CV Building: internships

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Applying for a job at a multinational without a rich resume is usually a hopeless mission. To find your dream job, you first need to demonstrate that you are able to participate in the business environment. For many students, doing an internship at a company is, therefore, the ultimate opportunity to get into contact with actual business for the first time. It provides the perfect chance for young talent to prove themselves in the job market. In general, companies prefer students who have already gained some work experience during their busy student years. 

A while ago, Faces Online editors started this section which is about experiences of students who were working students besides their studies (see CV Building: working students). In this week’s article, the focus lies on (graduation) internships. Four (former) students tell us about seizing the opportunity of doing such an internship and their experiences. 

Doing an internship: why?

Large companies often hire a number of interns every year. They do so to support current staff, but also to discover potential new employees. For students, this provides a good opportunity to develop themselves within the business environment. This was also one of the reasons for Djanmar Sorber, who is an intern at Unilever: ‘‘I chose an internship to get a better perspective on how financial and analytical skills are applied in a large company, and to get a good impression of the working atmosphere and cooperation.’’ Carlijn de Block, a thesis intern at EY, stated the following as her motivation: “I wanted to start my thesis internship in order to get to know more about the working atmosphere and culture of EY. I also wanted to gain some practical experience before starting my career as an accountant. In addition to writing your thesis, you also get the opportunity to visit clients to work as an accountant.’’

Finding an internship

Companies find it important to have an idea of their potential interns. As a result, finding a vacancy or internship via Google is not always the desired method. Jet Slijkhuis, who is an intern at Baker Tilly, found her internship via an event of Asset | Accounting & Finance (A&F): “During the cocktail workshop, I had a conversation with the campus recruiter of Baker Tilly. The next day, I received a message with an invitation to come over for a coffee.”
Carlijn also found her employer via Asset activities: “During various activities of A&F where accountancy firms were present, I always had a good click with the people of EY Eindhoven. Therefore, I thought it would be nice to do an internship there.’’


Doing an internship besides your studies is something which does not suit many students’ agendas. The right moment for an internship is often hard to find, as students often have enough other things on their minds. Djanmar gives the following advice regarding this: “In my opinion, the end of your bachelors is the best time for an internship. By then, you have both a theoretical and practical impression of the direction which interests you.’’
According to Stan den Boer, who is an intern at NIBC Bank, there are several moments which suit an internship. “I think that the ideal path would be a summer internship between the second and third year of your bachelors, which you could find at a smaller firm. During your masters, you can search for an internship you really aim for.’’

“For M&A, PE and finance in general, an internship is an officious commitment which considerably increases your market value. An employer has to invest less in you and you can start working right away.’’ 

Additional value

The main reason for an internship often comes from the ambition to gain practical experience and getting an impression of the relevant company. Regarding whether it really yields something, Djanmar says the following: “You quickly realize your actual interests and motivations. Many students choose a study direction with a certain expectation, which lacks practical experience. Maybe you want something completely different after your internship due to disappointing expectations, or you discover something new where you gain satisfaction from.”
Stan said the following about this:
“It improves your CV and you gain experience and closely participate in the project. Yet mainly, the pace at which you learn to process information is very convenient, for other purposes as well.’’ In addition, Stan believes that it has a positive effect on your personal position in the job market: “For M&A, PE and finance in general, an internship is an officious commitment which considerably increases your market value. An employer has to invest less in you and you can start working right away.’’ 


To conclude, the students give their personal tips.
Jet focuses on choosing an internship. “Consider well for yourself what you want to gain from a potential internship and discuss this with the company where you will potentially do your internship. It would be unnecessary to spend a lot of time on doing an internship which does not yield the results you expected.’’
Stan states the following: “Make sure you start applying in time. NIBC did not have any places left in March for the intake period of September. Applying for an internship half a year in advance is definitely not too early. Also, make sure to think well about your motivation before you enter into potential internship applications.’’
Djanmar gives the following advice: “If you want to do an internship, particularly look for a company which suits you and where you think the working atmosphere is good. You can only get the best out of yourself if you enjoy your internship.’’
Finally, Carlijn gives some personal advice as well: “I definitely recommend doing an internship. I have met many new people, gained new experiences and developed a better perspective of the job of an accountant.’’

Doing an internship can give a student the additional lead necessary to get a future dream job. Are you ready for a new challenge such as an internship or a different side job? Then take a look at Career Platform Tilburg!