A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
When you get into secondary education, you generally think that studying is already enough. The workload for your course is not little and it can be hard to get your way through assignments and class preparation. You barely manage to reach the end of the term, why on earth, then, would you ever want to even look for an internship? In my own experience, an internship is a priceless opportunity to grow as an individual. For this reason, I will try to give my perspective on why it is good to do an internship during your studies.
Sometimes an internship can be part of your academic curriculum and it is generally meant to give you a practical approach to what you study outside of your class. In other cases though, you have to look for an internship yourself. It is not easy to get one and it can be very competitive, but it is absolutely worth it. In the first place, it is really nice to get to do something practical that also distracts yourself from the sometimes ‘too theoretical study’. Basically, you have an excuse to get out of the library without feeling guilty. Moreover, in my own experience, I started becoming more productive at university when I had also an internship going on. For, you have to do a bit of time management and you actually manage to get the most out of a study-day.
Doing an internship in the Netherlands has its advantages: first of all, it seems to be a very well-oiled system. Many companies and start-ups actively look for students to train and there are many placements available. Moreover, companies are well aware of what it means to be a student, hence they are quite flexible with the working days or with giving you a day-off when mid-terms are approaching.Secondly, do not worry about the language barrier. I thought that Dutch would have been one of the main requirements to work in the Netherlands but actually there are many internships where English would suffice! Last but definitely not least, the internships are paid. It is not the salary of a full-time job of course but it still helps with your extra expenses and some treats.
But let’s now talk about the core of the internship. Apart from gaining new skills and getting an insight on the office life, you start build up your CV. In the future, employers will look at all the little experiences you have done here and there and having studied and worked at the same time tells much about your person! It does not only show your good time-management but also your motivation, commitment and proactivity. And these skills will be useful in whatever career path you will eventually get in.
I hope I have given you the right perspective on internships and if you want an idea on where to start looking for your next internship, I will suggest you Integrand!