INTERNSHIP AT FNF
Bugra Kilinc: First working experience in Asia
Bugra Kilinc shares his thoughts after having an internship at FNF Vietnam from June to August 2023.
Can you start by sharing your initial feelings when you began your 3-month internship with FNF at the Vietnam Office? What were your expectations and apprehensions?
When I started my 3-month internship with FNF at the Vietnam office, my emotions were a mixture of curiosity and excitement. This was my first time living in an Asian country for a longer period, so I was really excited to see what kind of experiences I would have during these months. It all started with my exploration of Hanoi as a city, along with the fascinating culinary journey through local foods. Of course, I was also intrigued by Vietnamese culture and eager to discover the nuances that set each region apart from the others. All in all, I entered this internship with an open mind, ready to soak up all the new adventures and learnings that Vietnam had to offer.
Transitioning to a new city and living environment can be quite a change. Could you provide some insights and tips on how you managed to adapt and make the most of your experience?
Moving to a new city and living environment presented its challenges, but I found ways to acclimate and maximize my time here. An invaluable resource during this period was the previous intern, Fritz, who shared several insightful tips on how to best navigate Hanoi. Additionally, in the digital age, I made use of the vast amount of information available online, which helped me prepare thoroughly in advance. As is so often the case, however, it is different to actually be in the place than it is to just read about it. The scorching heat and hustle and bustle of Hanoi initially overwhelmed me, and it took several days to acclimate to the conditions. Similarly, my adjustment to the local cuisine wasn't always as smooth as I had expected.
Despite these initial hurdles, my acclimation to Vietnam was rapid. This was helped by my previous experience of moving to new countries and building a life from scratch for short periods of time. By drawing on my past experiences, I was able to navigate the challenges and embrace the exciting aspects of this new adventure.
We'd love to hear about your accomplishments during your internship. Could you share a project or task that you're particularly proud of?
During my internship, I was privileged to have a high degree of autonomy in my tasks, which allowed me to delve into various topics. One notable achievement was the opportunity to contribute to in-depth research on topics related to the Vietnamese financial market and sustainable development. This involved extensive analysis and study, allowing me to become an expert in these areas. What's even more rewarding is that my work attracted attention and was featured in several Vietnamese newspapers. Through policy papers, newspaper articles, and valuable interactions with our partners, I was able to share my gained insights that could potentially contribute to meaningful discussions and decisions. These accomplishments not only fuelled my professional growth, but also underscored the impact of engaged research and engagement in a real-world context.
As you navigated through your internship, were there any specific memory, which left a lasting impression on you? How did these influence your thoughts?
As I reflect on my internship journey, it is quite a challenge to single out one specific memory that has left a lasting impression, given the multitude of incredible experiences I have enjoyed. But one aspect that undoubtedly stands out and continues to influence my thoughts is the overall way of life in Vietnam.
Living in a country that has undergone such significant development over the past few decades has been truly eye-opening. It gave me a unique perspective on growth and progress. Also, being my first experience in Asia, I was captivated by Vietnam's stunning landscapes, which I found to be exceptionally beautiful. The city tours and excursions through the country's natural wonders left an indelible impression on me. These encounters not only broadened my horizons, but also fostered a sense of appreciation for the diverse and awe-inspiring elements our world has to offer. The memory of those moments continues to shape the way I perceive different cultures and their evolutionary paths.
Now that your internship in Vietnam will come to an end, can you reflect on the insights you've gained? How do you see these new assets contributing to your future path?
As my internship in Vietnam draws to a close, I find myself reflecting on the invaluable insights I've gained during this amazing experience. Exposure to the vibrant culture, dynamic work environment, and fantastic colleagues at the FNF office has enriched my perspective in many ways.
First and foremost, my time in Vietnam has provided me with a more enhanced cross-cultural sensitivity and adaptability. Immersing myself in a different cultural context has enhanced my ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds, a skill that is increasingly important in our interconnected world. In addition, the hands-on experience of delving into complex topics such as the financial market and sustainable development has expanded my knowledge from a different perspective.
Looking ahead, these new skills will contribute significantly to my future path. The practical skills of research and analysis, communication, and cross-cultural collaboration will undoubtedly serve me well in my professional endeavors. In addition, the personal growth I've experienced, from navigating unfamiliar environments to adapting to different cultural norms, has strengthened my resilience and flexibility. These qualities will undoubtedly enhance my ability to face challenges head-on and navigate the ever-evolving landscape. I'm confident that the insights I've gained here will serve as a strong foundation for my future endeavors, propelling me forward with a blend of expertise, adaptability, and open-mindedness.
What message or piece of advice would you like to share with future interns who will be joining?
To future interns, I would like to offer this advice: Take the opportunity to explore a country that is rich in culture, vibrant in society, and populated by people who are eager to make a difference. Vietnam is a country that goes beyond its stunning landscapes and pristine beaches. It's a place that gives you a glimpse of how culture, tradition and modern life can coexist in a truly unique way. Embrace every moment of this experience, engage with the local community, and immerse yourself in the diverse tapestry of Vietnam. You'll not only gain professional insights, but also broaden your horizons in ways you may not have expected. So be open, be curious, and let this journey leave an unforgettable mark on your personal and professional growth./.