Alaa Mourad

KC prepared me to go look for my dream job

Corporate Communications, Kosan Crisplant Denmark
Intern from August to December 2016

Why did you choose to do an internship in Kosan Crisplant?

For 4-5 years, I had been volunteering in various NGOs and youth counsels for ethnic Danes in Vollsmose doing mostly philanthropic work. It was time to spice up my CV with strategic, corporate communication in order to broaden my horizon and skill set. I was thinking ahead trying to increase my chances of getting a good job post-thesis. And really, I needed to challenge myself with something completely new to me and probably well outside my comfort zone. I knew Amar, a Sales Engineer in KC ProSupply, who spoke positively about the company and I felt like I had something to contribute, so I applied. Living in Odense, I was prepared to commute to Aarhus to get my preferred internship at Kosan Crisplant and I have no regrets.

What has been your primary role in the company during your internship?

From day 1, I was an integrated part of the Corporate Communications team and I was expected to contribute to internal and external communication tasks. Among other things, that entails writing news for the intranet or a case story for the company website. I was also involved in a larger employer branding project for HR, which unfortunately, I didn't get to finish. It regarded promoting KC among job applicants in order to attract the best candidates for job openings using for instance social media. It was a great task, because my opinion was valued and my research was to be handed over to future HR interns.

What has been the best part in your internship?

The best part was never feeling like an intern, but an actual employee. I felt like an equal, no one looked down at me and I wasn't labelled: the intern. Of course, I didn't have the same responsibility as the others in the team, but I was responsible for my own time and tasks which meant no free-riding. I really felt that liberty does mean responsibility.

What has been the greatest challenge?

Having studied in university for five years writing academic papers non-stop, I had difficulty letting go of that formal way of writing and adjusting to a more commercial, business take on writing. They tell you to put that away in the world of academics, so it took a lot of practise opening up to that specific form of discourse. And I'm not sure it will ever be my favourite discipline.

For me, working in teams was also a challenge. I've always preferred working very independently, relying only on myself. Coming to KC, everyone was very professional and used to teamwork - they know the unspoken rules. It was a good learning experience for me to force myself to learn teamwork sooner rather than later when people may not be so forgiving. It's both a blessing and a curse being independent.

Do you feel prepared to enter the job market? 

My internship with Kosan Crisplant has definitely made me want to work in communications. My dream job would be at an embassy or in human rights. I'm so ready to start applying for jobs now and hopefully, on my path to my dream job, I will be able to work as a radio journalist, an anthropological researcher or a strategic communications consultant.

Can you describe the culture in KC with only three words?

First of all, I'd say KC is characterised by a very informal culture. Soft values prevail and people aren't as stiff and formal as I had anticipated. And you don't even have to wear suits to work! I may have seen you as robots just doing your jobs to begin with, but I quickly realised you are regular people just like everyone else. Secondly, the flat structure is really comfortably evident. Of course, there is a hierarchy, but you don't feel it on a day-to-day basis. Finally, I would call KC straight-forward. You say how you feel and put the fish on the table, not leaving important things unsaid.