4 + 1 tips for a successful internship
Internships, either within the Netherlands or abroad, are an inseparable part of your Bachelor's programme at Hotelschool The Hague. From Spain to France, Germany, or Norway, the sky is really the limit when it comes to the extensive range of internship opportunities offered to HTH students. If you are soon embarking on your own placement adventure, here are a few tips to make the transition to your new role smoother, as well as the overall experience a memorable one!
Before you begin your internship, make sure you spend some time planning your desired outcomes and goals. What is it that you want to learn or gain from this internship? Is it networking with like-minded people in the hospitality industry? Honing a specific skill? Working in a different setting? Exploring a new country? Setting clear intentions will help you map out the ways to work towards them and come up with an action plan.
Research, research, and more research
We cannot stress enough the importance of familiarising yourself with the place you are going to live in, and the culture of the company you are soon going to be part of. On the one hand, there are the practical aspects you need to keep in mind; do you speak the language of the country? English may be spoken everywhere, but why not learn a few key phrases in the language of the country you are an intern in? It will not only help you understand your surroundings better but also showcase your dedication to blending in with the host culture.
On the other hand, deep dive into the company you are joining. Where is it located? Is walking or taking the train the best way to reach it? What is the work culture or dress code? A good idea would be to reach out to current or previous employees to learn more about it and get a head start on your new role.
It goes without saying that taking chances and being bold can take you places. Do not hesitate to ask questions, as big or small as they may be. You have surely heard of the cliché, “no question is silly”, and it could not be truer; you never know where one question may lead you to. Keep your curiosity going, have the confidence to share your ideas, take initiative, and in the advent of a mistake, admit it and learn from it.
Preparation is key in every circumstance, but do not forget that you need to be flexible and ready to readjust at any time. A new country, working environment, people, and surroundings may make you feel overwhelmed, and there might be times when not everything is going according to your plans. The solution to this? Making adaptability your default response to changing circumstances.
Do not forget that you are joining this internship not only for the invaluable working experience you are going to gain out of it, but also for expanding your horizons. Keep an open mind, say yes to invitations for weekend trips (as long as these are not interfering with your responsibilities during your internship!), meet local and international people, try different foods, and immerse into the country’s culture. After all, this is part of your education as well.
Internships are a great way to explore the world of hospitality in an international business environment. They give you the chance to put into practice all the theoretical knowledge you have been taught during your studies at Hotelschool The Hague while combining teamwork with personal development.
Have you thought about your internship abroad yet?