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Being an intern at Ekkiden: Laure, an internship full of first times

At Ekkiden, we believe in young talents and the importance of internships to develop yourself and have a taste of the field before choosing in which area you would like to work in. 

Laure tells us about her time as a Corporate Recruiter intern at Ekkiden and shows us every side of her experience in a field she had yet to explore.

 min read
Being an intern at Ekkiden: Laure, an internship full of first times

Six months, half a year… that seems like a lot of time, but it actually goes by really fast! To think that it has already been six months since I started my internship at Ekkiden in the Madrid office, and I still have not met all the cast members of La Casa de Papel (Money Heist)!

To get to know me, I am a French Business School student doing a gap year and I will soon go back to class — yay! As my second, and best, internship (do not tell the others) is coming to an end, I was given the opportunity to share my adventure at Ekkiden, how I stumbled upon this opportunity (you will see how foretelling that is), and what I experienced in general.

An internship is for learning, gaining confidence, and getting to know the world and oneself, therefore, I tried something new, something I had never expected myself to even try, and got to experience a lot of firsts during my first internal recruitment experience.

First impressions

It all started with a phone call. After having applied to hundreds of job offers, finally, someone called! I will not lie, at first, I didn’t remember who the company was and nodded along when Jules —my future predecessor— reminded me that I had applied to be a recruiter at Ekkiden. After a brief conversation during which I introduced myself and was told about what the position entailed, we agreed on a date for the first interview with my future manager.

This time I was prepared, and it went as lovely as it could go. Hugo, my manager, was so keen on putting me at ease and compared to my previous interview experiences I could clearly see the vision of the company reflected in its hiring process. No six-month-long processes nor 13 interviews to make sure that the intern who is staying for six months is the right fit. With only one call and two relaxed and instructive interviews, the process was over. I could truly see what my internship at Ekkiden was going to look like and how working with Hugo was going to be.

I had never imagined myself working in human resources previously, but thanks to my manager who shared his vision of recruitment and his experience I thought: “Maybe if it is with him and at Ekkiden, then this can be a great experience”. Spoiler alert: I was right!

Not long after, Hugo called me directly to tell me that Ekkiden made me an offer to become a Corporate Recruiter intern for them, and I was over the moon (relieved, too, to finally have secured an internship for July).

Something surprising about this process is that accepting the offer from Ekkiden was not the last time I was in touch with them before my internship started. They sent several emails —but not to the point of being overbearing— so I could know what to expect. Hugo called me too, a week or two before the start date to know how I was doing and if I was still motivated to work with them. Even though I was genuinely excited to start this new adventure, he did not get that impression, as his call had woken me up from a nap and my voice had broken a few days before… the misunderstanding has thankfully been cleared now!

Anyway, thanks to this hiring process, I felt genuinely valued and motivated to work with Ekkiden even before starting my internship.


First weeks

After a fourteen-hour trip from Paris to Madrid on Sunday, Monday finally comes around, and it is my first official day as an intern at Ekkiden. Everyone is kind (they brought breakfast!), inviting and curious. I spent the first morning immersed in the onboarding process, trying to absorb as much information as I could (and forgetting nearly as much).

In truth, I did not leave the best first impressions on Hugo. During the short office visit (nice office by the way) I managed to fall right in front of him by tripping over… nothing?? And to finish up, (I swear it was not on purpose! I had a fourteen-hour car ride the day just before…), I also nodded off during the afternoon when he was trying to explain how the company worked… I still cringe thinking about that day, but all is well now.

After this traumatizing experience, thankfully they did not just decide to send me back, and Hugo and Jules dedicated a lot of their time to explaining and showing me everything. I learned how to use LinkedIn Recruiter, how to source profiles, what to write when getting in contact with candidates, what to say to them during phone calls… The first few weeks flew by in an instant.

I went from shadowing the smallest tasks on LinkedIn Recruiter to starting my own searches. From listening to every call Hugo made, to him listening to my calls, to me doing them without my manager even being wary of what I could say. I admit that after one or two calls, Hugo had to take the whiteboard out once again and make me practice my speech on him. But it turned out well in the end!

It was the beginning of my future six months at Ekkiden, though a rocky start it was, it didn’t reflect what was coming (a bit of foreshadowing is always great to create suspense).


First solo jump

It was like growing up, the steadier my steps got, the less supervision I needed. Before long, Hugo trusted me enough to delegate almost all the intern recruitment process to me. Knowing that he was by my side at all times helped me gain confidence and allowed me to find great people. In little time, we filled the marketing team for September, the sales team and the several recruitment teams for January.

One of the perks of working with Hugo as a manager —apart from him being talented, brilliant, incredible, amazing, show-stopping, spectacular, versatile, totally unique (and I swear he did not pay me to say that, but he will be reading this article)— is that he is patient. When I did not understand how he had found some candidates, he always took the time to explain his thought process. As I was worried about asking too many dumb questions, he always reminded me that “there are no dumb questions” (Hugo, almost every week since the end of July 2023). I believe it is quite revealing about what kind of manager he is.

Thanks to that, I was able to become undeniably confident about my abilities to do my job. Going forward, I can say for sure that I will never have trouble calling anybody. No more pep talk, deep breaths or repeating my speech over and over for five minutes before dialling the number!

As I got the hang of it, I started truly appreciating my work. I was comfortable enough to enjoy the calls, I could get to know people, even if it was brief. By the end, Hugo trusted me enough to leave me to fend for myself as he went on holiday (he could not do so during the summer because of me) and I got to be even more challenged by the new tasks I took. Furthermore, seeing the results of my work as some people I had called arrived in the office was incredibly rewarding without having to wait long.


First responsibilities

The great side of being an intern at Ekkiden is that you are there to learn, so everything is an opportunity and everybody around you is there to help you improve. Starting with my own manager, as he saw that I got more confident recruiting interns, he then trusted me to start recruiting for permanent positions. I had to change (just a bit) the way I talked to candidates and to work on my presentation pitch again. I felt great knowing that my work was being recognised and that I had proven my worth enough for him to trust me to branch out a bit more.

Also, like every job in the whole wide world, there are some months when business slows down and you have fewer tasks. That is when I was given a new mission that had its own importance, even though it was not directly related to recruiting. I was tasked with a comparative study of wages in the consulting world depending on the size of the company, the country it is based on, and the expertise provided (and let me tell you that working in the consulting world sure can be interesting). It was even more meaningful as I knew that I could have a direct impact on the salary negotiations of current and future employees. Still, it was gratifying knowing that they trusted me with this task.

Needless to say, an internship at Ekkiden cannot be complete without participating in the Next Generation Program (or NGP for the initiated). A program allowing interns to discover and participate in other fields of the company while still working on their primary tasks. This is the sole reason you can read this amazingly written article right now! Mathilde, from the marketing team, to whom I’m grateful, helped me write my first article (you can find it here and be amazed by my skills again). I worked on it for two hours every week and revised it with her to make sure I didn’t stray too much. I learned a lot about content creation, even though I thought I was only going to learn about recruitment during this internship.

I was, and still am, proud of it and thanks to her guidance I was able to say “Mom, I’m a published author!”. Hence, thanks to the variety of tasks and the branching out that made me take on new challenges, five months were gone in a blink.


My first recruitment experience

As this adventure is coming to an end, I can say that my first recruitment experience is ending on a really positive note. My internship is still not over, but I can already say that it is and will always be one of my greatest internship experiences. I learned a lot and met so many great people, be it within Ekkiden, future employees or just fleeting meetings; I enjoyed interacting with each and every person. I got to learn a lot, and experienced many “firsts” which I can only hope are not “lasts” (except for my mistakes, I sure hope that I will not make them again and that I will stay awake and steady on my first day).

Even though I still do not know what to do with my life, this experience allowed me to discover what human resources, and more specifically internal recruitment, is. I had never even imagined myself working in human resources before, but now I can say that it might be one of the contenders.

On a less professional note, Madrid is a great city to spend an internship in! I spent my time off with cultural and less cultural outings, visiting neighbouring cities and hiking in the mountains around Madrid… Thanks to Ekkiden I got to meet wonderful people in and out of work that helped me learn and discover so many things.

One thing is for sure, I will make sure to keep in touch with Hugo and Ekkiden!


Each of our interns is invaluable to us, and Laure was a real pleasure to have at Ekkiden. She highlights everything that she learned from her experience, but we will add everything she did for the company and how her attitude during the whole period was an example of an open person, willing to learn, work and be part of a team, even if her stay had an end date.

If Laure’s testimony left you wanting to experience a similar experience, maybe one of our internships is for you! Check our jobs page to find out.