Internships

Understand the timing

Finding an internship

Finding an internship abroad

How to apply

How to land the internship position

During your internship

After your internship

Internship evaluation

Final words of advice

An internship is a period of work experience offered by an employer to give students and graduates exposure to the working environment. The work you perform there should be in line with what you have learned as part of your study programme, as well as contribute to the work of the internship organisation.

Internships can be paid or voluntary and can be as short as a week or as long as 12 months. Regardless of length, doing an internship is an excellent way to gain real insight into the world of work, allowing you to build on the theory you learned at university and help you to gain practical skills that will help strengthen your CV and make you more employable. 

At the TU Delft an internship is sometimes an integral part of your course, but if not you may consider adding the experience to your resume to test different work environments, or add valuable experience to your portfolio. Many employers especially value this practical experience. If you are not familiar with the working culture of a country you may later intend to work in, doing an internship is also a great way to attain this experience.

Understand the timing

Whether obligatory or voluntary, always start your arrangements in time, especially if you go abroad for your internship and a visa and/or work permit is required. In principle, the coordinator of your faculty is your first point of contact for faculty rules as regards obligatory internships, which may vary for each faculty. A general roadmap that you can use as a starting point is as follows:

Finding an internship

Identify when, where, on what subject and in what sector, industry or research institute you like to do an internship

  • Speak with the internship officer at your faculty. They may help you organise your research topic and can often give you company-specific tips for your CV and motivation letter. They may have information about companies and research institutions the faculty cooperates with and therefore be able to provide tips on what company or research institute suits you and how you can contact them.
  • Visit business days, go on company tours, ask your fellow students about their internship experiences. Your faculty Blackboard is the place to find internship reports of students from your faculty or you can ask your internship office for reports.
  • Talk with lecturers and the internship office at your faculty.
  • Regularly check vacancy walls, on- and offline, you may find internship openings or references to companies of interest that you can approach. Vacancy walls may be found at your faculty, your student association or at the TU Delft Career Centre page or its Facebook
  • The nearest platform for international students searching internships in The Netherlands is InterDelft
  • Tips for finding an internship with disabilities

Finding an internship abroad

  • Use the information of International Office: Study Abroad at TU Delft.
  • Information about special programs such as Unitech and the Netherlands Asia Summer School can be found at the Central International Office.
  • For more background on the labour market in a particular country, please use our online resource: GoingGlobal

How to apply

Once you know where you want to work, approach the companies and research institutes that you prefer. The process for applying for an internship is very similar to applying for a position after graduation. If you want some advice on how to approach companies or how to write a good resume and a motivation letter you can always ask your internship officer, or checkout the TU Delft Career Centre toolkit for preparation. You may also be interested in attending one of the upcoming workshops or joining one of the walk-in hours for a CV and motivation letter check.

How to land the internship position

Should you get a positive answer to your application, you will probably need to attend an interview, just as for any job. Look at more information on landing a job here (toolkit-link)

Should you come to an agreement keep these special internship issues in mind:

  • Make clear agreements about the duration, exact start and end dates, content and purpose of the contract, any fees and other allowances.
  • In order to protect your legal rights, it is wise to have an internship contract. Each faculty has different requirements regarding such a contract, so ask your internship office for the guidelines.
  • Fill in the training form of your faculty before you begin your internship and make sure that a coordinator of your internship office agrees with your assignment.

During your internship

  • Keep in touch with your academic supervisor on your progress
  • You may be required to write a report but that varies per faculty. Check this with your faculty well in advance!
  • If a report is required, start an outline of the structure of your report right at the beginning of your internship
  • Keep notes during your internship to help you write up your final report

After your internship

  • Usually you are expected to write the report in the style of your employer.
  • The report is usually submitted both to your employer and the internship coordinator.
  • Often as part of your report an evaluation form to be filled in by your internship mentor is included.
  • Many faculties require you to hand in two reports, one to put on blackboard and the other to keep at the faculty.

Internship evaluation

Your internship report is sometimes evaluated separately, sometimes as an integral part of your internship. In some faculties you will only get a pass or fail, sometimes you get a mark (out of 10).

For later use when applying for a job, it is a good idea to also reflect on your personal development during your internship period and ask feedback on your more personal learnings if that is not part of the general evaluation procedure

Areas that you might want to reflect upon with your internship supervisor and/or colleagues could be:  your communication skills, the way your working style is perceived by others (initiative, resourcefulness, being proactive); your willingness to learn, ability to work with others, level of professionalism and good judgement. The feedback is not only valuable because it will provide you with additional knowledge about the areas you might want to work on, but also can reinforce the skills you have already mastered. You could decide to ask your supervisor to shape your evaluation in a form of a reference letter, which you could use later on during your career search.

Final words of advice

Internships offer you the chance to test your skills in real-life situations, explore your career options and gain an insight into an organisation or career path. Many employers use internships as a trial period and will already have plans to recruit on a permanent basis. Embrace the experience - make a good impression; turn up on time, be enthusiastic and show your flexibility and commitment.

© 2017 TU Delft

Metamenu