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For my studies at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (HvA), I did an internship for 6 months at Peterpans Adventure Travel. I study Media, Information, and Communication and did my previous internship at Amsterdam Marketing (I Amsterdam). I already knew I loved tourism, online marketing, and the travel industry because of this internship. To develop myself more and to gain international working experience I chose to go abroad, step out of my comfort zone and apply for an internship at Peterpans Adventure Travel.
Everything started with a Skype interview. Usually, I don't get nervous about an interview. However, an online English interview felt different to anything I’ve ever done before. Speaking English, expressing yourself, and telling the interviewer about your skills in another language felt like a challenge.
I had to prepare myself, so I practiced English interview questions, wrote down any questions I wanted to ask Peterpans and made sure I was comfortable speaking English. This preparation process made me feel more confident ahead of the interview. This is definitely something I would recommend to anyone doing an interview in a different language - preparation is key.
Once my interview started, my upcoming manager made me feel comfortable straight away. The interview was fun and we had an amazing conversation. After the interview, the manager told me that she wanted to hire me. I was filled with joy. Yes, it was scary to do an online interview in a different language. But without that healthy nervous feeling, it wouldn’t feel as rewarding as it did. I couldn’t wait to start my internship.
At the start of my internship, I had to adjust to everything. It took me at least a month until I got to know the company, and it was another full month before I was actually focussing on what I wanted to learn. However, my internship at Peterpans Adventure Travel made me very confident, and helped me grow professionally. I have gotten comfortable speaking & writing English, improved my sales & marketing skills, but I have also grown as a person.
Explore Australia, New Zealand, and Asia
Since Peterpans Adventure Travel is one of the biggest travel agencies in Australia, as an intern you get the ability to travel a lot. You get to explore Australia, New Zealand, and even South East Asia if you want to. The more you travel, the better you get at understanding the customer and target market demographic. Peterpans Adventure Travel motivates their interns and employees to explore new places and try new things. Since I love to travel, this was one of the best things about the programme!
It’s a big step to leave your family, friends, and hometown behind you. Leaving your comfort zone and starting somewhere new is an experience you will never forget. I met a lot of like-minded students and became friends with them. This whole abroad internship at Peterpans Adventure Travel made me stronger as a person, and is an experience I will carry with me forever.
Taking it home
When going home I will miss sunny Sydney, my friends, my colleagues, and the freedom of working while being on holiday. This internship has made me see how big this small world is. I will definitely return and see everyone again, because everything is possible nowadays if you work hard for it.
I will return home with international work experience, new friends and a lot of confidence in myself. While studying I would recommend any student to step out of your comfort zone, put some effort into finding an internship that suits you and work hard for the things you want.
Written by Riwka Mevissen