by Yanniek van Dooren
As summer starts to turn into fall and most of my fellow third-years have flown out to more exotic places, I am packing my stuff and preparing to leave my own nest. Unlike my classmates, who are slowly turning my Facebook wall into one big advertisement of all kinds of tropical places, I have chosen not to migrate South this year. In fact, I am moving North, to the ever so exotic town of Hoofddorp, near Amsterdam, to be an intern for ING. Now, before I take you with me on this journey and let you in on all the excitements of life as an ING intern, let me tell you how I got here.
Like many of you who are currently in their second year of IBCoM, I started out last academic year with less than perfect sense of what I wanted to do with my internship and, ultimately, the rest of my working life. If you are in my shoes right now, let me tell you: it’s completely fine. You not knowing what to do is exactly why they invented the Communication & Media Practice course, so use it to your advantage – attend the guest lectures (they’re actually pretty interesting, and mandatory too), go to as many fieldtrips as you can and talk to interesting people at the companies you visit. You will be amazed by how helpful people tend to be when you can find the courage to approach them.
For me, talking with managers and interns I met at the field trip at ING turned out to be more valuable than I could ever have imagined. Just by showing interest in the company and asking for opportunities and information, I got the chance to network with people inside and even combine a university course with a little research and consultancy for ING’s communication department. Before long, I had learned enough to not only know what I wanted to do with my internship, but to be able to convey my suitability in my applications as well.
Still, despite my preparations, my enthusiasm and the many hours I spent constructing the perfect cover letter and CV, I didn’t get accepted for the internship I ended up applying for. I didn’t even get accepted for the second one. But instead of giving in to the discouragement those rejections brought with them, I cherished the interview experiences I got and kept looking for the perfect internship to come around. Fast forward a few weeks, and I got accepted not for one, but two incredible internships at ING. Two internships that fit me better than any of those I was rejected for. I still can’t quite believe it, but perseverance really does pay off.
So here I am, flown out in search for a suitable place and safely landed in a new and exciting nest. A place where I hope to develop into the singing bird I would like to be.
To be continued. Definitely.