GUIDELINES FOR INTERNSHIPS IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS PROGRAMME AND THEIR DEFENSE
- Temporary work placement positions and ways to do internships for International Business program students
- Internship application and other requirements
- Internship report and final defense
- Practical tips
TEMPORARY WORK PLACEMENT POSITIONS AND WAYS TO DO INTERNSHIPS FOR INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS PROGRAM STUDENTS
Students from the International Business programme are allowed to start their internships immediately after enrolment into the 3rd year of their studies. Some students prefer to begin their placements in the summer period between the 3rd and the 4th year which is not an officially stated requirement. Some students work permanently in organizations of different size and nature during their studies at UE-Varna. In that case interns can provide evidence (contract) of the necessary documents of their occupation and can therefore defend their reports for the respective firms if these companies are the following types of institutions:
(а) Organizations which are involved in international business activities; or
(b) Organizations interested in generating and/or developing ideas in the area of international business; or
(c) Organizations which in the opinion of the intern have the potential to engage in international business activities; or
(d) Project development which aims to set up own company with a focus on international business.
А. Internships offered by organizations engaged in international business typically involve the following:
(а.1.) giving the intern some general information about the organization which provides the internship and its international activities/business operations;
(а.2.) providing detailed information on the organization’s international business which aims to describe and identify the organization’s core activities without breaching confidentiality or disclosing the firm’s classified/sensitive information:
(а.2.1.) providing information on the decision making process, organizational structure, what decisions are taken to run the business effectively, etc.;
(а.2.2.) how to prepare draft decisions for conducting international business activities by the organization;
(а.2.3.) specifics of the decision making process in view of the organization’s international business operations /planning, organization, control, coordination, evaluation and motivation necessary to execute the decisions taken, in order to achieve the business objectives of the organization/.
B. Internships in organizations which are interested in idea generation and/or developing ideas for international business. These involve the following steps:
(b.1.) introducing the intern to a person in the organization providing the internship who are interested in or seeking opportunities to start an international business activities (marketing/sales and/or R&D department);
(b.2.) the intern will be expected to collect and generate ideas for starting international business activities which might be of interest to the internship organization;
(b.3.) the intern will be expected to develop a proposal for:
(b.3.1) evaluation of collected and generated ideas which can be used by the organization to start international business activities;
(b.3.2.) screening and prioritizing of some of the evaluated ideas for international business;
(b.3.3.) implementation of selected / approved ideas to start international business activities by the organization providing the internship.
C. Internships in organizations which have international business potential and/or are ready to embark in offshore commerce. This involves the following activities:
(c.1.) the intern will be expected to generate ideas in the following research area “Are there opportunities for the internship organization to develop internationally or to run business operations abroad?”;
(c.2.) the intern will be expected to come up with a proposal on:
(c.2.1) how to evaluate generated ideas so that the internship organization becomes actively involved in international business;
(c.2.2.) how to select and prioritize some of the screened ideas in order to help engage the internship organization in international business;
(c.2.3.) how to put approved ideas into effect so that the internship organization gets involved in international business.
D. Doing internships in a business incubation centre or any other similar entity through developing a project to start an own international business. This involves the following steps:
(d.1.) the intern shall generate his/her own idea for starting an international business on his/her own initiative– as a sole proprietor or in collaboration with a partner;
(d.2.) the intern is expected to search, find and quote information with reference to the following question: “What are the implications of a conceptual business project or business plan for starting an international business on one’s own initiative – alone or in partnership?”
(d.3.) the intern is expected to develop a conceptual business project or a business plan for starting an international business on his own initiative – as a sole trader or in partnership. To do this, the intern at his discretion, may be given free tutoring by university lecturers from UE – Varna.
INTERNSHIP APPLICATION AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS
Internships can take place in the framework of the Erasmus+, WAT, CEEPUS, Ministry of Education and Science sponsored positions, and other related programs as long as they meet the criteria for temporary work placement set out in this document (A though D type of internship positions).
Interns normally work on a preliminary agreed agenda of activities to be completed by the end of the placement. As of 2017 all internships must be organized through the UEBN platform of UE-Varna (https://uebn.ue-varna.bg). The platform features multiple internship offerings by local and international organizations that students can choose from. The internship agenda and evaluation forms should also be created and verified through the platform.
In case internship companies are NOT registered on the UEBN platform students must assist in the process of their registration. In that event you can contact the UE-Varna expert Simeon Hristov (email@example.com) who can support you and the company in the registration process. Please, in advance follow the instructions: https://uebn.ue-varna.bg/bg/subpage/120
Based on the experience of the intern and analysis of the internal and external environment of the host company, students have to prepare an internship report. Its structure and requirements are presented below.
INTERNSHIP REPORT AND FINAL DEFENSE
Indicative internship tasks
(1) Profile of the internship and the internship organization, inclusion of mentor evaluation form and self-assessment form;
(2) Description and critical analysis of how the organization functions (organizational structure, types of management, leadership, etc.), who executes and / or takes decisions on international business issues, list of international business decisions and respective actions taken, who takes responsibility for the outcomes;
(3) Description and critical analysis of the intern's involvement into international business tasks / decisions and the activities incorporated into the process of preparation, execution, and results measuring. Who were the persons from the organization in which the internship was provided assisting in the process?
(4) List of international business activities the intern managed to complete and brief description of them;
(5) Presentation of working materials (reports, analyses, forms, etc.) that provides evidence of their daily duties;
(6) Provision of evidence of the advertising activity (marketing communication elements, e.g. brochures, flyers, online promotions, banners, stationery, etc.) of the internship organization;
(7) Preparation of detailed description of instruction for prospective interns in the same host organization. Typically, this should include list of everyday tasks that the intern is expected to do, which should be accompanied by relevant real-life business example(s);
(8) Analysis of how the company does its international activities (types of markets, marketing environment, customer relationship management, product/place/price/promotion activities, strategies, expansion plans, internationalization, etc.) In case of B, C, D-type of companies the intern shall describe how the company aims to expand its outreach – markets, sales/marketing tools, marketing mix, planning, budgeting, etc. Students must consider making use of popular analytical tools such as: McKinsey 7s, Porter’s five forces model, DESTEP analysis, etc. to envision their findings precisely. Only information that is widely available across the organization shall be used (no confidential data should be made public);
(9) Intern's own vision of the application of international business practices and theoretical concepts into the host organization - critical evaluation;
(10) Intern's own propositions for future courses of actions of the company related to its international activities (types of markets, customer relationship management, product/place/price/promotion activities, strategies, expansion plans, internationalization, etc.).
Reports of internship experience should be sent to the e-mail address of the academic/university supervisors Associate Professor Vladimir Zhechev, PhD: firstname.lastname@example.org and Assistant Professor Mariya Georgieva (email@example.com) one week before the defense date (s).
Report pages should be numbered. They should have a cover page and a page devoted to contents and/or structure.
The cover page including: title (Report for professional internship at....), period of the internship, internship host organization, name of the university, name of the department (marketing), date, intern's name and signature, name and signature of the academic mentor (me).
Executive summary – intended to act as the doorway to your project. It is a brief description of the various subchapters incorporated in your report and should crafted carefully so as it guides the reader through the different integral parts of the document. Avoid using wise words or inspirational quotes. Simple synthesize what the company is and where it is heading towards.
Contents: can be designed according to the ten tasks aforementioned (e.g. 1. Profile of the internship and the internship org. , etc.). You are strongly advised to use tables, figures, and/or other imagery to support your statements. Some of those can be transferred to appendices.
Make sure you wrap up your descriptions, critical analyses and practical recommendations into a report conclusion page.
Use the following formatting settings: Font Times New Roman, Font size 12, 1.5 Line Spacing, Harvard Referencing System.
We would like to remind you that reports should be sent from one week prior to the defense date according to the university schedule which is updated regularly on the official website of UE-Varna.
Alternatively, there is a second defense date in October for students which is also considered a resit date. If the intern has not defended the internship on the first date, he/she will have to resit to pass the internship. If the internship has not been defended on the second date the intern has the right to defend it with an individual protocol (obtained at the Front Office, 2nd floor, main building) by the end of April (before graduation).
On the date of the defense, the intern shall present a copy of the document which verifies that the student intern has worked and/or done internship in the respective organization for at least 240 hrs. This document shall secure the internship supervisor’s approval and evaluation of the intern which can be “Excellent”, “Very Good”, “Good”, “Satisfactory” or “Poor” grade in terms of the Bulgarian grading system. Such a document or documents will not be required of students who for their internship program have chosen to develop a conceptual business project or a business plan to start an international business on their own initiative.
- Be precise in writing your report. Always clarify the relation(s) between your internship and the functioning of international businesses.
- Do your utmost to be analytical in your writing (not only describing information). Your supervisor will be seeking to find your opinion on how the internship organization functions and how for example it maintains relationships with its stakeholders.
- Follow the general rules (and structure), but do not hesitate to enrich/amend the scope and contents of your report. Content may vary according to the nature of the organization, type of business sector, etc.
- Always check the internship opportunities available at UEBN and/or ask the Career and Alumni Centre of UE-Varna for support.
- Use passive voice in your reports!!!
- Do not forget to complete the requirement set out in the internship report and final defense. Especially point 8 where you have to do environmental screening through McKinsey 7s, Porter’s five forces and DESTEP, etc.
 In case the company has not gone international prior to the placement period. In case of B, C, D-type of companies the intern must present an overview of the approaches to seeking internationalization (these can include: sources of information, business field/sector of the economy, business plans, human resources, logistics, etc.).