Why did you apply for this internship?
I found the internship by looking on LinkedIn for internships that were in The Hague/Leiden region and that were looking for English-speaking interns. I was nearing the end of my Bachelor of International Studies at Leiden University and wanted to gain some practical experience. I emailed the Leiden International Centre with my CV and motivation letter, after which I was contacted for a short online interview. Following the interview, I was sent an email informing me that I had been accepted for the internship.
What were the main tasks?
During the internship, I had various tasks such as creating and scheduling social media content, drafting articles, creating newsletters for customers and businesses, event management and website maintenance. Additionally, I helped at the helpdesk and attended different events, which helped me connect to other internationals in the area and directly meet our target audience. Before starting the internship, I did not have experience with social media planning tools or website management platforms, so being able to work on such various tasks was engaging and ensured a constant learning experience.
What did you learn by doing this internship?
Next to the technical aspects, doing this internship allowed me to bridge the gap between university and work life in a smooth and gradual way, which was one of my main motivations for applying. Having just graduated from university, I was unsure what steps to take and did not feel like I was ready to enter the workforce completely. This internship has given me the necessary confidence and skills to do so, making it an indispensable experience.
While the Leiden International Centre team is international, the working space is shared with mostly Dutch colleagues. Because of this, I was introduced to the Dutch working culture, such as weekly ‘borrels’ and meetings, and team-building outings like a boat tour around Leiden and a team summer festival. Another pleasant surprise was how casual and open to conversation everyone in the office was, despite the language difference, as everyone spoke English and was very accommodating. Additionally, my ‘supervisors’ were very flexible and understanding, which made the time spent in the office enjoyable, while still gaining valuable experience and knowledge. Lastly, everyone is open to suggestions, so I felt like I was truly a part of the team, despite being only a ‘temporary’ intern.