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Kilian de Kruyf Molina: ‘I would recommend doing an internship if you want to gain more work experience’

Trail, FGGA’s internship platform will be one-year old in November. In the upcoming weeks, we will be interviewing some FGGA students who went on internships. What did they learn from their internships? And what tasks were assigned to them?

This time, we met up with Kilian de Kruyf Molina. Kilian studied Economics, Public Administration and Management (EBM) at the Institute for Public Administration. While studying for his bachelor he did an internship at the Dutch Economic and Social Council (SER). In this interview he talks about his experiences, assigned tasks, and if he would recommend doing internships to other students.

Kilian de Kruyf Molina

What does the SER do exactly?

Kilian: ‘The SER is an institute that advises the Dutch government on policy. By means of recommendations provided by all civil-society partners, so trade unions and employers’ organisations. There are also Kroonleden (Crown-appointed members) affiliated with the SER. These are independent experts who also advice on government policy. Both the Kroonleden as well as the civil-society partners come up with recommendations for the government and parliament. The civil-societal partners try to reach a consensus on social economic issues. The independent expertise bring their expertise to the table.’

How did you end up at the SER?

‘When I was studying EBM, several teachers discussed the SER in different courses. I got to know more about SER’s activities and eventually decided to send them an open application, to ask if I could intern there. Luckily, that was OK and I really enjoyed my time there. I got on well with the team and had a really good click with my internship supervisor. I worked hybrid, which meant that I worked at the office for two days and the rest of the week from home. That was a bit of a shame, but I was happy to be able to spend some time at the office.’ 

Did you assist with those government advices as intern?

‘I was busy with two tracks. Most of the time I was working on the track on hybrid working, which was obviously very important because of corona. Hybrid working means that you work partially at the office but also partially away from the office, for instance from home or at the library. I mapped the economic effects, such as labour productivity. The second track I did during my internship, was about mapping the causes for personnel shortages in construction and the possible solutions to reduce and prevent these shortages in the construction sector.’ 

‘My internship was also a research internship, so I conducted research into the effects that working from home has on the job satisfaction of the SER employees. I did this based on Maslow’s Needs Theory, so I could incorporate a public administrative theory into my project.’

Did you know beforehand which task would be assigned to you?

‘No, not really. I knew I would be involved in the advisory track hybrid working, but they didn’t tell me I would be mapping the economic effects. I enjoyed the tasks assigned to me but the combination of conducting research and performing regular SER duties was quite intense. I didn’t have any experience on doing research yet. But I really like that a large part of the text that I have written on the advice ‘hybrid working’ has actually been incorporated in the final, published document of recommendations.’

Was the tasks that were assigned to you what you had expected them to be?

‘Yes, they were, but there are also a great many checks and balances. That is something that stood out for me. Which is a good thing, because this way the quality of the recommendations is of a high level. Especially because so many organisations and professors are collaborating on the project. What I also noticed was that the SER has a very consensus based approach. Sometimes, I had written down certain recommendations but because they were always trying to come to a consensus, it happened a few times that those recommendations were cancelled. So there is an academic basis for those recommendations, but no support from the trade unions or employers’ organisations.’ 

Would you recommend doing an internship to other students?

‘Yes, but it depends on your preferences. I would mostly recommend doing an internship if you want to gain work experience or want to put something extra on your resume. That was the reason I did an internship. If that isn’t necessary or you would rather study for bit longer, a minor would be a better fit for you.’

Text: Abdelkarim Megaiz

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