2021-07-22

Internship in a pandemic: "I surpassed my own expectations!"

Pro Sky News
Internship in a pandemic |

Tags: Career


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What's it like to do an internship from home during a pandemic? "Mega," says Niklas Huysecom. But, he continued, support from the company was crucial. "I felt very well looked after, was able to work independently and gain lots of experience." Read about the projects in which Niklas excelled, and why he was so keen to promote us at his university.


Love at first sight: "The perfect internship for me"

"Pro Sky had already caught my attention at a Career Days event at my university. I was impressed that the person doing the internship at the time was actually there. Ursina gave me some insider tips, telling me that at Pro Sky you won't get the typical boring intern tasks, and you would be able to take on a lot of responsibility. I then had my first video call with Miri and Cayo, and I was hooked right away. The mood was relaxed from the start. When I joined the conference, the two were having a good laugh. It was a bit weird for a moment, then I just found it really funny too. In other interviews, I often thought to myself: 'Well, that somehow didn’t go well. That felt a bit distant.' This wasn't the case with Pro Sky. I felt like I was talking to people I'd known for ages. So I was all the happier to be invited for a second interview and to finally get the internship." According to Carolina dal Bello, Manager People, this was also evident: "Niklas was more than excited to begin an internship related to his studies." And Pro Sky was the perfect match.

Put on hold due to corona: Niklas goes on the offensive

In March 2020, Aviation Management student Niklas began an internship in the Airport & Inflight Services Department. Just a few days later, the corona pandemic hit the travel industry with full force. As a result, no work for Niklas' department. The intern in the Charter Department was able to continue working, but Niklas' internship was put on hold. "At the time I thought it was unfair, but now I see it differently. The team made a decision in my interest. I was supposed to learn something." While many of his fellow students took a semester off, Niklas went on the offensive with the support of Pro Sky. "I brought forward my fifth and sixth semesters with Pro Sky guaranteeing me an internship in the Charter Department when I'd completed my studies." Finding an appropriate time was the only thing that remained to be done. "What impressed me is that Niklas kept in contact with us the whole time making it clear that he wanted to do his internship," said Miriam Mathwich, Director People. Then the time arrived. At the beginning of 2021, many students were anxious about their futures, but Niklas hit the ground running. "I am incredibly grateful for the support I had!"

"Being able to have that much responsibility was mega cool!"

Internships during the pandemic mainly require being creative, taking new paths, thinking outside the box. "I deliberately chose Pro Sky because I wanted to be able to work on my own initiative. I didn't want to be an intern who constantly asks for help, but someone who is trusted and can really contribute something to the company. At Pro Sky, I got that chance and achieved my goal." For Niklas, this meant two weeks of training, quickly followed by the setting up of projects and making inquiries to airlines. "I did calculations, compared quotes and prepared price estimates for customers." Jumping in at the deep end? "It was a little bit like that," Niklas said. "But the confidence people had in me, being allowed to take on this huge responsibility, was also mega cool," he grins. "Having close contact with the airlines was special. We quickly got to know each other, email contact became easier, and we were soon on first-name terms." What is he particularly proud of? "That I finally overcame my fear of phoning strangers. I haven't really been an outgoing person in the past, and have been quite reserved. That changed completely during the internship."

"The quote I got did the deal!"

This new self-confidence became particularly evident to Niklas when he was processing an inquiry for flights to Russia. "I was asked to get quotes from Russian airlines. It was a real challenge! First you couldn't reach anyone and then when you did, the person at the other end of the line couldn't speak any English. Under these circumstances, even my mentor Steffi didn't expect me to get any quotes," says Niklas, beaming. "And then in the end, it was a quote I got that actually did the deal," he eagerly adds. "It was from a German airline, but at a great price!" This was a special moment that Senior Project Manager Stefanie Wahn also remembers with pleasure: "Niklas found the availability that best suited the client and got the booking in the end. A great achievement!" She said this was also down to Niklas' talent for quickly understanding new areas of work. Steffi's praise and the applause he received from colleagues in a team meeting video call was again special confirmation. "I also just felt very well supported. Steffi in particular did a really good job. Our relationship was more like friends than colleagues. Things become easier when you're genuinely enjoying what you're doing and not just carrying out boring instructions."

Internship in a pandemic: "I wouldn't want to change anything!"

And looking back? What is it like to do an internship during a pandemic? Would Niklas do anything differently? "Nothing at all!" he insists happily. "Nothing. Not the tasks. Not the way of doing them. I had no problem at all working from home. I also did go to the office four or five times." His mentor Steffi agrees with him: "It was easier than expected. Communication via Skype went smoothly and we were able to establish a very good relationship despite the physical distance." Head of Aircraft Charters Europe Andy Falk adds: "It's unbelievable how well it worked out. Not many interns would have been as successful. Niklas did a great job, was very conscientious and thorough. He was always available and returned calls very quickly. And he did an incredible job of getting things done without any mistakes." It almost seems as if it was more beneficial this way. "The circumstances meant the tasks had some very unique challenges," Niklas explains. "For example, when we had to split up a group from Zurich into two planes due to hygiene precautions. Everything was different. This also made things exciting." The only thing that saddened Niklas a little was the fact that he was unable to attend a flight management session, as is usually the case with Pro Sky internships. "Being able to fly along just once would have been great. That was a pity, but absolutely understandable in times of corona." And after a brief pause, Niklas adds: "As soon as it's possible again, you should let the interns take part in this again."

"I've recommended Pro Sky to everyone"

By the way, we already have a new intern. Niklas' successor is Maximilian Rauch. "I'm sure Maxi will have a wonderful time with you," Niklas grins. As for himself, his next focus will be on his bachelor's thesis, after which he might go straight into the world of work. "Preferably back at a company with a family atmosphere like Pro Sky!" Any wishes before ending the final video call with Pro Sky? "That the Pro Sky team remembers me not only as a happy, fun-loving person, but more importantly, as an efficient and dependable colleague." A short time later, a message from Steffi pops up the inbox. For this article, we asked her how she will remember Niklas. She doesn't know what Niklas wished for, but we're sure he'll like her answer. She uses almost exactly the same wording: "I will remember Niklas as a friendly, open, and fun intern who works very quickly and efficiently, is a fast learner, always with something humorous to say, and with a very positive attitude." Dear Niklas, we think your wish has come true. Thank you for your commitment and your passion! We are sure that you have a great career ahead of you.



More about the author

Klein

Linda Katharina Klein

Marketing Campaign Manager / Marketing at PRO SKY Germany
Always full of ideas, Linda has a talent for inspiring people and bringing stories to life. As Pro Sky's Marketing Campaign Manager, she uses her bubbly, light-hearted personality and her experience as an award-winning journalist to create content that is both informative and entertaining.