Dzenita, Agricultural and Environment student here at IBC-M, is finishing her compulsory internship with Kurt Weiss Greenhouses Inc, a company based in New York, USA.

Kurt Weiss Greenhouses is a family – owned and operated business that was founded in 1960. With 15 locations that total more than 5 million square feet, the firm is one of the United States’ largest growing operations.

To learn everything about Dzenita’s experience, her thoughts and perspective on this internship, we conducted a short interview. You can check her story below.

What has been the most enjoyable aspect of your internship at the USA?

Dzenita: ”Having an internship in another country, or even in a new city, is a big challenge for me. It can be scary, but all the frustration and challenges I face abroad and within my international internship will help me to gain confidence in my own abilities. Certainly, one of the most skills I will acquire from an international internship is cultural competence, or the ability to interact and work professionally with people of different cultural backgrounds, beliefs, nationalities, and preferences. This is an extremely useful skill in today’s international market that should be emphasized when sharing about internship experience abroad such as USA”.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced and how did you overcome it?

Dzenita: ”Well, deciding to and live abroad for one year can be a daunting, but exciting decision. At the beginning it was hard because you are leaving your family and close people behind, but however, once you are there and expose yourself, it gives you a very real sense of independence and empowerment. Doing the internship in one of the most popular floral companies in the entire USA is really a big challenge. But, it also gives you many opportunities to work in different parts of the company. Yet, one of the best challenges of the internship was changing the working position, by becoming an intern in one of the most important jobs of the company which is the Billing Department. This department gives me a lot of knowledge about horticulture and accounting tools, as well as the sale of goods from a business to a customer that is documented on a sales invoice. An accurate presentation of sales invoices is key to receiving prompt payment from customers. Likewise, I’m trying my best to be flexible in all aspects as much as I can, and feed myself like an empty cup that’s gaining all the things I need to learn and know, not only from the Billing Department, but from all the program plan phases that I’ve been through, and will continue until the internship is completed”.

How have your studies at IBCM helped you during your internship?

Dzenita: ”IBCM education has exceptionally prepared me for a smooth transition from school to work by providing me the skills necessary to succeed. I feel that I was well prepared for real-life situations and jobs. Difficult courses have taught me exceptional critical thinking skills and I understood that the answers will not always be in front of my face. Through courses like this, I have learned how to solve complex problems and that high-quality results require hard work.

Therefore, on my internship, I managed to hone my management skills by developing useful strategies with a team. This experience has also helped me develop my communication skills – as I was required to work with others to create solutions. I feel that the experience I gained is truly valuable – as it has prepared me for my management career thus far. My internships have also also given me the opportunity to experience situations first hand and taught me how to come up with the best solutions”.

What advice would you give to other students doing internships?

Dzenita: ”Would you like to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really: Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, so go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because, remember, that’s where you will find success”.

What are your plans after graduating from IBCM?

Dzenita: ”After graduation, I have a couple plans but nothing definitive. I have an opportunity to start my master degrees in Bari, Italy, but sometimes I change my mind and want to start my master degrees in NY, USA. Everything depends on solutions and time too”.

We at IBCM would like to thank Dzenita for her willingness to respond and wish her all the best in her future plans.