Life as an Exchanger: First month of a Partnerships Specialist

Studying abroad is an exciting, life-changing experience to a student. But how is it working in study abroad field? Read about Asia Exchange’s newest Partnerships Specialist, Henrik’s first hand experience in student mobility, in a workplace culture valuing creativity, proactive individuals, and endless opportunities.

Feeling comfortable and valued in the working environment is the most important aspect of any job. If you don’t feel comfortable and don’t enjoy going to work, you will be burning the candle at both ends with no happy ending in sight. I faced a big internal struggle about my next career move and had to choose between working in student mobility at Asia Exchange and another company. Both were excellent choices, but my first live interview at Asia Exchange tipped me over the edge.

They immediately passed the vibe check, and I knew I would fit right in as Asia Exchange’s newest Partnerships Specialist! My first day on Monday started with a team breakfast as a perfect icebreaker. As is human nature, I still doubted if I had made the right choice. However during this breakfast, I felt a massive weight drop off my shoulders and knew I had made the right call.

Asia Exchange’s newest Partnerships Specialist Henrik (right) works with our Dutch and UK partner universities. Paul (left) has been helping the French partner universities to send their students study abroad in Asia since 2021.

Onboarding and Support

On Wednesday, I knew I had also made the right call regarding the actual job role helping students to study abroad. Ahead of my first day, the team gave me an onboarding plan, which painted a clear picture of how my week would go. That helped a lot with the nerves commonplace in starting a new job. 

This marked a stark difference from my previous job, where I had to fend for myself without receiving any onboarding. Immediately I felt like part of the team and appreciated how well laid out everything was. The environment was accommodating and supportive, which was key to my getting on board quickly. It is crucial to ask questions and ask for advice. Nobody likes walking on eggshells and feeling too embarrassed to ask for clarification. 

Thriving in the Ideal Environment

At the same time, I was given carte blanche and autonomy to approach things as I thought best. This is the ideal working environment, as I thrive when I have free rein to approach things in a way that fits me.

Simply put, the role of a Partnerships Specialist consists of developing new partnerships with universities to help students study abroad in Asia, Europe and Latin America, and maintaining the current ones. During my onboarding, the whole team taught me how they had been helping our partners and gave me advice and pointers. The cool part is that I had complete autonomy to try out new things, and the management actually encouraged it. We are an agile company, encouraging curiosity and the presentation of suggestions and insights.

Valuing Contribution and Collaboration

It is incredibly satisfying when you feel your input and ideas are welcome, and your input and ideas matter. That is my favourite part about working here. It is precisely what I was hoping for when I signed up to join Asia Exchange. 

I also appreciate being given existing active accounts with clearly defined action points. This helped me immediately feel like a contributing member of the team.

Every day here is different as well, as we all work closely together and support each other, which means that there are many different varied tasks you get to contribute to.

Creativity and Growth

Being in an environment where you can exercise your creativity and think outside of the box is very fulfilling. Whenever I develop something new or make suggestions (even if it is not feasible), they receive validation and feedback. It’s a positive feedback loop where I want to execute, perform, and develop new ideas because the input is always so encouraging! 

Anyone who enjoys being proactive and autonomous will feel at home and fulfilled working at Asia Exchange. That shouldn’t scare you away, though! Asking for help and advice is how I got through this first month, and when I don’t know how to approach something, I follow my colleagues’ practices. 

Barely a month into my time here, I had the opportunity to go solo on a business trip to Sweden. It was an absolute blast and super enriching experience. Not being limited to a very defined and narrow job role means, that you can learn as much as you want if you are proactive, curious, and willing to learn new things.

I look forward to my future as Asia Exchange’s newest Partnerships Specialist, and I am to be a part of the team!

Are you interested in working with us? Click here to find out more!

Asia Exchange is a Finnish company providing study abroad opportunities in Asia Pacific for students from all around the world. Want to get study abroad tips and new blog posts straight to your inbox? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter! If you have any questions about studying abroad, feel free to contact us!

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