ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions Door Group international internship programme nurtures new talent

  • 21 Jul 2022

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

The mutually beneficial initiative has helped to nurture new talent, while Door Group has had the advantage of a fresh European perspective from interns.  

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

Although the team based in Lisburn team 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 interns from overseas.

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, explains: “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.


Maria Masdeu

“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.


Alberto Pagnozzi

Brian continues: “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. 

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

To find out more about career opportunities with ASSA ABLOY, go to

For more information on ASSA ABLOY Door Group, click here. To read about ASSA ABLOY Door Group stressing the need for greater awareness of fire safety in education buildings, click here.

Pictured above – Sorinela Buzdugan & Mariam Tabarik

Contact ASSA ABLOY Opening Solutions EMEA Digital and Access Solutions

Dukes Court/Dukes Street
GU21 5BH
United Kingdom

Web:  About us | ASSA ABLOY
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 0049 30 8106 2970


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