I undertook a 4-week internship at SOFAZ in Risk Management and thoroughly enjoyed my internship this winter and now have very valuable experience under my belt. ;
I mostly enjoyed the fact that for four weeks I was treated and acted as a regular employee of the Fund. I had to dress up professionally, to be there at 10 AM every morning, I was given myriad number of tasks and deadlines; in one word, I was appreciated as SOFAZ’s staff member. My mentors were attentively answering to all my questions concerning the internship, and didn’t miss any misunderstandings. Each weak detail, each small aspect was analyzed and discussed with my mentors.;
I was firstly acquainted with Real Estate Risks, later my mentors introduced me to Private Equity risks, and further I was able to analyze them. Moreover, Intuition courses helped me a lot to get to a more advanced level.
The advantage is not that I only gained knowledge and experience, but also the office atmosphere and the office ethics. ;There were no grey office days, but vice versa, I enjoyed every single day I went there. ;I feel that having a traineeship in SOFAZ helped me to climb one more stair to my future career. ;
Today I am sad to leave but confident I have indeed learned a great deal.;
In conclusion, my advice to future interns is not to hesitate to try their chance to be an intern in SOFAZ ;if they have the opportunity.;
State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan (SOFAZ) provides interns with a unique comprehensive professional and educational experience. During a three-month period I interned at investments (front office), risk management (middle office), and settlements departments (back office). Alongside with other interns, I was given a number of assignments which we had to complete within a short time frame and present to department managers at the end. Since working within a limited time frame increases the pressure and keeps you totally focused, in overall, the internship gave me a strong sense of competition and was quite stressful. However, the staff members were quite friendly and helpful, so that in case you had any questions or doubts, you could talk to someone who had experience and could introduce you to other people who could help you. Whilst I did not earn any money, the experience is worth its weight in gold. One thing I did learn for sure is how important it is to interact with other employees and to work alongside professionals in the field.
To sum up, this internship was a good learning experience and provided me with a first-hand look at what it is actually like to work in a sovereign wealth fund.
Jamila H. Pashayeva
Salzburg University of Applied Science
I’d like to start off by saying a big thank you to all the staff members in the office, for making it surprisingly easy to settle into work at the State Oil Fund of the Republic of Azerbaijan .
I decided to apply for an internship at SOFAZ when I was studying in the Azerbaijan State Oil Academy. It was then in 2010 that I applied for the “Exchanges to Internship” program organised by the US embassy in Azerbaijan for the US educated alumni. For my great luck I was given the oppurtunity to do an internship for 4 months in SOFAZ in the following departments: HR, Settlements, Oil Contracts, Budget Forecasting and Projects. Having completed various work experience and internships in the pass, I can safely say that SOFAZ provides a unique opportunity for anyone wanting to explore public sector and to take steps up the career ladder. It has been great to work in such a young environment. The internship has taught me a lot, be it the day-to-day office work or emails or the rush to get everything done in a tight deadline. I have developed my skills in human resources management and I have had to be very organized, learning how to multi-task and use my initiative during busy periods.
Later on in 2012, studying in the University of Applied Sciences in Salzburg, i was required to do an internship program for the practical use of the knowledge I gained. SOFAZ was the natural choice for me, due to the impression I received from the first time interning there and because it performs according to the highest standards. During the interview for this position, I was told I was entering a very diverse atmosphere, where the main goal is to give me knowledge and practice. Being an intern I was always treated with the same respect and appreciation as any other full-time employee.
Most of all I have appreciated working alongside an office of diverse, but similarly minded conservation and enthusiasts. The work is varied and challenging, and I would recommend working or interning in SOFAZ to recent graduates looking to build on their work experience.
It has been so great working with such amazing professionals. I have acquired so many transferable skills (database management, email correspondence etc.) that will definitely come in handy for any future jobs I apply for. I hope to continue learning and developing my skills as I move on in my career, knowing that my time in SOFAZ has given me a wealth of experience and knowledge to add to my passion for travelling and development. I will miss all the friends I’ve made here and will definitely be returning to say hello!
In my opinion, I have had a very meaningful internship, which was absolutely worthwhile doing, with the most positive and the least negative experiences. I have reached or succeeded goals and achieved my desired results. I liked to attend my work and over time my interest was only growing. I am still in touch with most of my colleagues, whom we eventually became friends with. My colleagues are important part of my experience, as I was amazed by their kindness and warm relationship between themselves they became a role model for me.
During my internship which I have done in “State Oil Fund of Azerbaijan”, I havehad many opportunities to gain knowledge, further develop my abilities, strengthen myweaknesses and overcoming challenges. Mainly, I have had those opportunities because apartfrom my simple tasks, I have also had different assignments to handle. Moreover, it washelpful, that at first, I was working on tasks with colleagues or under their control, whereas;afterwards I was free to deal with my responsibilities by myself.
I was easy and comfortable for me to collaborate, as well, as beneficial as my colleagues enlightened my knowledge, gave me useful instructions and supported me. I was very lucky with my manager, as he was not controlling or limiting my actions, in contrast he gave me freedom to work the way I preferred, hence, an opportunity to evolve. I admired the company culture. Everybody was very warm, friendly, respectful, flexible, supportive and compassionate to each other. In SOFAZ, it does not matter which department one works in, everybody is very helpful and willing to contribute for the benefit of the company. I felt that all employees were like a one big family, supporting each other and working as teamwork.