In 2009, Mirtill Megyeri spent her Erasmus semester in Scotland. Among others, it was due to the experiences she gained there that she became co-founder of a new generation job advertisement start-up, Zyntern.com. In 2018, she was selected for Forbes' 30/30 successful young Hungarians. Besides her Erasmus experiences, she also told us about the labour market situation of domestic and foreign placement, as well as how her experiences in the UK made her focus on HR.
There are no fatal decisions, only missed opportunities
What motivated you to apply for Erasmus?
I'd been interested in opportunities of foreign studies and placement ever since I was a child. As soon as I was admitted to the Faculty of International Relations at Corvinus University of Budapest I already knew that I wanted to gain experience abroad, too, as soon as possible.
How did you choose your destination?
I wanted to study in an English-speaking country, and I'd been attracted to Scotland for a long time. I've always been interested in foreign educational systems, and British education duly has a good reputation. That's how I finally chose the University of the West of Scotland, where I studied political sciences and sociology. In retrospect, when I compare the Hungarian educational system to the foreign one, I can see the strengths of both, and I'm glad I've experienced both.
How do you remember your Erasmus days?
The time I spent there is a wonderful memory. Being part of an international community and getting to know people coming from different cultures and backgrounds is a very important experience, which also determines your view of the world. Studying in a foreign language in another country, in a different educational system gave me a lot.
Did your Erasmus semester have any impact on your labour market opportunities later?
Definitely. I think what I experienced during my Erasmus semester also affected me in this respect. Currently, I am working as an HR consultant, and I'm the co-founder of a job website. I began to focus on the HR field after my Erasmus semester and my studies in the UK. What I saw there was that young people were ready to start their careers consciously. That's why I wanted to launch such programmes in Hungary, too, which could help young people develop their soft skills, communication skills, self-knowledge and other skills. I wanted them to learn about their labour market opportunities already during their university years.
How did it all lead to Zyntern?
When I implemented programmes where companies and company leaders met students, I saw that we could make a platform for it. It's important to emphasise, however, that it wasn't only my work, but that of a team. The birth of Zyntern was due to the fact that I found two people with the same motivations as mine; moreover, they had even started to build platforms for young job seekers. We usually call Zyntern the job seeking platform of the new generation. Similarly to social media sites, on Zyntern everybody has their own profiles, both job seekers and companies. As a first step, young job seekers specify various preferences, such as in how many hours and what kind of work they'd like to do, what skills they have, etc. Then we use an algorithm to match the information they have provided and the requirements of the job ads stored in our database in real time. This makes the communication between the employer and the job seeker very fast. Zyntern focuses specifically on jobs for career starters and interns, which sets it apart from other job seeker portals.
What's your opinion of Hungarian youths' willingness to do a placement? How conscious are they?
These young people consciously seek placement opportunities. We can as well monitor it on Zyntern, as the number of visitors, registered users and programme participants is constantly growing. It's a great thing, because it's conscious job seekers who will later become the adults who do what they like and for whom a job is a source of everyday pleasure. What young people want today is not simply a piece of paper signed by someone, but to gain real experience and overcome real challenges. The more varied the range of their duties, the better. There are many who try several jobs as interns to find out which ones they enjoy and which company they'd love to work for. As an HR consultant, I definitely recommend to do a placement. This phase of your life will be totally different from all the other ones. Moving to a new home, independence, a new favourite café, park, hangouts... But of course we should also emphasise professional development and new relationships, which can lead to anywhere. You have nothing to lose. You should always remind yourself that there are no fatal decisions, only missed opportunities.
Last modified: 05-08-2019