Anna Zhuravlyova - Partner Relations Manager
Anna earned her bachelor’s degree at Saint-Petersburg State University of Economics. After graduation, she spent over three years working for a large Russian import company, and dealing with foreign suppliers and international negotiations. During this time, her interest in international business and intercultural communications grew, leading her to join the ProfIntern team in 2016. Anna enjoys working with interns to help them have the best experience in Saint Petersburg possible.
You earned your undergraduate degree in international business. How valuable do you think internships are for international business majors?
It’s simply impossible to overestimate the value of international internships for those who graduate in international business. Whatever position you get after graduation in this field, you can be sure that you will be constantly engaged in intercultural communication. Getting experience abroad while you are still a student can help you get ready for the real world of international business, learn specifics of various national business models, and learn how to interact with people of different nationalities, background,s and business traditions. I believe that practical skills acquired during international internships are the best foundation for your future successful career in international business.
How do you think international internships help improve students’ communication skills?
When coming to another country you need to be prepared for many discoveries. No matter what country you choose, each new place will obviously be different to your natural surroundings and require constant adaptation to the new environment; such a process is always much much easier when you are open to communication with people around you. Getting acquainted with locals and other interns in your group, making friends, talking, and sharing can make the new place much more welcoming, getting you back to your comfort zone.
You joined the ProfIntern team very recently. What inspired you to grab the job opportunity?
Working as a partner relations manager for ProfIntern has actually looked for me like a wonderful job opportunity. First of all, I have always wanted to work in the business having some real social value. What we do at ProfIntern is hard to evaluate; we do not produce anything tangible. We provide an invisible service, which at the same time does one magical thing - it forms fortunes by influencing the lives and future careers of young people. What could be more inspiring than being a part of this amazing process?
And secondly, working in the sphere of international communications is just what I’m passionately in love with: looking for likeminded people abroad, negotiations, and constant search of mutual values and benefits is what I never get tired of.
What does a typical day of work look like for you?
My workday is very much influenced by the job specifics. My job implies making many phone calls to other countries and continents, what means that my daily activity is directed by time zones. Thus, the first part of the day is usually devoted to written correspondence, revising contracts, and working with our contacts base and its expansion. The second part of the day is all about phone calls, Skype negotiations, and arranging plans for the next day.
Why do you think ProfIntern is different from other internship providers in Russia?
ProfIntern has been on this market for more than five years. To my knowledge one of our strongest points is our ability to focus. Despite providing a great number of services (i.e. Russian language courses, cultural programs and activities, assistance with accommodation search, etc.), we have always been highly focused on the very internship program. We have hundreds of local companies as our partners and we are constantly monitoring the quality of the internship process that our interns have in each and every company. We feel responsible for internship results and want our candidates to make the most of it by growing professionally.
What is the most frequently asked question you receive and what is your answer?
The most frequently asked question in my everyday work is “Anna, can we be sure that Russia is a safe and friendly place for international internships and life in general?” Sometimes I get this question from my potential partners who never happened to work with Russia; sometimes it comes from future interns who are hesitating while choosing an internship destination.
My answer is always the same: you can never be sure until you try. One thing is certain: over the past 10 to 15 years Russia has dramatically changed; it’s no longer a place which was once promoted as a cold and hostile land with severe frosts and not less severe and reserved people. Russia can give you a very warm welcome!
Nowadays, Russia offers wonderful opportunities for those who want to travel and work here. The biggest Russian cities are very modern and very business oriented, with high quality infrastructure, an English-speaking population, and a huge tourist flow, which proves that it’s a very interesting and welcoming destination for foreigners.
Of all the cities in Russia, what makes St. Petersburg an especially great place for internships?
Saint-Petersburg is a magical, charming city which cannot leave anyone indifferent. First of all, it's unbelievably beautiful in terms of architecture, with cultural amusements on every corner. Secondly, it's really well developed in terms of business. Top world TNCs are placing their head offices in Saint-Petersburg more and more often. Professional experience in Saint-Petersburg can be highly profound and efficient. Further, despite getting more and more popular and business oriented, Saint-Petersburg is not very crowdy and hectic. It is still very comfortable for living and social immersion.
What is your best piece of advice for incoming interns?
Be open to everything new, explore and enjoy all differences and diversities you see and feel, cherish every moment of your experience, and share it with others.
Why do you enjoy working for ProfIntern?
Answering this question I want to remember wonderful words belonging to Confucius:
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
I think this saying, like no other, reflects the way we feel working here at ProfIntern. Every member of our team loves what he or she is doing and this is what creates a very kind and creative atmosphere, which we are always trying to share with our students.