How did I get to this position? I discussed my wishes and dreams with my boss at Škoda Auto Czech Republic, during my voluntarily internship there, that I would like to improve my English, CV and also gain some life experience. He offered to recommend me to Škoda Ireland. I agreed immediately. After a few emails, the communication stopped for a while. Then after some time, I received an email with request for a video call. I was a bit nervous because I had no previous experience with calling in English, but my future boss appeared to be a fantastic and kind person. We engaged in some small talk; I got some rough information about the future work, and we agreed on date, when I should arrive. Before coming to Ireland, I had three more calls with the boss and intern, who had been working in Ireland before my start date and who explained to me the main tasks of the job and shared with me many useful tips about accommodation and living in Ireland.
I returned from my study stay in Slovenia in July, and I was supposed to leave again in August. My family wasn’t overjoyed. But I am becoming an independent adult, so they have to get used to that.
Škoda provided me with an apartment and car, which I consider much better than receiving a salary because I did not have to take care of accommodation or transport. This solution was quite a relief as I had read a few reports from other interns from different countries about searching for accommodation and paying deposits etc. I receive 600€/month from Erasmus for my living costs, which is more than enough.
The day of departure from the Czech Republic was 15th August, so I left and started to look forward to my new adventures. My boss collected me at the airport and after that, we picked my car. My company car is a nice white Rapid with everything I could need, even with DSG transmission. Immediately after receiving the car, I had to drive home. The first few moments on the wrong side of the road were strange, but I got used to that very quickly. My very nice neighbour welcomed me to my apartment, and I even received a welcome pack with some basic food for first few days. The apartment is quite small, but for one person it is more than enough and is well equipped, including a new kitchen. From my experience, even two people could live there without problems, and as an overnight refuge it is suitable even for three persons.
There was no reason why not to start work right on the next day, 16th August. During the day, I met the whole Škoda team. I work at Product & Planning Department, where there are four other people – Head of the Department, Product Specialist and Planning Specialist and another intern from Dublin University, with whom we support both specialists at the department. There are 24 people in the Škoda Ireland team. Our headquarters are in a nice modern building, which we share with other brands from the VW Group – VW, VW commercials, Audi and Seat. There are also other departments supporting the whole building, such as HR, Aftersales, Controlling or Volkswagen Bank. Let’s get to the job description. Regular tasks are daily, weekly and monthly reports, providing information about Škoda’s performance. There are four daily reports – one describes daily output of the whole of Škoda, including sales, registrations, orders, stock figures, etc. The other two reports show performance of each dealer, and the last one describes a summary of the whole Irish automotive market. Weekly and monthly reports then summarise the daily reports.
Apart from these regular tasks, I also create a monthly overview of chosen competitors of our cars, and once approx. every 2 months I also create a presentation about the current competitors’ offers.
There are also some short- and long-term ad hoc tasks. My most favourite task was a two-week mystery shopping event, targeting special offers for 2017 cars. I also participated in creating Car Configurator for 2017. The short-term task, which I still really like, is transporting cars around Dublin, thanks to this I got a chance to driver Superb L&K, Octavia RS230 or Tiguan R because interns across all brands help each other.
I also attended few external events. I participated for three days in the National Ploughing Championship, where Škoda had its stand, and we presented all our cars. I also had the opportunity to present at the National Dealer Conference for Škoda dealers from the whole Ireland, which “opened” a whole new world in my English self-confidence.
Škoda team immediately accepted me as a colleague. Irish people are really friendly and helpful, so I took part in many events together with the Škoda team or the whole group such as a team lunch and dinner or a group tournament in rounders, which is similar to baseball, or Go-Kart racing as team building activities.
In my free time, I spend a lot of time travelling. I met three cool guys at work, so it is not a problem at all to just say that we are going on a trip, jump in a car and go. Interesting destinations are for example the Cliffs of Moher or New Grange, which in Ireland is similarly famous to Stonehenge in England. Ireland is a really nice country, and the weather is much better than people claim. I have used the umbrella twice so far. Moreover, I am here during the winter semester, and the weather is really mild. Compared to freezing in CR, temperatures here are around 12°C, which is nice. At the beginning, this mandatory internship was just something which will move me forward in my future career. At the end I have met many interesting and nice people and friends, with who I would like to stay in touch with and that I will have a chance to return to Ireland in the future and work here for a longer period.
I would like to thank to my supervisor Václav Schreyer from Škoda Auto Czech Republic, who gave my really valuable recommendation and thanks to him I got this amazing chance.
I would also like to thank my boss Anthony Tracey, here in Ireland, who led me through the whole stay in Ireland, explained to me everything at work which I was not sure of and also gave me a great amount of valuable tips and hints.