Blue Fountain Korea internship experience 27th June - 2nd September 2022

28 Mar 2023
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Christina Prah

Blue Fountain Korea is an expert trader in various goods and services between Africa and Asia. Prominent among their trade include fertilizer exports, auto parts exports, and tomato farming, primarily in Ghana.

Mid-last year, I saw an internship opportunity posted on the Ghana Student Association of Korea (GHASKA) platform that required a proposal concerning a market feasibility study of Korean products. Among the subjects was the export of new and original Korean car parts. I was particularly interested in this aspect because I had first-hand experience with selling Korean cars and could easily make some contacts to facilitate the study.

Fast-forward after submitting my application, I received an email for an interview which ended very successfully. I then got admitted into the Blue Fountain Korea (BFK) winter internship, which came with appreciable incentives. However, due to the surge in the Omicron virus, it was postponed to the summer.

The ten weeks internship structure was such that two weeks were dedicated to familiarizing myself with the Korean working culture and six weeks in Ghana to conduct market research and product promotion. The final two weeks back in Korea were used to finalize the reports and findings.

I started the summer internship on the 27th of June to the 2nd of September 2022. I had a fantastic experience at the BFK Seoul office. Being a new member and a foreigner in a team, I adjusted quickly on the first day. This internship was formulated to explore students' critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. I was tasked to strategize my plan for the internship period for review. Additionally, I contributed to the content creation and review of BFK's website.

The working relationship in BKF felt like a family I have known all my life. The CEO, Mr. Steve Jongsun Lee, was very supportive and interested in my input. Working in BFK Seoul came with exciting moments, such as morning coffee meetings and lunch together with laughter and general conversations. My direct supervisor Miss Julia Kim made my period of stay easier. Our relationship is one of a kind. I particularly grew fond of Timothy's thoughtfulness, smiles, and jokes which always lit up my day.

Most importantly, I enjoyed the cultural exchanges in communication, behavior, and food. This internship experience changed my perception of Korean cuisine over my two years in Korea. I enjoyed Korean foods with so much open-mindedness and gladness.

Ms. Julia Kim, Mr. Timothy Woo, and I were deployed to Ghana on the 11th of July on different assignments. My experience in Ghana came with much cultural shock, considering being of Ghanaian descent. I was met with a totally different professional culture at the Maru Auto warehouse. As an intern, I expected some provision for directional assistance for my market research interviews. Yet, I was left to figure out my scope of work independently. I faced challenges regarding safety on the road and in crowded marketplaces; however, after a few days, I built maximum confidence to carry on with the work. The outcome of the market survey improved as the days went by because I mastered the skill of conversational interviewing. I gained substantial insight into the auto parts business in Ghana and how to seize business prospects in this area. In the future, I will certainly collaborate with BFK and Maru Auto to expand the tentacles of this business beyond Ghana and West Africa.

Overall, I must commend the initiative of Blue Fountain Korea (BFK) for their interest in promoting the bilateral relationship between Korea and Ghana through auto part business, as well as their commitment to corporate social responsibility by hiring Ghanaian students in Korea. As a result, I did not only gain data for my research, but I also harnessed some social capital (connections), which is the new currency for success.                          

- fin. 02th.Sep.2022 -

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