Which experience? Paid parliament internship, unpaid IB internship, or paid debt collection gig?

Hi guys,

I'm from Greece and I am already applying for several Masters in Economics and Masters in Finance programmes in Western European unis (already applied for FSFM's MIF and I will apply for the Master in Economics at HSG, Mannheim, and Bonn, the Master in Management and Technology at TUM (which has a double degree programme with HEC), as well as the Master in Finance, Economics, and Data Science at Ecole Polytechnique and Master in International Management and Sustainability at SciencesPo (I chose all these programmes because they don't need the GMAT and I have very little appetite to resit it). But as I now have a gap year - and a budget way too limited to do internships abroad - and have been unemployed since my discharge from the Greek Army on October 16, I have three opportunities.

One is an offer at the German Bundestag, under the International Parliamentary Scholarship. I will basically work at a German parliamentarian's office and interact with his/her constituents. Paid tickets to and from Berlin, paid accommodation, full insurance, and a 500 Euro monthly stipend. Not too relevant for my eventual goals (working in finance, M&A specifically). It runs from March to July 2019.

Another is an IB internship at a boutique here in Athens. The internship's for 3 months and it's unpaid. Considering that I am cash-strapped I am not sure whether the most relevant to my goals opportunity is actually worth it financially, because, since it runs from January to March 2019, what will I do from April onwards?

Then there is another option. A full-time job at a company under contract by a major Greek bank to collect debt. Basically you sit on a phone and call debtors for debt restructuring offers. They teach you the legislation and the bank's policies and you call debtors who can't pay. It's the best paid offer of the above, with 800 euros per month before taxes and insurance - worth it, since I live with my parents. I can work for two months at them and then sail for Deutschland, but I am not sure how bad two months of work would look on the resume.

Greece's economy has gone to shit. That much is known, hence next year I will do my Masters abroad, no matter what. What matters is what would be most relevant to my goal. My main goal is to place in Frankfurt or Zurich (German-speaking - the French programmes I will apply to are also quite interesting in content). Considering that I speak fluent German and this year I am going for the C2, I believe I won't have a problem with the language.

What do you guys think?

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Comments (13)

Dec 10, 2018 - 11:50am

I would advise to take the unpaid IB internship (as it is relevant to the eventual goals you mentioned), or the debt collector. I would disregard the latter if you are not really in need of extra cash.

Dec 10, 2018 - 1:36pm

Looking at the dates you've mentioned, couldn't you just do the IB Internship from Jan-Mar 2019, and then do the Paid Parliament Internship Mar-Jul 2019?
That way you could do 2/3....

thots & prayers

Jan 11, 2021 - 8:22pm

Yeah I'm sure that's what he thought to do, 2 years ago

Quant (ˈkwänt) n: An expert, someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.

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Jan 20, 2021 - 1:17pm

I eventually went to Germany. While I later returned to Greece, that internship helped me get a German government scholarship, which helped me afford a Master at a German university where I am studying now. It's funny how two years can fly by and things change so radically. 2020 was not a shitty year for me at all. So I am eternally grateful to have been granted the opportunity to GTFO of Greece. 

Jan 20, 2021 - 3:51pm

sostos re, that worked pretty well. I was in Athens '08-'11 so I remember how wild it got, all the rioting at Syntagma and everywhere else.

Quant (ˈkwänt) n: An expert, someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.

Jan 20, 2021 - 4:08pm

I was in elementary school back then, but I remember the riots, too. I remember the riots in 2010-2013, while I was in high school. I also remember the debacle in 2015. 

Picture this: I was at a nightclub in Gazi with a friend and several foreigners. At around 3 AM, my Greek mate tells me to go outside and tells me that a referendum had been declared. His vysma told him of it and we've decided to drink malamatina while we still had Euros. Fun times. Turns out, we stay in the Eurozone. But the economy was still shit by the time I graduated in 2017. I join the Greek Army in 2018, serve as a tank gunner for old tanks at an armoured battalion on an island I do not miss at all, before getting transferred to Athens, 9 months later my conscription was over and the market sucked ass. It was at that time that I had written this post. 

Germany is not a paradise. But the German people have been kind to me, so I am actually very thankful. 

Jan 20, 2021 - 4:13pm


I join the Greek Army in 2018

One of my Greek friends who fucked around in uni was in that in 2019, all he did was smoke cigarettes and walk on the beach, he lucked out with his duty station. I miss it a lot sometimes.

Quant (ˈkwänt) n: An expert, someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.

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Jan 20, 2021 - 4:20pm

Well, I don't know if you're from beautiful Polska (I love Pierogi) or not, but in Greece, when you serve in the Greek Army, you typically don't leave with six packs, deployments overseas, a DD-214 with 25 medals and a Combat Infantryman Badge, and combat skills enough to put John Wick to shame. I cannot go into much detail, but I didn't learn anything other than cook pasta, drill and ceremony (a lot), mop floors and toilets, and that the Greek Government doesn't care about its citizens. I fired a few rounds, sure, but when I look at videos of how the Bundeswehr train, I feel like a goddamn idiot.

I have lost time, but at least I'm through with them. I am moving on with my life. 

Most Helpful
Jan 20, 2021 - 4:39pm

My family is from there and I'm in the process of getting EU citizenship, but US based so didn't have to be in the Polish military (or American for that matter), which would be a whole experience of its own. I'll trade you some pierogi for souvlakia, there's only 1-2 places around here that are remotely ok but the rest are trash. I remember there being an ok Polish restaurant in Victoria, Athens, although it may have gone out of business. Used to go to the Catholic church there with my parents.

Btw, sounds like you're in a good situation in Germany right now. Is Frankfurt an international city, are you starting to see more things move in post-Brexit? I have thought about relocating to the EU sometime in the future, but only speak English and Polish fluently, so not entirely the most marketable language skillset. I've been trying to learn French all my life, but if that's definitely a required language (even beyond France), then I'll have to. When I visited Germany a couple years ago, everyone liked speaking English, but I was a tourist and not a professional living there.

Quant (ˈkwänt) n: An expert, someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.

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Jan 11, 2021 - 8:12pm

I would advise you to take a free internship, as it would better reflect on your resume. The last option in the form of working as a collector does not really appeal to me, because it is morally very hard work. Conversations on the phone with debtors are not so cheerful and cheerful, you will be sent and cursed. For 800 euros a month, you will kill your nervous system and learn a lot of new swear words that you did not know before. It's a perpetual trial, I'd think very well if I were you.


Jan 20, 2021 - 1:13pm

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