This script contains a number of steps that you should follow before and during your internship. The internship is considered as a do it yourself activity: you organise your own internship. This is part of the working experience that you should obtain from your training period. Of course all this happens under the supervision and responsibility of the Internship office.
- to get an overview of the professional world of your specialty,
- to get experience in applying for a (training) position,
- to apply your knowledge and competencies in daily work conditions
- to get work experience at aspirant engineer level outside the University of Twente, by preference in the industry in a foreign country
- to gain experience in application procedures
- to gain experience in project implementation and report writing
- to gain experience in the (international) engineering society.
For support during the whole Internship procedure, the coordinator and the mediator are available. Together we form the Internship Office. See our home page. You can make your appointments with the mediator.
Twice a year an information session is held, in October and in April. The coordinator provides general information about the internship. Moreover, per session two students will tell about their experience (preparation, application, experience on the place, evaluation) as well. It is strongly advised to attend at least one session. It is wise to attend a year before the start of the internship! The examples stimulate thinking about your plans. The sessions will be announced in the rosters, on Blackboard/Canvas on the website(s) and in the announcements in your student portal.
If you want to start up your preparations for the Internship, then please register at the Mobility Online system.
You are welcome for an intake meeting as soon as you have the idea that your training could start about half a year ahead.
- Read the script you are reading at this very moment before you meet the coordinator.
During the intake meeting you will discuss all aspects of the internship with the coordinator.
- Bring a recent overview of your study results (by preference an Osiris sheet).
- Also, bring your study plan for the period until the intended start of your internship.
- During the intake session you will make appointments about your individual procedure to arrange an internship.
After the meeting you will be authorised to visit the Blackboard/Canvas webpages of the Internship. At these pages you find information about experiences from students in the past, training offers and tips for your application.
At the start of your training period it is required that you have completed the biggest part of your master’s course programme. See for more programme specific information the “program specific rules” at this site.
There are many opportunities for an active exploration.
Visit an information session, meet the coordinator internship. The office of internship advertises training offers at the Blackboard webpages. But do not hesitate to come along for information and to discuss additional opportunities.
Staff members of the chairs
Staff members of the chairs have many valuable contacts with companies which may lead to a training project. Maybe you prefer to speak with staff members of more chairs than the one you selected for your Master’s thesis. An internship outside that field will broaden your expertise. Keep in mind that some employers welcome such a broad study background.
Of course your Google and other web explorations may reveal new companies and institutes as well.
At the moment you decide which company is the most attractive to you, it is the right time to see the coordinator again.
When going for an internship, you are in the last year of your master’s programme. You have almost completed an academic study programme of five years and you are almost an academic professional. Please keep in mind that you should take your internship seriously, because people around you may be very serious about what you do during your internship. We mention two aspects here, there will be more!
Many companies and even universities want to keep the work that you do secret for the outside world. If this is the case they will include rules regarding confidentiality in your internship agreement, or they will add a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) to be signed by you and possibly your UT supervisor. Please read the rules in these documents carefully, because breaking them may lead to severe consequences for you.
Note that sometimes the company may require from you that you keep the knowledge that you obtained during the internship confidential, after the internship. A consequence may be that you are not allowed to accept a job in the same area in another company after your graduation. This may be a reason for you to refuse the internship position.
Before signing anything, please show your agreement and NDA (if applicable) to the Office, to check that they have been formulated in a reasonable way.
Security consequences of the location of your internship
The location of your internship may have consequences when you look for a job after your graduation. In the Netherlands, some companies have jobs that have security aspects. By law companies must require from you for such a job that you can submit a declaration of no objection (VGB). You should receive such a declaration from our General Information and Security Service (AIVD). They will only issue this declaration to you if they can check your behaviour during the last eight to ten years. If you have been abroad for more than three months during this period, they will try to have your behaviour checked by a colleague security organisation. If such a colleague security organisation is not available, then the AIVD will conclude that they cannot check your behaviour and then they will refuse to issue a VGB.
For more information see the AIVD website.
Similar conditions will apply for jobs in other countries.
If you therefore have research interests that might lead to a job with security aspects you may be careful choosing the country for your internship.
Every application requires specifically composed documents. To write an application, maybe for the first time, appears not to be easy. But the positive aspect is that you can be assisted in the preparation of good documents in an individual way by the office. This experience is a great help when you are looking for a job at the end of your Master’s study. An application consists of at least two documents: a letter and a curriculum vitae (or resume). A professional record can be added. It states your project experience and the completed courses before the start of the internship. Visit before writing the documents also the WebPages http://www.wilweg.nl to explore tips for the country where you are going! Normally, you will send the application yourself (with a cc to the office).
It is always the task of the student to continuously check the status. When there is no response within two weeks after sending the application documents, it is necessary to send a kind reminder (note that the receiver will be a busy person, often away for business). Ask the office for advice; actions to be taken will depend on the intended supervisor and company or institute. Often a phone call can give quick information. It is usual to do applications successively and not simultaneously. This is important because we do not want to frustrate the addressed companies and institutes! In case a procedure ends without internship position you have to start a second one as soon as possible. Nobody benefits by a shift in the start of the training period! And note that a period at a company that was not a first choice originally is often a great success as well! Of course negative answers can cause disappointment. Deliberation with the office can help in such situations.
When you have been accepted by a company for a training period, a new phase starts with negotiating all aspects important for the training period: work to be done (project description), start and end date, company supervisor(s), UT supervisor, salary or allowance, accommodation, agreement. You select a permanent UT scientific staff member as the UT supervisor of your project in consultation with the coordinator. The subject of the training period will determine who the best person is. The first task of the UT supervisor is to approve the project (right scientific level, realistic amount of work). In ideal situations you know the company of your internship some months before the start of the training period.
Always, an agreement is required between you and the company. In many cases, the company will offer one. You should show this agreement to the coordinator before signing. You can find standard agreements in Dutch and English at this site.
As soon as you have information about reimbursement, you must consider whether the financial situation suits your possibilities. If not, you have to explore in detail the possibilities for financial support. For information always contact the office. The most generally used grants are obtained by applying for the Twente Mobility Fund (TMF) or an Erasmus Placement.
Consult the webpages of the International Office for more information about financial support.
An adequate preparation for the culture of the country where you will stay and work is a prerequisite for a successful period. There are several means to get prepared. Try to meet as many people of the country of your destination before you leave The Netherlands. It will also make you aware of specific characteristics of the Netherlands and of the Dutchmen. At the UT we have quite a lot of nationalities amongst the students. Ask the ESN (Erasmus Network Twente, ESN Twente http://www.esntwente.nl to find out whether the nationality you look for can be expected. The WebPages of the NUFFIC http://www.wilweg.nl may help. The research group “International management” of the faculty MB offers courses to become aware of cultural differences.
Finding a room may be easy or difficult. The company has the key to finding one. Sometimes it can provide a room itself. Otherwise it will have information about organisations which can mediate.
A ticket is often very much cheaper if bought far in advance. But do not buy a ticket before you have certainty about the internship position and before you have the right visa. Arrange an International Student Identity Card (ISIC, see www.kilroytravels.nl ). It will give plenty reductions.
A visa for an internship (not equal to a tourist visa!) is sometimes difficult to obtain, sometimes expensive and it requires often a lot of time (up to several months). So start with it as soon as possible.
Insurance and registration
Explore the adequacy of your insurances.
!!!! Some student insurances are not valid anymore when you have a job!!!!!
Always register at the Travel Insurance of the University of Twente. All staff members and students of the UT going abroad for their work or study should register. This way, the UT knows where their members will go and are. In unsafe situations the registration is used to arrange information and assistance. Note that this registration is compulsory. It is your individual responsibility to check whether your insurance is adequate for your personal situation.
Sometimes the supervisor of your internship project proposes to prepare your activity before arrival. Discuss this with your UT supervisor and try to find a solution in which you may receive some EC for that activity. Possibilities are e.g. literature research and writing a research essay. In general the study program completed so far guarantees sufficient knowledge and experience to make an internship period a success.
Just before you leave, register for the second time at Mobility Online. This time you fill out all specific information about the addresses at your destination. This way the university will be able to help you in case of trouble.
Experience the new situation, the people around in your living situation and at the work floor with open mind. Remember the cultural assessment theory and practice. In case of problems try to be as assertive as possible, but do not hesitate to contact people at home, including the Internship office.
Speak in an early phase of your work with your company supervisor about each other’s expectations. Indicate what you expect with respect to supervision, scientific level and frequency of meeting. Ask information about daily working hours, ways of seeking contact and confidentiality.
Giving information to your supervisor
Inform your supervisor about the evaluation form you need at the end of your work, about the report you have to deliver for your UT supervisor, the fact that you prefer to write the report during your internship. Discuss whether this report is suitable for the company as well. Report about your experience and your progress at your UT supervisor and be sure you write a report according to his/her expectations. In case the company requests you to write a confidential report, there are a few possibilities to offer a copy to your UT supervisor: the copy will be returned to the company after the evaluation by the UT supervisor and the UT supervisor signs a confidentiality agreement with the company.
Often your work starts running well at the moment you have to complete your training period. This evokes a continuous struggle between nicer results and a timely finish of your stay. A good planning will help you to deliver a complete result within your agreed period of stay.
Start writing the report from the beginning of your project. Apply all the report writing skills you earned so far. An essential aspect is to keep you logbook up to date daily!
Here you can find a general framework for the report. However, please consult your company supervisor and your UT supervisor about their expectations of the report! In our experience there are often misunderstanding between students and supervisors about the contents of a report.
Evaluation by the company supervisor
Please hand over the evaluation form to your company supervisor to be filled in. Discuss the completed evaluation form with your supervisor. This is a very valuable experience for you. A lot of companies are willing to provide a reference report in addition. You might use this in application procedures around your graduation.
Take some time to say good-bye to all your new friends and explore whether there could be opportunities for internship positions in the future. Make (your last) photographs!
Come along at the Internship Office. It will be nice to see you back and to hear your first comments. Note that it is quite normal that it takes some time to become acclimatized at the UT. But do not allow yourself more than two weeks for that. Inform either the Office Internship or the study advisor when you encounter acclimatization problems. Do not forget in case you asked a TMF/Erasmus grant to write a report to get the final 25% of the grant, within 6 weeks after return.
Deliver your report and the company supervisor evaluation form (see above) soon after return at your UT supervisor. Make an appointment to discuss the report and your experience. The UT supervisor will write an examination report and will send this to the office.
Make an appointment with the coordinator as soon as your UT supervisor has sent the grade to the office. For a meeting with him you are requested to bring the following documents:
- an electronic copy of your report (please discuss the case of confidentiality with the mediator).
- a copy of the evaluation form of your company supervisor,
- please check that the examination report has been sent by you UT supervisor to the office.
- a description of your experience; This document will be used to inform future students about past experiences; add sufficient data about the company, work atmosphere and your project.
- the student evaluation questionnaire.
And note that for nearly all students the internship is a very positive experience!