Getting to grips with flexitanks: an intern’s experience
After nine months of studying Shipping and Business at the Cyprus University of Technology, I got the opportunity to work at BeFlexi as part of my 6-week internship. I’m excited to finally see how companies work and also to apply the learnings from my studies.
Arriving at the office on my first day I felt a little nervous, but everything was soon forgotten as I received a very warm welcome from the team.
My first week was spent with Yan Chizhevskiy, the Business Development Director. The first couple of tasks he gave me were about getting a taste of the business, as I had never even heard about flexitanks before, let alone worked in an office! There was a lot of reading involved – from annual reports to various sales presentations – and, in the beginning, there were a lot of unknown terms. But, with Yan’s support and encouragement, I persevered and found myself more and more interested and engaged by what I was reading. I got to learn about the specifications and uses of the main products, I analyzed the relations between BeFlexi and their partner company, SGS, and I had to capture the company’s achievements to date. At the end of all my reading, I had to prepare and give a presentation about what I learned, which was the first presentation I ever made in a workplace environment. I received very positive feedback, which gave me confidence to keep working.
My second task was this time more specific to the flexitank industry so it allowed me to understand the market in more depth. I read about the supply chain and the segments in which the flexitank market can be divided. Finally, I was given a research project to learn about the Container Owners Association (COA) and find out who are the main players of the container industry.
Overall, it was a fantastic week. Beyond learning about the company and the industry, I learned that you shouldn’t ever hesitate to ask your supervisor for help if you don’t know something. It’s only in this way that you will learn more and evolve much faster as an intern. This week, I will be joining the Marketing department, where I look forward to learning more about BeFlexi’s customers and how they promote themselves in the market.
Author: Theodoros Papadopoulos