Lenka Černáková: My Internship at Locus Workspace

Lenka Černáková was a community manager at Locus for almost a year, and we’re very happy to announce that she came back this summer!

Lenka recently shared her personal experience of what it’s like to work and be a part of a coworking space, writing a guest blog post for The Global Mobile Worker, a blog about the future of work (that happens to have been created by another Locus member, the amazing Robin Terrell).

We’re reposting it here because it’s a nice story about what it’s like to work at a coworking space, and particularly at Locus, and we hope it will be useful for people thinking about doing this kind of work in the future. 

Thank you, Robin, for letting us repost, and thanks most of all to you, Lenka, for sharing your story with others who might soon be in your shoes!


My Internship at Coworking Locus Workspace
Usually, the first big step before you start your career and get „the real job“ or start your own business, or decide you want to go travel the world, or start freelancing, or go get your master degree, or do whatever you want, is to try something out with an internship. If there is one thing that I learned while interning at Locus Workspace it is that the right internship/job/business doesn´t exist. You have to grab the opportunity and make it your perfect one. If you are just waiting for the right one you might wait for another year. Or ten. Or twenty. And it might never come. Waiting for the perfect opportunity is just an excuse not to do anything. Even though I was never really interested in freelancing, didn´t want to start my own business, and my background was in tourism and culture, I decided to get an internship in the coworking space.
While being an intern at a coworking space I was mostly working as a community manager, helping with day to day managing coworking space tasks, organizing events for members and the public focused on startups, business, fun stuff and my favorite topic location independent lifestyle and digital nomads. As I was still a student, I decided to use my last semester for Erasmus + internship abroad. I was also working on my master thesis Digital Nomadism in Tourism. Being at a coworking space and having access to all kind of digital nomads and people who lived location independent lifestyles helped a lot. I was introduced to a lot of people through members of the coworking space, and I could interview community members and used the materials in my thesis. I connected living location independently and digital nomadism as a new way of tourism, and my master thesis was awarded as the second best thesis written in tourism in Czechia in 2016 by the national body of tourism in Czechia – Czech Tourism.
For me, it was also a chance to meet and work with people from different backgrounds that challenged me, questioned me, taught me how to genuinely say sorry when I f*cked up, how to be assertive, how to stand behind my opinions even though no one else agreed. I was surely not being micromanaged, so I had to be able to make decisions on my own and learn how to make the right ones. I learned a lot about what I like and what I don´t, what are my weaknesses and what I want to focus on in the future.
What I enjoyed the most was definitely that I worked with people that had skills I admired. I always wanted to learn Spanish but never took classes. One of the members of the coworking space was Spanish and he would always find 30 minutes for our Spanish mini coffee break. After a year I am able to have the conversation in the language I always wanted to speak. I joined another member on his morning cross country runs in the forest at 7 am two – three times a week, even though I am not a morning person and I don´t like waking up early. I met a great couple from Gran Canaria and when I went there for holiday they showed me the whole island, took me for hikes and I tried the food in local restaurants. I remember talking to another member about what is the difference between working in a small company or startup and big corporate one. He said: „You can either be a small fish in a big bowl or big fish in a small bowl. Both are fine and have pluses and minuses and it is only up to you which one is your perfect one.“ There are hundreds of stories I have with people I met at Locus. I realized that being surrounded by people who were hard working, more talented and more experienced than me also made me a better person in a way.
It was the best opportunity I could possibly get and if I had a chance to choose again my internship would still be at a coworking space. After all, an internship is an adventure. It is a journey and rocky road, but at the end, it is only up to you if you will make it your perfect one.
Check out the position at Locus Workspace in Prague: https://en.locusworkspace.cz/internship

Locus Workspace Interns – Spring 2017

Meet Your Locus Workspace Interns!

Locus Workspace has new interns coming from the CIEE’s CES program, or Central European Studies. It is a program for college students throughout the US to come to study in Prague for a semester and immerse themselves in the Czech culture. Most of the classes are centered around Czech history, architecture, politics, or language and taught in English through Charles University. The students also have a ton of additional opportunities to volunteer, intern, immersion trips including operas, ballets, museums, and excursions like Terezin, Kutna Hora, Plzen, or Cesky Krumlov. 

 

This semester we count with 2 new interns! Keep reading to know some more about them 🙂

 

Shannon Keirsey
Hometown: Collegeville, PA – it’s near Philadelphia
School: Penn State University
 
Major(s): Finance with a minor in International Business

 

Why did you come to Prague? I’m here in Prague to study 

abroad for the semester and fulfill my international business minor. I Chose this city over others because I heard great things about this beautiful old city in central Europe. History and architecture are both interests of mine so the city itself stood out. I also look forward to doing a lot of travel while I’m here so the central location is perfect. So far Prague has outdone my expectations in every way and I’ve really enjoyed learning about a new and different culture.

 

Why did you choose Locus? Locus stood out to me as a great place to intern because of the unique dynamic of a coworking space. I was intrigued by the idea of people from such different backgrounds coming together to form one workplace community and wanted to be a part of that. I like that I have the opportunity to help plans community events and bring the members of Locus together making work more enjoyable.
Fun Fact: I can walk on my hands – I am a club gymnast at Penn State and have been active in the sport for 16 years.

Haley Jensen

 

Hometown: San Francisco, CA
School: The George Washington University
Major(s): Interaction Design, Journalism
Why did you come to Prague? Prague seemed like the perfect fit to all my goals while going abroad. I wanted to study in a city, but one that felt smaller and more intimate than London or Paris. I also thought it would be a great plan to use as my home base while I traveled throughout Europe.
Why did you choose Locus? I’ve previously worked at a co-working space and loved the dynamic, entrepreneurial, and innovative spirit they seem to foster. That environment combined with a position that I’m hoping to revolve a career around seemed like a perfect fit.
Fun Fact: I love to surf.

Locus Workspace Interns – Autumn 2016

Meet Your Locus Workspace Interns!

Tenzin Kyizom
Hometown: Berkeley, California, USA / Manali, India / Tibet
School: University of California, Berkeley
Major(s): Legal Studies and Political Economy
Why did you come to Prague? Study Abroad and to learn about the history of Czech Republic!
Why did you choose Locus? The space was positive, cozy and fun to be in. I think I could learn from the diverse group as well as contribute.

Fun Fact: I can write backwards.

 

Christina Gallegos
Hometown: Denver, Colorado, USA
School: University of Colorado Boulder
Major(s): Classics with minors in Leadership Studies and Ethnic Studies
Why did you come to Prague? I’m a huge history nerd and the history of the Czech Republic intrigued me unlike any other.
Why did you choose Locus? I chose Locus because I really wanted to work in a diverse environment with friendly people, as well as somewhere where I could be free to be creative.  
Fun Fact: I did not learn how to ride a bike until I was 18 in the summer before college.
 
Ah Young (Esther) Meng
Hometown: Seoul, South Korea
School: University of California, Berkeley
Major(s): Media Studies
Why did you come to Prague? I wanted to get out of my comfort zone, meet new people, and travel Europe. Prague was the perfect location for everything 🙂
Why did you choose Locus? I chose Locus because I am interested in business management and it was a perfect opportunity to lean useful, business-relevant skills. I hope I can help develop and implement new tools to improve the space.

Fun Fact: I have eaten live octopus.

 

Travis Thomas
Hometown: Santa Barbara, California, USA
School: University of California, Santa Barbara
Major(s): Communications with minor in Philosophy
Why did you come to Prague? It is my final year at my home institution (UCSB) before graduating and I have been looking forward to studying in a foreign country since my first year of college. I decided to conduct my studies in Prague because of its unique historical background and rich cultural diversity.
Why did you choose Locus? Locus was the perfect option being a student abroad. I chose Locus specifically for an internship position but also because I can simultaneously work on my own studies in a pleasant environment. Locus was a no brainer decision.
Fun Fact: An interesting fact about myself is that I have never once in my life paid for a haircut because my mother is a hairdresser
Dani Crepeau
Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
School: Bryant University
Major(s): Marketing and Communications
Why did you come to Prague? Prague seemed so different from all of the Western European countries that I have previously visited, so I wanted to escape from my comfort zone and explore a beautiful city with such rich history.
Why did you choose Locus? I saw Locus as a unique opportunity to do something I love, social media, while getting to interact with such a diverse group of people every day. I love being in such a productive, creative space to do my work as well.

Fun Fact: This is my third time to Europe (and so far my favorite!☺).

Coworking in Prague … An Internship Experience

When something is kitschy or badly made or just bad in general we say that it’s Czech. I guess that’s an indicator of what Slovenians think of Czech. 🙂 But using the phrase now, just makes me think of my lovely experience in Prague. Just a few weeks ago I was still an intern there. My four month internship at Locus Workspace went by in a flash and an eight hour drive to my home town of Ljubljana brought me back to reality.
 
I landed in Prague by coincidence, even more so at Locus. As it turned out Will and I have a mutual friend, who recommended us to each other.  And he is one of the people who started coworking events in Ljubljana.  For now it’s a weekly event at a cultural center. Hopefully they will establish a permanent space and give me a job. 🙂
 
Before this I didn’t know much about coworking. I understood the theory behind it, but didn’t know the real life feel of the concept. The community, networking, creating and sharing knowledge among members, forms a unique environment. It gives people a chance and motivation to work on projects, to help each other and make ideas come to life. But it doesn’t only provide a pleasant work environment; it also gives the opportunity to meet new people and to form new friendships. And I think this was also one of the wonderful things about working at Locus, meeting all the interesting people from all around the world that made the experience even better.
 
This was also my first time living abroad. Prague turned out to be a great choice. It’s a lot bigger than Ljubljana, but still easy to handle due to its great public transport.  There is a lot going on, lively atmosphere, beautiful architecture and lovely parks. I even almost enjoyed the masses of tourists and the occasionally rude Czechs who have to deal with foreigners on a daily basis and seem to be sick of them.

All in all, living in Prague and working at Locus has left me with wonderful memories of new places, new people and new experiences. And they were not at all Czech.