ASSA ABLOY Door Group’s foreign internship ‘success’

July 21, 2022


Door Group, a unit of ASSA ABLOY, has successfully launched a new international internship programme to support marketing and technical needs.

The initiative has helped to nurture new talent, while the firm has had “the advantage of a fresh European perspective” from its interns.

The scheme was introduced with the help of the European Student Placement Agency (ESPA), who provide work placements for international students.

Although the team based in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, had previously hired local apprentices and welcomed graduates from other business units, it was the first time it had used this type of facilitated service and welcomed overseas interns.

A statement said: “Since the introduction of the scheme, interns have added value to Door Group as their studies have provided them with a different perspective and experiences, bringing a new and international dimension to the team.”

Maria Masdeu, an advertising and public relations post-graduate student from Spain, became the first intern to join the Door Group team in 2020. Maria brought with her modern marketing expertise that the company found increasingly valuable throughout her six-month internship.

At the end of the placement, the company were highly impressed with Maria’s contribution, and she had become a great asset to the team, so decided to hire her permanently.

Brian Sofley, Managing Director at ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions UK & Ireland Door Group, explained: “Maria understood our business needs very quickly, and our online presence and social media started to become a lot more effective. Maria has helped us create content for the new global website and ensure all our documentation was up to date, with a consistent and corporate feel.”

Maria says: “I had always wanted to move abroad after my degree, and ASSA ABLOY gave me the perfect opportunity with a six months internship. I left my comfort zone, discovered the hidden gems of Northern Ireland, and met wonderful people.

“I am happy and grateful that they believed in me and gave me the chance to come in full-time. These last two years have been an incredible learning opportunity for me – I have grown both professionally and personally, faced many challenges, and had the chance to gain global experience.

“To everyone hesitating, if they should embark on this experience, I would say that doing an international internship can be life-changing and challenges you into a new environment and culture.”

Following Maria’s successful appointment, Door Group gave Marija Juric from Croatia and Sorinela Buzdugan from Moldova placements within the Marketing team, Alberto Pagnozzi from Italy came as a Finance intern while Mariam Tabarik from Pakistan joined as a Materials, Research and Development intern.

Brian added: “When you bring different cultures into an office and they interact with local people, everybody benefits. We get to know their culture and they get to know ours.

“Some of these students not only have bright ideas but they think in a different way. They also have access to the world of technology and understand the role of things like AI, and they use technology as part of their daily lives.

“We get so many benefits from our intern programme, and in return we’re giving them the opportunity to learn about business, to get practically involved in the area they are focused on.

“We are helping to grow talent, and sometimes we get the chance to bring them on full time – but even if not, it’s good for them to have ASSA ABLOY on their CV and it helps them in terms of being attractive to future employers.

“We hope the collaboration with ESPA lasts for many years to come, and we can continue to gain the advantage of international determination and collaboration within the team.”

Pictured is Albert Pagnozzi at work.

Career opportunities with ASSA ABLOY, go to

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