours in the “dungeon” discussing the evolution of IT and its position in society today. I further developed my social media marketing and promotional skills through preparing promotional design materials and updating our social media networks.

The role of PR Intern at INTERNeX is one that can be very fulfilling. Having been here for one month, I’ve seen improvements in myself in terms of communications skills and confidence level. It’s unfortunate that during my time here, I was unable to plan a couple out of the city trips, but am very glad to have made some amazing friendships with those who came out to Cheesecake Night.

If you have any questions or are very interested in applying into a Public Relations position at INTERNeX and would like some feedback, let the office know and they can pass you my contact.

As for now, thank you INTERNeX for all your gracious help and best of luck to the next intern!

Candidate Expose-Matt

Hey, so since the start of our Staff introductions was such a success i thought i would take the next step and introduce to you some of our current/past candidates who have had such great experiences with in their programs and in Canada in general that they want to share their stories with you! So our first interviewee is Matt, he is the Vancouver Staffhouse manager. I’m sure most of you know of him or have met Matt personally but for those of you who haven’t then here is a little peak into his experiences with INTERNeX.

What is your name?
Matthias Weigel

Which program are you currently participating?
City placement at Blenz Coffee Shop

Are you enjoying it? Why?
I am really enjoying working at Blenz Coffee shop. They have a great training program that truly encourages us employees to have a strong work ethic, good communications skills and ultimately great life skills.  The initial training provided is 1 day at the training center, with ongoing training that is also provided every 2 months to asses and improve our skills. There are 3 levels of employees;  Junior, Senior and Master level. I have recently been promoted to the Senior Barista position and i am really proud of myself for achieving this. I think this is a great way to spark a healthy sense of competition amongst employees and it has truly allowed me to excel in a way i did not expect. If you choose to participate in this training program you will be trained, as i was, by Layla who was the 2 time World Free Pour Latte Art Champion. So this was a huge honor to be trained by a true professional. Also throughout my employment at Blenz i have truly been able to build on my customer service skills. The people here in Vancouver are so genuinely open that it’s been really easy to serve them but boy do they have some crazy drink orders!

What kind of experience are you gaining from this experience?
I have actually grown up for a significant portion of my life in the customer service industry since my parents owned a restaurant themselves. Therefore, i am pretty familiar with this whole customer centered environment; however, surprisingly enough working in a Coffee Shop is completely different. I have learnt a lot of stuff from Blenz, particularly in terms of management so it is my dream now to own my own restaurant later on in life. Hopefully, one day this dream will come true.

What do you like the most about Canada?
Well it’s hard just to choose one thing so i’m not even going to try lol. I have been to so many incredible places in Canada some of my favorite places were Victoria where i went whale watching and that was breathtaking and really reminded me of the movie Free Willy. I also went to Whistler and did some snowboarding and then last but not least i loved Tofino where i went surfing. Everywhere i’ve been has truly been magnificent because i’ve been exposed to so many of the beautiful sites in Canada and i love all the nature i’ve been blessed to see.