Isaac Chambers is currently in the CEA Study + Intern summer program in Prague, Czech Republic. Isaac is a junior sales and marketing major at the University of Alabama and came to Prague looking for hands-on professional experience to add to his resume.
“I knew that coming to a new country, I wanted that direct, 1-on-1 mentorship and guidance you get with a startup.”
Isaac is an intern at Accent Artisan, a small communications startup that helps non-native English speakers fine-tune their command of the language and improve their accent (American or British). The startup runs workshops put on by Isaac’s supervisor, the company’s CEO, and is in the process of developing their own app and YouTube channel.
“Right now I am researching different ways to grow his Instagram audience, his YouTube audience, and how we can use his social media channels to build a brand,” Isaac says. But Isaac also describes that working at a startup company means every day is different and holds new challenges, which is what he enjoys most about his internship placement.
“When I am given tasks, I have a great deal of freedom in terms of how I go about doing them,” Isaac says. “Even though I am doing sales and marketing, you can see so many different sides of the business because it’s so small that everything kind of leans on each other.”
The primary cultural difference Isaac sees in a Czech workplace is how his work is evaluated. “In terms of feedback, my feedback is very direct. ‘I don’t like this. Change this,’” his supervisor would say. At first, he took it personally and was under the impression that his supervisor did not like him. But after speaking with Martin Brokeš, the Prague on-site internship program manager (and a native Czech), Isaac realized that it’s part of Czech culture and began to appreciate the direct, constructive criticism he is receiving.
With a smile, Isaac says, “My internship has definitely given me a new perspective on things that I want to do and things that I enjoy.”
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Eliza Jason is the Spring 2017 Alumni Ambassador in Prague, Czech Republic, and is currently studying at Point Loma Nazarene University.