How to find an internship in Groningen, Friesland or Drenthe
Find toolkits for students, teachers, and companies right here! Learn more about how to find an internship in Groningen, Friesland or Drenthe. And get tips & tricks to make your quest a success!
Get your toolkit... or go straight to the Internship Board
If you're looking for a quick sheet with the most important information, hit right button below to download a PDF with the most important steps, and key tips and tricks. Students can get more detailed guidance by scrolling down.
Successful internships in the Northern Netherlands
"I'm a student and I need more help!"
We got u, fam. The toolkit helps you launch your journey. On the rest of this page, we're going to make you reach for the staaaars! 🌟 (What we're trying to say is: you can shape your internship into something great, instead of just a thing you gotta do for school)
The basics of looking for an existing internship are covered in the toolkit. Now let's talk about how to make your own internship. This involves:
- Figuring out what you want out of your internship
- How to create a "looking for internship" card on our Internship Board
- How to approach companies you fancy directly for opportunities
🍒 And as cherry on top, you'll find tips for during your internship in Groningen, Friesland and Drenthe further below as well.
1. What do you want out of your internship?
The first thing we wanna ask you is to consider your mindset. Sure, a (research) internship is something you have to do for uni. But you can turn it into an opportunity to work in an industry you're curious about, to work with people who have a job that you'd maybe like to have after graduation, or to work in a company that seems interesting to you. This experience can help you a lot in choosing your career path, or entrepreneurship path, or further study program choices, or whatever else you want to do with your life.
1a. I DON'T KNOW what I want after graduating 😰
You're not alone! Let's help you think it through!
Write down TASKS that you've enjoyed from your hobbies, from your uni courses, from any type of (volunteer) work that you've done.
Write down the opposite: tasks that are really not your jam. Don't write down things you find uninteresting - because most jobs have some uninteresting component as part of the work, you can't escape it. Stick to listing tasks you absolutely want to avoid.
Write down TOPICS from your studies and interests that you find interesting, that you like knowing more about, and that you like spending time on.
1b. I DO KNOW what I want after graduating 😎
Write down what type of JOBS you think are interesting for after you graduate.
What type of ORGANISATIONS have those jobs?
Those are the organisations you want to do your internship with. Make it clear that you're eventually interested to become [name the jobs you're keen about], and that you'd love to work with people who currently have those jobs.
Two perks: 1) You'll start building your network now, and you'll benefit from that once you're looking for a job after graduation. 2) You'll get an idea whether that job is actually what you think it's like. If not, it's still a win - better to learn this during your internship rather than during your first job!
2. How to create a "looking for an internship" card on our Internship Board?
With the information you wrote down during step 1, you're now ready to create your "looking for internship" card on our bulletin board!
To create this card you'll need to fill out some basic information - this won't take long don't worry. This includes:
Ideal job: Think of this as the headline of your card. Word it as a job title or as something short that explains the job you want to be doing
I'm looking for: Tick whether you're looking for an internship, research internship or a traineeship
Your email address: Add your email here
Study programme: The name of your study
Educational Institution: Find the name of your uni in the drop-down menu
Internship hours per week: Indicate how many hours per week your internship should be
Start date: Date when you can start your internship
Length of internship: How long should your internship be?
Tasks: Describe the kind of tasks you'd like to perform or which fields you'd like to work in during the internship
When you're done, hit the submit post button.
3. How to approach companies you fancy directly?
The Northern Netherlands has a myriad of exciting organisations, but not all of them post internship positions online. However, there still might be an opportunity for you there. But in these cases, it's up to you to MAKE IT (in the North) (haha) (sorry).
- Identify what companies are interesting to you. If you've no idea where to start, you can sort companies by sector, and you can use the Matchtool to find out your company culture match. Which companies have a description that sparks your interest? Which Sustainable Development Goals do you think are important for a company to work towards? Click through their website: do you like the products and services they offer?
- Add relevant people from the companies as LinkedIn connections. Of course do this after you've made your LinkedIn look good. Relevant people to add are recruiters, HR people, (for smaller companies) the CEO, and people who have a job that you'd be interested to have in the future. Always add a personal note when you're connecting! Something like, "Hi [name], I'm really excited about [X] about your company, and I'd love to get in touch to learn more about your [company/role] and potential opportunities."
- Send an open application. Some companies have an open application form on Make it in the North, and if not, you can still find a contact email address on here. Email them with an open application. Make it clear in your open application why you're interested in their company, what type of tasks or knowledge or role you'd love to get involved in during your internship, and details about your internship (what period, how many hours a week). An open application includes your CV and a cover letter.
If you're really excited about a particular company, follow up on your application within 2 weeks with a call and a message to your LinkedIn connection. Don't let them forget about you! And as we always say: make it personal. If you're copy-pasting applications to various companies, your chances of them getting back in touch with you are much smaller.
Top 3 tips during your internship (TL;DR: Be Not Afraid)
You're new in an organisation, and you're probably new to working in a professional (Dutch) team. Your internship gives you a safe space to be a noob, and to make mistakes - but it doesn't give you an excuse to slack.
- Don't be afraid to ask. If you don't know something, and you can't figure out how to find the information, ask! You can ask your supervisor for advice, and you can ask your company supervisor for the info you need. First thing to ask: "Who do I ask questions about X? And about Y?" And once you get your answers, be respectful about the time and explanation your supervisors give you. Write it down, try and puzzle the information together. You don't want to be asking the same question multiple times because you forgot the answer.
- Don't be afraid to try. In contrast to point 1, do keep in mind that you can't know everything. You can't know as much or be as skilled as someone who's been working in this industry for years. You just can't! So do take initiative and get your hands dirty: try something out, fail, get the feedback you need to get better. Your internship should be a safe space for you to try things out, so take that space. You've got your supervisors to back you up when things go wrong.
- Don't be afraid to change course. In life, things run differently than you planned, and that goes the same way for an internship. Stuff may happen in your life; stuff may happen at the company you work at; stuff may happen with your supervisor(s). Evaluate with your internship supervisor and your organisation supervisor halfway through the duration of your internship: is everything on schedule? Or is it better to change the goal or expectations?
If you would be interested to stay in the North after you graduate, an internship is a fantastic opportunity to show what type of colleague you would be. Even if there are no opportunities at the company after your internship, a good reference from one Dutch company goes a long way when you apply with a different Dutch company. Use this opportunity to your advantage - and don't forget to have fun!