For some students an internship is the ultimate way to explore a career, for others it’s a great way to gain relevant experience and bolster their resume. For AAU student Marina Panko, it led to a job.

Marina, a Business Administration student with a Marketing and Communications emphasis from Chelyabinsk, Russia will take 5 courses this upcoming semester and balance a full-time business venture as the Business Development Manager for a new mobile app.

Finding the perfect internship isn’t easy but Panko secured one thanks to her diligence. After months of sending CV’s she landed an internship with award-winning creative agency, Passion Communications in Prague. Now, she is not just another coffee-running intern but a shareholder and co-founder of one of the company’s newest products, Expat1.

After some time as a credible intern it was actually Marina’s suggestion that the company not only service external products but create their own. Marina and her mentor, Passion communications CEO, came up with the idea of a mobile app that curates all the best content for expats in a given city and Expat1 was born. Now she has transitioned from unpaid intern to full-time employee spending her days thinking up features, establishing partnerships and planning the expansion of the app internationally! Marina is optimistic about the future of Expat1 and has come up with many exciting ideas such as a their upcoming Hot Air Balloon Contest to encourage users to review and download the app.

She admits it wasn’t perfect from the beginning, “At first they had me running to the post office but I told them that I was not there only to satisfy my requirements for school, I was there to gain real, credible experience in digital marketing and and after I explained that, I truly benefited.”

Furthermore, Marina’s advice to students who might have apprehensions about internships is, “Everyone should take advantage of internships! At the beginning students often feel undervalued at a company and some people don’t see opportunity unless they see cash, but you should try to see the opportunity in everything and go for it because experience is valuable and persistence will lead to rewards later on.”

Now she has gained valuable insight into her career path and priceless practical experience that will undoubtedly set her apart from the crowd in her future endeavors, whether that is with Expat1 or not!

AAU provides support for all students in finding and securing the best internship for their unique goals and aspirations. We connect every student with credible partners and provide them with all the tools necessary such as career workshops and networking opportunities to truly make the most of an internship experience. Feel free to visit the AAU Career Center for more information.

Publication date: August 29, 2018