The internship programme means experience for students, workforce for companies.
“In a classroom, you just can’t demonstrate the ‘smell of smoke’ that accompanies real life situations”, says László Kármán, Managing Director of Monguz Ltd. He has, therefore, supported university students with an internship programme for years. Last year, the company also joined the Erasmus+ programme, which now also allows the company to offer foreign students an opportunity to gain experience – as well as employment for the most talented ones.
Monguz Ltd. has been engaged in memory institution IT and knowledge management for two decades. Its most well-known product is the Qulto integrated library system, developed in cooperation with the Computer and Automation Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Now the company is the sole developer of the system. This year, the company received the Alma Mater prestige award of the University of Szeged. The alumni association gave the award to the company because it is a key employer of the university’s graduates.
Monguz Information Technology Ltd. lays great emphasis on making students familiar with the specialist area of the company, providing them work experience in the fields of library and museum information technology, software and website development, as well as digital humanities.
“Our company is engaged in the cultural and creative industry. Our most important resource is the knowledge and creativity which is in the heads of our colleagues, and that's what we rely on for product development and in our other projects", explains László Kármán. “The university allows you to acquire various competencies, but in a classroom, you just can’t demonstrate the ‘smell of smoke’ that accompanies real life situations. Everybody benefits from the mentoring programme, the professional practice that can be completed at companies and the opportunities of internship: the university can make its training programme more diverse, the students get a taste of life after studying, and we can get to know students much better than through a job interview and offer job opportunities to the most talented ones.”
In response to the question why they support the students of the University of Szeged, László Kármán answered that this way they can give something back to the institution where he and most of his colleagues had studied. “We would have been happy with such opportunities ourselves at that time", he added.
The company was registered two years ago on the erasmusintern.org website, and last year they joined the international Erasmus+ programme, so besides Hungarian students, now they can also offer placement for foreign students. The programme allows software developers and library IT experts to gain experience and challenge themselves in real life work situations. “We basically target the regions of Central and Eastern Europe, but applicants from other places are also welcome. So far, we’ve had interns from Poland, Greece and Turkey. The greatest difficulty of the programme is the linguistic barriers, but we've found the solution to that, too, and we're currently organising language courses", said László Kármán.
“We’ve been working for years to be able to sell our solutions, developed for the domestic market, in the international market, too, under the brand name ‘Qulto’. To achieve that goal, Monguz Ltd. also needed to become international. Communication with foreign stakeholders and partners is made easier if foreign languages are also in daily use in our Hungarian offices", the Managing Director explained how they benefited from the cooperation. However, students can also benefit from these efforts, since the most talented ones are offered employment. If they’re lucky, they can even return to their home towns to continue the work they started in Szeged.
Monguz Ltd. regularly uses the search function on the Erasmus+ website to find students who appear to be suitable for certain jobs, but there also a number of direct applicants. Currently, one third of the students involved in the programme can find employment within the company’s international sphere of interest, that is, every third Erasmus+ student gets a job due to this programme.
In the past academic year, the University of Szeged received 40 foreign students from 8 countries for professional practice, whereas 83 of its own students were involved in such programmes abroad. Most applicants came from the fields of medicine, natural sciences and humanities, as well as engineering, and they mainly travelled to Germany, Austria and the United Kingdom. According to Gabriella Molnár, ERASMUS+ programme coordinator on behalf of the University of Szeged, successful applicants receive a monthly grant of €500-600 for a period of at least 2, but not more than 12 months. In the case of disadvantaged students, this amount is supplemented with a monthly €100 of extraordinary allowance. Students need to find a foreign host university, company, organisation or public institution independently. Successfully completed internship will be recognised in their studies and indicated in the Diploma Supplement. “Undoubtedly, higher education graduates who gain all the competencies and language skills that foreign internship can provide during their studies are at an advantage in both the Hungarian and the international labour market", says Gabriella Balogné Molnár. “Besides, seeing the suitability, knowledge and aptitude of their interns, host companies often offer future jobs to fresh graduates."
Last modified: 20-03-2018