From interns to permanent Leonid team members: meet Nora and Douaa

From interns to permanent Leonid team members: meet Nora and Douaa

At Leonid, we run a very successful internship programme, whereby students nearing the end of their studies have the opportunity to come and work with us for six months and obtain some hands-on experience of working for an international business.

We have been incredibly fortunate in that every intern we have hired to date has been an amazing asset to the team and made very valuable and tangible contributions.

We recently caught up with Nora Dahak and Douaa Zrida, both of whom undertook an internship in our Barcelona office and have gone on to accept a permanent position with us.


What initially drew you to intern at our company? 

Douaa: I didn't know about the company at first, but when I had my interview with Ruby, I was impressed by the remarkable company culture and values that she proudly shared with me. It was clear that Leonid wasn't just another workplace; it was a community that cherished innovation, collaboration, and personal growth. 

Nora: The international team and the opportunity to work in a multi-language environment located abroad were particularly appealing. I felt that I had all the prerequisites to thrive in this internship, ticking the necessary boxes. The role appeared fair and well-balanced, especially for an intern. 


What were some of the key responsibilities and projects you worked on during your internship? 

Douaa: During my internship, I had the chance to immerse myself in a wide array of responsibilities. One of the most exciting parts of my role was spearheading the effort to generate new business leads. But the real adventure came with Project Mayhem – a name that held a sense of organized chaos. This project involved the Herculean task of cleansing and meticulously organizing the vast sea of data in our CRM. 

Nora: During my internship, I was primarily involved in the field of recruiting. The journey was divided into 3 key stages: 

Month 1-2: Sourcing and organizing calls for senior consultants, Julie & Lea, while shadowing their activities. 

Month 3-4: Handling pre-qualification calls with candidates and, when successful, scheduling further calls with senior consultants. 

Month 5-6: A significant highlight was managing the entire recruitment process for three roles, from start to finish (delivery), which resulted in three successful placements. 

Additionally, I conducted research and published a report on 'candidate motivation,' benchmarking salaries for French innovation incentives consultants. (You can read the full report here).


How did your internship experience prepare you for your current role? 

Douaa: My internship experience was akin to an intensive crash course in all things Leonid. The knowledge and skills I acquired during that period laid a solid foundation for my current role. 

Nora: The internship was a full-fledged preparation for my current role. It allowed me to experience almost every facet of the job, so there were no surprises when I transitioned to a full-time position. Working closely with Lea and Julie provided me with a comprehensive overview of the role's responsibilities. 


Can you share a memorable experience or project from your internship that you feel was pivotal in your professional development? 

Douaa: My time as an intern at Leonid was a dynamic journey filled with a multitude of memorable experiences. It's challenging to pinpoint a single pivotal moment because every task, every project, and every interaction contributed to my growth. The diversity of my work, which involved collaborating with various departments and colleagues, provided me with an all-encompassing view of the business 

Nora: Regular catch-up sessions with Lea played a significant role during my internship. These sessions provided a space to share my thoughts and feelings, fostering continuous learning and growth. 

Another standout moment was a specific training session given by James, the CEO, on organizational skills in the workplace. This experience showed me that being organized wasn't an unattainable goal. It encouraged me to stay on top of tasks, manage my work efficiently, and avoid last-minute pressure. 


What motivated you to apply for a full-time position within the company? 

Douaa: The decision to seek a full-time position at Leonid was driven by a multitude of factors. Beyond the enticing work, I was fortunate to meet an inspiring group of colleagues who quickly became friends. The comfortable work environment and the ever-elusive work-life balance were the cherries on top. At Leonid, I found a unique blend of professional growth, personal satisfaction, and an environment that felt like home – a combination that's incredibly rare in today's corporate landscape. 

Nora: The incredible team! The company culture fostered a strong sense of camaraderie, where everyone genuinely cares about each other and is highly supportive. I wanted to be part of this great team. 


In your opinion, what sets our company apart? 

Douaa: In regard to the general recruiting industry, Leonid cares about delivering the best results to its clients, it prioritizes quality over quantity. And also, the company culture is one of the things that makes Leonid special as everybody is kind, transparent and willing to help if you need it 

Nora: What truly sets our company apart are our high ethical values in how we treat people. Whether it's a candidate aspiring to join Leonid or one seeking placement at a client's company, the entire experience is designed to make them feel empowered and respected. Our focus on humanizing the process is at the forefront, rather than making money the center of it all. 


What are your career goals now that you're in your full-time roles, and how do you see your future at our company? 

Douaa: My primary goal is to continue growing professionally and contributing to the company's success. I see my future at the company as one filled with opportunities for leadership and innovation, and I aspire to take on more responsibilities as I progress in my career here. 

Nora: Achieving a smooth and confident mastery of every aspect of the recruitment process. Once I have established this foundation, I aim to maximize placements in the most ethical way possible. Looking ahead, I'm excited about the 4-year plan and the prospect of people management. Transitioning into a team leader role would be particularly exciting, allowing me to guide and support others while exploring new horizons beyond my current industry. 


If you had one piece of advice for anyone considering an internship or full-time role with Leonid, what would it be? 

Douaa: My advice? Simple – go for it! And once you do, give it your absolute best. Leonid is not just a company; it's a gateway to a world of opportunities, growth, and an incredible work environment. To truly make the most of your time here, approach each day with enthusiasm, a willingness to learn, and a mindset that's open to new experiences. The sky's the limit, and your journey at Leonid can be as rewarding as you make it. 

Nora: Don't hesitate – go for it! Have a conversation with Ruby; she's a fantastic representation of what working at Leonid is like. If you enjoy talking to her, you'll likely find working here to be an equally enjoyable experience. 


What is your happiest memory of working with us so far? 

Douaa: Some of the happiest memories I've collected during my time at Leonid revolve around our beloved team dinners. These are not just your typical corporate gatherings; they are a reflection of our company's warm and close-knit culture. Whether it's welcoming our colleagues from different countries that came to visit us in Barcelona, or just coming together for a good time, the camaraderie at these dinners is truly special. 

And of course, the ultimate highlight was being offered a full-time position. The moment I received that offer was an indelible memory. It was a tangible acknowledgment of my contributions and the beginning of an exciting new chapter in my career. It reaffirmed my belief that I had made the right choice in joining Leonid, a decision that I'll always cherish. 

Nora: One of my happiest memories at Leonid revolves around a team dinner where we all went to eat Indian food. It was an opportunity to get to know my colleagues on a more personal level. Additionally, our last day as interns was a beautiful experience. We brought lots of sweets to the office, creating a warm and memorable atmosphere that marked the end of our internship journey with hearts full of appreciation.