When choosing which course to study at university, you may have specifically chosen one that offers a mandatory internship or work placement as part of your studies. Even if you don’t have a mandatory placement, doing some work experience while you’re studying makes finding a graduate job way easier!
There are many different internships that you can apply for, including short summer internships or even paid internships that can last for six months or longer. This all depends on your flexibility, as well as if a particular time period is indicated by your particular programme.
When searching for graduate internships, many students opt to extend their current experiences by completing an Erasmus internship. Not only can you learn important skills that can be beneficial for your chosen career path, but moving to a new city, learning to acclimate to a different culture and enjoying your often-surprising surroundings can help to prepare you for the working world in a way with which a classroom just can’t quite compete. And what better spot for your internship than the Netherlands?
The Netherlands has been known for decades as a country that’s perfect for internationals. In fact, in 2018 alone, more than 122,000 students enrolled in world-class universities all throughout the Netherlands, making it an ideal place to keep in mind for your internship. Additionally, this country is packed with a number of other benefits, including:
The people - The residents of the Netherlands can be very welcoming, direct people, meaning that you typically always know where you stand. Especially in areas full of other expats, you’ll never have a shortage of new friends.
The language - Learning the Dutch language should be at the top of your to-do list, but almost everyone in the Netherlands speaks English (especially in cities like Rotterdam or Amsterdam), and won’t hesitate to switch from Dutch if you seem to be struggling for words.
Work-life balance - Working an internship in the Netherlands can be ideal because the country really likes to keep a good work-life balance, ensuring that they have plenty of time available for their home lives. Many Dutch workers stick to around 35 hours weekly, and some even work from home.
It’s safe - You can feel safe in the Netherlands because it has one of the lowest crime rates in the entire world.
The location - If you love the idea of exploring other countries, the Netherlands is conveniently wedged right in between Germany and Belgium. So, you’ll easily visit exciting capital cities like Berlin and Brussels over the weekend!
Most importantly, the country is known for offering a myriad of internships to university students across the globe. When you begin your search, you’ll see that there are two basic types of companies with which to apply for graduate internships, with their own unique pros and cons.
Consider these to be major corporations with hundreds, maybe thousands of employees.
Pros - These internships will typically pay a bit higher, and a recognizable name might look really impressive on your resume. You’ll more than likely be placed in one department, which will make your workload easier, and provide more specialized experience.
Cons - The competition between interns will be more intense, and you may find that you are interviewing along with 100 other students for the same position. While working in one department, you may also not receive as much broad experience.
These businesses are new, and they may have a much smaller team than a corporation, many of which work remotely in countries all over the world.
Pros - These internships will generally offer a broader range of experience, allowing you to learn from multiple departments and even be a key player on major projects. So, while the name may not be as recognizable on a resume, you will usually have more experience to offer potential employers. You will also find that you’re competing with fewer applicants for an internship. By being part of a smaller team, you’ll have more opportunities to learn new skills and be apart of projects from more than just one department.
Cons - A startup usually offers pay that is on a lower scale, but there are usually opportunities for bonuses.
Many students go straight to social media to look for internships when relocating to the Netherlands. However, the competition can be fierce, and searching on your own can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. So, we have compiled a list of 10 companies to give you a head start.
In the early 2000s in Amsterdam, a forward-thinking entrepreneur named Geert-Jan Bruinsma developed a booking platform to help guests find appropriate accommodation in a number of different countries. Today, this well-known company, after being acquired by The Priceline Group, employs over 17,000 people and is a leader in the game. It can also offer an intern a wealth of experience in technology, hospitality, business and customer service. While the career and internship process may be multi-tiered, getting the final approval will be well worth the effort involved!
This printing startup began in 2013 with only five guys who had an idea for an e-commerce platform, and it has now grown to a successful venture with over 200 employees. HelloPrint is now live in eight different countries, and it is headquartered in the heart of Amsterdam, where the tech and marketing departments often offer beneficial internships and fun careers.
Dutch Royal Shell is the largest company in the Netherlands, as well as being ranked first in all of Europe by Forbes. Around since 1905, its main headquarters is located in The Hague, and it employs over 92,000 people globally. Additionally, Shell works with approximately 800 new graduates or current students, and it is known for its advantageous internships.
HousingAnywhere is headquartered in Rotterdam, but this startup employs people from all across the world. The main goal of HousingAnywhere is to offer a trusted housing platform that connects international students, young professionals, interns and expats who are searching for accommodation with vetted landlords. They like to think outside of the box and offer internships in many areas, including business, customer service, marketing and more. Plus, it’s a great way to work with a truly international team with global impact.
Officially the second largest brewer on the planet, this Amsterdam-based company employs over 73,000 people, and it has 165 breweries in more than 70 different companies, where it brews 250 varieties of beers and ciders. When you’re applying for internships, you definitely can’t go wrong by scoring one with this well-known brand. Depending on your interests, the opportunities available can include internships related to business, office skills, brewing and much more.
Yet another successful startup based in Amsterdam, but with an international presence, obtaining an exciting internship with this technology and GPS leader can be extremely useful in several different educational fields. Once a young startup, this brand has grown to become a leader in their niche. Completely innovating the way that people travel in their vehicles, students and young professionals alike can definitely benefit from the creativity that TomTom fosters in its team.
In 1930, Dutch-owned Margarine Unie and the British Lever Brothers soapmakers joined to make Unilever a household name, with products like Dove, Hellman’s, Lipton, Surf and Sunsilk. With around 172,000 employees, with headquarters in both Rotterdam and London, there is a long list of valuable experiences that can be gained through an internship with this profitable corporation.
Started by Dutch entrepreneurs, this digital payments company has grown in leaps and bounds over the past few years, proudly noting companies like Netflix, Spotify, Facebook and Uber among their long list of upmarket clients. Based in Amsterdam, but with deep roots in Silicon Valley, this would be an excellent opportunity for those seeking internships and careers in areas like business, marketing, finances and technology.
With is main headquarters in bustling Amsterdam, Philips has been a respected name in technology for decades. Boasting over 74,000 employees from over 100 different countries, this tech giant has a reputation for employing young internationals searching for internships and, further down the road, full-time employment. Philips constantly offers a wide variety of internship opportunities that can lead to important connections in the technology industry. With a primary focus now on the environment and health, this can also be a great opportunity for these those interested in these fields as well.
Since its inception in 2015, this young startup has offered a sleek business platform for young professionals. Also based in Amsterdam, this portal focuses on entrepreneurship, finance and business, and offers an ideal experience for anyone studying in these areas. With regular internships available, this would be an excellent opportunity for a business major!
Now that you’re armed with information to apply for some of the best internship programs in the Netherlands, it’s best to start the process early. You’ll also want to apply for more than one paid internship to maximise your chances, and begin to look for housing right away. Good luck, and be sure to take full advantage of this amazing opportunity!