To introduce you to our newest member of staff and give her the opportunity to answer some questions about Graham Smith Antiques, this weeks blog is about Samantha Burgun. Samantha is working at Graham Smith Antiques for two months, as an intern, she is 18 years old and speaks English much better than any of us speak French!
Samantha is pictured here on the right, next to Graham (centre) and online manager Simon Phillipson on the left for an article in June's North East Times Magazine
What course are you studying in France?
In France I am doing a two-year post-A-level course in International Trade & Business. I study in Strasbourg.
Why did you choose to come to Graham Smith Antiques for your internship?
At first we had to choose a country and for me that was evident that I would go in a country where people speak English because I really like the language and I think that it is very important to speak good English for a career in International Business. Moreover my aunt lives in Newcastle, that's why I was looking for an Internship in Newcastle. I was looking for a business that would correspond with my internship and whilst searching the internet, I found the Graham Smith Antiques website. I read that they were experienced in shipping containers and smaller retail items worldwide and thought the business sounded very interesting. I didn't know much about antiques but I browsed the website and I found many beautiful things. That is why I sent an e-mail to Graham and he answered me very quickly, I was the first in my class to have a confirmed internship, so I was very happy about that.
What is your favourite item in the shop or warehouse at the moment?
At the moment, there are lots of items which are very beautiful but my favourite is an 19th Victorian mahogany freestanding 9 drawer pedestal desk, which is dated from 1860. I think that it is the kind of desk for a very important person and it is very beautiful!
This is the desk Samantha loves so much - Click the picture to find out more
What do you think is the most interesting aspect of Graham Smith Antiques business?
Graham Smith Antiques business is very interesting, I have been able to learn and do lots of different things already. It's very interesting to see how Graham chooses antiques to buy and how he is always looking for new furniture for all his customers worldwide, from an American customer to an Australian customer and so on. I think that the most interesting thing is the website because customers from everywhere in the world can look at the antiques and buy furniture to be sent to the other side of the world! The fact that Simon the Online Manager, takes so many pictures of the furniture helps the customer to be confident to buy from Australia or Hong Kong for example. So yes, for me the most interesting part of Graham Smith Antiques is how they have customers from everywhere in the world on the internet.
How do you think working at Graham Smith Antiques will help you in your future career?
I think that working here will help me in my future career because I will learn a lot about the business world, I observed a lot how staff members do theirs job as well as how to be with customers. I have always got something to do, and Graham lets me do a variety of things, so that's really great for me. Moreover it's a work experience and that will give me knowledge to build on for the future.