Behind Intern Leonie
In this interview, you can read about Leonie’s experiences as an Controlling Intern at Athlon Sweden.
You have been an intern at Athlon Sweden during the last 5 months. Can you tell us what you are doing here at Athlon?
As a Controlling Intern at Athlon Sweden I was responsible for Data Quality, Data reconciliation and being a shadow of the CFO, especially during the monthly closing. In addition we solved many ad-hoc requests, as well as our responsibility for creating dashboards in PowerBI, creating optimization/automations macros for Sales and Operations - In general we are more or less the experts in Excel and PowerBI. And we are also entertaining the office (laughing).
You are really doing a lot! Did you already know everything you needed for the internship before you started?
No, I learned a lot during my internship. First of all, I learned to work with Excel. I mean, I had the basics that you learn at school but I wasn’t that good and didn’t even know that you can do so much with Excel. I also learned how to use PowerBI, what else did I learn? I realized that you actually need some of the things you learn in university, that as a student, you might question sometimes and I understood that there are still many things to learn.
What did you expect when you accepted this internship?
I tried to have no expectations going into the internship because expectations can be always too high or too low but of course you go into an internship thinking that you will learn something new. It also depends on the mindset of the intern. In my case, I study International Management and my goal through the whole studies was that I want to go into every department that a company has, and until now I’ve already been in HR, project management, customer service, operations and now controlling, so finance.
So your goal is to learn every department in a company?
Yes, because I didn’t start my Bachelor with the goal to work in a specific field, I decided to work in the different areas to see what I like. As a student there are so many options obtaining real work experiences, for example as an intern or a working student – even when you don’t like the company you are working at, you gain some new skills in the end or even the knowledge in which fields you don’t want to work in the future. I wanted to dive into the finance department, because from my studies I had never been a big fan of finance, but with my internship at Athlon Sweden I found joy in it and plan to focus on it in my studies.
"Seeing my colleagues being so happy with their job and good at it, motivates me to learn even more. I am really happy that my team was so open to my opinion"
Let’s go back a little bit to Athlon. How have you experienced your time here with Athlon?
My time was really nice, I think also thanks to Per because he is very funny and he started his new position as CFO at the same time I started the internship. All of my colleagues were very open, friendly and at times it felt more like a family rather than just a strict working atmosphere. The people make you feel like at home and you can always say if something bothers you and even if you need your own space it’s no problem to do HO.
You had quite a handfull of tasks, did you feel as an intern?
I felt like an intern but I don’t think that’s something negative. I know that I don’t have the knowledge my colleagues have, but I don’t feel less worthy in the company or treated differently. I am here to learn something and it’s also a matter of mindset to make the most out of an internship position – you can always add value.
That’s true, very true. Would you recommend Athlon for an internship to another student?
Yes and I already did it in my university lecture. Personally I think Athlon is a nice place to be an intern or a trainee after finishing the studies, but some people maybe prefer being in a big company or startup. The way you get introduced to the tasks and getting on boarded at Athlon is very easy and the people always have your back and don’t want to see you fall – So yeah, I think it’s a good company.
"All of my colleagues were very open, friendly and at times it feelt more like a family rather than just a strict working atmosphere."
Now when your internship is coming to an end. Looking back, is there something you would like to change for the better?
I think I could have learned even more, if I had been more pro-active and asking my colleagues more questions.
How does the future look like for you?
My next step will be to gain some work experience in accounting. It will be interesting to learn where the numbers I was analyzing in finance are originally coming from.
And I don’t know what my future will look like but I think it will be a pretty good one. I think I am now even more motivated after the internship to work, to do something that I like and also to do something that I don’t like because it will still bring you further.
Thank you Leonie for your time and I wish you all the best for the future.