Internship Advice from Selda Nur

Last month we welcomed intern Selda Nur from Zürich, Switzerland! Selda has her Bachelor’s Degree in biology and is currently doing an environment/engineering internship with GREE Vietnam. At GREE, Selda is learning about wastewater management, a new subject for her. She is currently working with her supervisor on a project on wastewater treatment for a candy factory. Some other tasks that Selda has had to do so far include finding bacteria that would support a biological wastewater treatment and presenting the company to clients from Canada. After almost a month of interning in Ho Chi Minh City, Selda has some internship advice for people wanting to do the same.


1) How to overcome the language barrier

While Selda has had a very successful internship so far, she has also faced some difficulties. She has found the language barrier to be the most difficult aspect as it has led to misunderstandings and working on the wrong tasks. Her advice to overcome this is to ask questions and double check with your supervisors that you are understanding correctly.


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Selda at GREE (Green Eye Environment)

2) Have the right expectations

Selda originally had a very different idea of what her internship would be like, which made it a bit more difficult to adjust at first. Now that she is settled in, she is happy with her work. However having the wrong expectations initially made it more difficult, and she had to change her expectations, which brings us to the next point…


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Selda featuring posters in the background about GREE’s work

3) Be flexible

Other advice that Selda gave about having a successful internship in Vietnam included being very flexible. Business is run a little differently in Vietnam and last-minute tasks can be common. When she had to present to a Canadian client, she was only told one hour beforehand. However, her presentation was a success because of her ability to be flexible.

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Hard at work with her Vietnamese co-worker

4) Travel around the country

At the end of Selda’s two months, she plans to spend a month traveling the entire country. Selda loves to travel and in her short time here so far, she has already traveled around the area including a trip to Da Lat during the long weekend at the end of April! She is very excited to experience the rest of the country and advises everyone take some time to travel around their host country to get to know it better.


Selda on a hike in Da Lat, Vietnam

Selda on a hike in Da Lat, Vietnam

Overall, she believes her whole experience interning in Vietnam will be very valuable for her future. She is learning how to deal and work with other cultures, which can often be very difficult. She also pointed out that she is learning about a different side of the industry that she had not previously worked with. It has been interesting for her to see the private sector side as in school she has only learned to work with the science side of the industry.

Selda has completed almost one month of her internship so far, putting her at the halfway mark. We are excited to see what else Selda accomplishes at GREE and to see her travels around the country! Best wishes from SE Vietnam!


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