An internship is one of the best ways for students to get their footing in the professional world, even before they graduate. For most, it will be their first experience in the real world of work, making it the perfect time to practice their learnings while building valuable interpersonal skills. For others, like Alice de Oliveira Saad, it’s an opportunity to enhance an already broad professional profile with specialist competencies aligned with their plans for the future.
Setting strong foundations
Alice de Oliveira Saad’s background is as diverse as her interests. Born in Brazil, her roots extend all the way to Portugal and Lebanon too. Her early years informed her passion for learning and an unquenchable curiosity about different cultures, setting her on the path to excel in multinational settings.
That’s one reason why she chose to study the Dual Degree in Laws & International Relations. Now in her fourth year of the program, she’s leveraged her time at IE University to hone her abilities in her fields of interest. From shadowing at the Court of Justice of the State of Rio de Janeiro (Tribunal de Justiça do Estado do Rio de Janeiro), to completing the RAIA Summer Research Program in 2022, participating in the Policy Lab and serving as the writing manager of IE International Policy Review, Alice has distinguished herself as an ambitious and effective go-getter.
A tailor-made role
After her stint at RAIA researching environmental policies, Alice was eager to participate in a legal internship. It all came together when she discovered a job posting on IE University’s career portal seeking a legal intern at global jewelry company Pandora. “I knew it was an opportunity I couldn’t miss,” she says.
Since starting the Dual Degree in Laws & International Relations, corporate law has become her favorite—and strongest—subject. So the chance to see those theories play out in real life appealed to her immensely. But what sealed the deal was discovering the role’s specific requirement for candidates who could speak Portuguese: Alice has native-level fluency in the language. “This made me even more confident that this role was tailor-made for me,” she tells us.
She quickly sent in her resume and, after a successful first interview with the Pandora HR team, progressed to the next stage of the recruitment process. It involved a second interview, this time with the company’s legal manager. “Luckily, I received a job offer on the same day,” says Alice, marking the start of a thrilling, international professional experience.
The dynamic day-to-day of an in-house lawyer
“A word that defines my day-to-day role at Pandora is dynamic,” she explains. Her responsibilities were quite varied, but mainly focused on resolving customer complaints and ensuring customer satisfaction. However, she was also tasked with navigating the Spanish bureaucratic system, securing legal compliance through contract analysis, drafting documents for the company’s e-commerce, sales and marketing teams, among others. She also had to stay up-to-date with legislation in both Spain and Portugal.
Alice went into this internship determined to learn more about how businesses operate and what in-house lawyers do—and she got her wish. The most exciting part of her internship, she says, was preparing corporate resolutions. “It was an invaluable opportunity to witness the application of corporate law in a global company,” she admits, and to see how decisions originating further up the chain affected operations in various regions.
The most surprising part, however, was how much her multilingual capabilities played a role in her internship. As she explains, “The multinational aspect of the company required me to proficiently switch between Spanish, Portuguese, English and French.” Thankfully, her dedication to the role helped Alice cultivate long-lasting bonds not just with her boss, but with other professionals across Iberia and beyond. “This supportive and encouraging atmosphere allowed me to thrive and contribute effectively to the team.”
Backed by experience
Alice credits IE University for her successful internship in several ways. The comparative law methodology that serves as a foundation for the Dual Degree in Laws & International Relations was instrumental to her work within different legislative frameworks, a staple for in-house lawyers at multinational firms. Furthermore, IE Talent & Careers provided invaluable support, linking Alice to the opportunity in the first place and then helping her refine her resume.
She encourages other students to make good use of the expert guidance and support that surrounds them every day. But, more importantly, to work on developing a diverse skill set from day one. “Even without prior experience in law, honing abilities in analysis, research, critical thinking, proactivity and organization can set you apart,” she says.
For Alice, individuality and maintaining a unique identity are the keys to success, especially in multinational contexts. “Take pride in your differential and use it in your favor!”