Who are you?
I’m Fieke, 20 years old and now a 3rd year CIS student. Since the beginning of my studies, I have been an active member of Flow and have been a member of the Study Trip Committee and the Symco as well as the commissioner of the Introduction Committee.
Where did you do your internship?
In the first semester of my third year, I did an internship at Mercure Hotel Tilburg Centrum and all the other brands that fall under this organisation, namely CitySauna, Grand Café Puur, Restaurant Taste!, Parking garage Heuvelpoort and ibis Tilburg. Different branches in the hospitality industry, each with their own USPs and communication style. The crazy thing about my internship was that I expected that with such large hotel chains (both Mercure and ibis) there would also be a big marketing team. However, nothing turned out to be less the case: there is one person who arranges the entire marketing and communication and she also works as a freelancer with fewer hours than I did! Super exciting, incredibly fun and educational.
How long did your internship last and how many hours in the week?
In total I did an internship for three months, where I was in the office for 8.5 hours three days a week. After those three months, my internship was extended by another three weeks, but for two days a week, because this fitted better into my schedule. During my internship I took two courses at the university and kept my side job. That went well together.
How did you end up there? What did you have to be able to do?
In the summer holidays between my second and third year I decided that I would like to do an internship during my studies. My plan was to do this in the second semester. It actually came out of the blue that I suddenly applied for an internship that would start in September. This had everything to do with the fact that one day I was looking for a side job in a hotel. This has always been a dream of mine in the past, so I started looking for interesting vacancies in hotels. After browsing the internet for a while, I came across the vacancy for a Marketing & Communications intern at Mercure Hotel Tilburg Centrum. I thought: this is an internship in my field and in a hotel! I thought the vacancy sounded incredibly interesting, so I e-mailed the hotel with a number of questions I had. I then received answers to my questions and they asked me if I could send them my resume. So said, so done and I quickly got a phone call to make an appointment for my application, even though the vacancy stated that I had to send a cover letter, and I had not yet done so. During the interview, my internship supervisor and I had a really good connection and a week later I was told that I got the job! For a shorter period of time than the vacancy actually stated, but this was also better for myself, because I would then be finishd before the second semester would start.
Why did you want to do an internship?
I really like CIS, but I missed the challenge and the practice. After 2 years of studying I knew that I was doing well, but I also knew that I often find the practice very difficult. In addition, I had no idea what I wanted to do further in this field, if I wanted to continue studying communication at all and if so, which master’s degree. Even deciding on the minor was difficult for me, so a break from uni and some study delay actually came in handy to me.
What exactly did you do and learn on your internship?
I did a lot of different things during my internship. From creating Facebook and Instagram posts to writing press releases and keeping track of and managing the various websites. I made sure that sites like Tilburg.com, Make it in Tilburg and Booking.com had the same texts about the hotels and restaurants and wrote these texts myself. I also looked at the SEO of the sites and optimized it by writing landing pages and the use of certain keywords. At the end of my internship I worked on creating brand books for the brands in which the the communication style, design, fonts and much more would be stated. At that time I worked a lot with the designer. Unfortunately, I was not able to finish this off completely.
In a short period of time I learned how WordPress works, how to create and write a newsletter in Mailchimp and what a fun way to write is. My internship was all about doing. Just try it, see how it goes. On top of that I learned more about how it goes in a company, how many different people you have to deal with on a job and how you all have to work together if something is to succeed. So, I thought it was very valuable to learn this.
Have you been delayed in your studies?
Due to my internship, I have a six-month study delay. However, I knew this in advance and, as I told you before, it actually worked out well for me. I used my third year mainly to find out what I want to do after my bachelor’s and what I like to do.
Did you receive an internship allowance?
For my internship I received a monthly allowance.