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‘I think an internship is the best way to prepare yourself for a professional life’

Luis from Germany is a third-year bachelor’s student Security Studies. During his elective space, he did an internship at the German Ministery of Labour and Social Affairs.

Why did you choose to do an internship?

Luis: ‘Before I started my studies, I already did an internship at the Bundestag in Berlin. I liked it very much and I felt like it would be the best way to prepare for my career after my studies.  I wanted to have this experience before finishing my studies to be able to present myself in a job interview.’ 

Where did you do your internship and what were your daily tasks?

‘I worked in the research and innovation department of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. This was kind of a unique department within the Ministry, because it is the place where all the research conducted by the Ministry and the research they fund come together.’ 

Were you able to apply things you learned during your bachelor's during your internship?

‘The courses that I took on research design were very helpful since I worked in the research department. Through the course I was able to understand how to conduct research and work on a professional level. They didn't have to explain every little detailed to me.’ 


What did you learn during your internship?

‘I mostly learned more about working in a professional team. What it is like to go to meetings, how people present what they are working on, the communication, how to solve issues on a personal and professional level. Durning my internship I observed a lot. My boss taught me that it is important to value everyone's work. Another thing I learned is that it is important to get to know each other on a personal level by drinking a cup of coffee with your colleagues. Getting to know your colleagues more personally in the end benefits the productivity of the team.’ 

What did you like most about your internship?

‘I liked that it was diverse, because we were in constant contact with different research institutions and universities. We had different meetings with them about who we should give our funding to. I was not only sitting at a desk all the time. We also visited several events to connect with professionals in our domain. 

What I liked the most was the spirit within our team. We were a relatively small team, so it felt like a group of friends working together. The team was open to new people. I was both the newest and the youngest member of the team and they welcomed me in a very nice way. When I left the team, they also gave me a present and told me they would miss me. It was a nice environment to work in.’ 

Would you recommend other students to do an internship?

‘I would recommend doing an internship. It is more takes more effort to organise an internship than doing a minor, but the experience and the benefits you get from an internship are, in my opinion, more valuable. I think an internship is the best way to prepare yourself for your professional life.’ 

Text: Annemieke van Es 

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