Universiteit Leiden

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‘During my internship, I learned how theory is applied in practice’

Elise Darras studies at Leiden University College (LUC) where she specialises in Earth, Energy and Sustainability. She decided to do a month-long internship in France: ‘I got a good experience of what work life is like.’

Where did you do your internship?

‘I did an internship for a month in France at H2Air. It is a French company that develops and builds solar and wind farms. They aim to develop green energy.’

Did you deliberately want to do an internship in France?

‘I really wanted to do an internship in the first place. I applied a lot, but no one took me on because I could only do an internship for six weeks. Then a friend recommended me to her father's company, which was H2Air. I wanted to get involved in green energy, so that was also convenient. It was important to me that the internship was in France, as I am French myself. I could have done it anywhere else, but France is a bit easier anyway.’

Is green energy really a passion of yours?

‘I really plan to be involved in green energy, even when I finish LUC. I would like to get involved in developing new green energy or expanding and improving the options that are currently available.’

Elise Darras

What kind of tasks did you have at H2Air?

‘As it was only for one month, I did not have any specific duties. I did an internship in the wind turbine development group. The department consists of seven managers, who are also involved in informing local people about the projects at hand. I was mainly able to watch what the managers were doing and ask questions, as well as give my opinion on the projects. This way, I was able to experience what the atmosphere was like and what life is like there in the office, which allowed me to learn a lot about the company and how they pursue their goals.’

Were you able to apply what you learnt in your studies during your internship?

‘Yes, I took several classes on green energy and wind energy. As a result, I already had some kind of basic knowledge. With that knowledge I could build on the work during my internship. We also had a course 'Introduction to GIS' (Geographic Information System). During the internship, I found out that they use the same programme as taught at LUC, so I had a good understanding of what they were doing. It was very useful because I saw how the knowledge is applied in practice.’

Would you recommend other students to do an internship?

‘Yes, I would really recommend it. The company helped me so much and I also felt really comfortable. I was able to learn a lot and so I plan to do a longer internship after this, so I can learn even more.’

Text: Abdelkarim Megaiz

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