GoAbroad Interview

Carla Ferrero - Europe General Manager

Carla Ferrero - Europe General Manager

Carla joined the Absolute Team after spending five years living in Beijing and Shanghai. She was drawn to China because of her deep interest in the Chinese language and culture, after graduating with a degree in the latter subject from the University of Turin in Italy. During her time in China, Carla combined her academic studies with her work experience at an Italian consulting firm and a leading advertising agency. Her own experience working and living abroad helps her relate to participants and help prepare them for their international adventures.

How do you use your own international experience in your current role?

One of my main goals is to inspire students to go abroad, and one way I do this is by sharing my own experience. Whenever I say that I spent five years in China, they are all very surprised, but at the same time they feel more confident. If I made it, why can’t they?

International students near fountains in Paris, France

Enjoying Paris with the students

What makes internships in Europe valuable?

Working in London or Madrid, business centres in Europe, is going to have a huge impact on any student's career. The working pace, the networking, the endless opportunities, but also the high competition and daily challenges you face in these two amazing cities are going to shape you on a professional and personal level.

What does a normal day of work look like for you?

I think we should define “normal” first. Each day is unique, and I personally don’t know what boredom is. For me, normal is visiting a university and doing an info session for students, interviewing candidates, contacting companies to work on placements, and making sure that the programs are running smoothly.

Lecture at Southampton University

Info session at Southampton University

How do you ensure every participant is matched with the right internship?

In my opinion, what is really important is to understand the expectations of the students first. Having that in mind, it’s easier to understand if the internship is the right match.

What does your application and placement process entail?

The application process is very easy and quick; it can be done in around 10 minutes through our website. After a first selection, we interview each candidate to understand if they could be a good fit in the program. Within a few days we let the student know our decision. When the application process with us is completed, we start the placement process with a second call with the student to work on their CV and deeply understand their expectations. The next step is for us to contact companies and set up interviews for the candidate.

Sightseeing in Bali, Indonesia

Exploring Bali

Your language skills span from Italian to Chinese. What type of language skills are required of participants and what type of language skills will they have the opportunity to gain?

Speaking a second or third language is clearly a plus, but our students are expected to be fluent in English only. Especially when joining a program in a city where English is not the first language, they will have the chance to grasp the basics of Cantonese, Chinese, or Spanish!

What is your best piece of advice for incoming interns?

When going abroad, I would suggest to be as open minded as possible and to say YES to all the opportunities that are offered.

If you could participate in one of Absolute Internships’ placements, which location would you choose and why?

I would definitely choose one of the Asian destinations. Asia is changing so quickly that what you find now will be completely different in just a few years. I also feel that as a student it is really important to immerse yourself in a completely different culture and environment.

What do you think makes the Absolute Internship team unique?

We all come from different parts of the world, but we are connected by an international experience. Each member understand the challenges and fears involved when going abroad, and that’s why we do our best to make the program an unforgettable experience.

Carla Ferrero, Europe General Manager for Absolute Internships

Workshop about Asia

Why do you love working for Absolute Internship?

I love sharing my personal experience, and I find it amazing to have the opportunity to help other students on their way to become global citizens and professionals as well. I help them in the way I would have liked to be supported when I went to China. Also, I am not an office person, I love traveling and being in contact daily with people, so this is a perfect match!