Universiteit Leiden

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‘My internship changed my view of the public sector’

Hidde studies Public Administration and did an internship at the Kennemerland safety region. During his internship, he conducted research effective collaboration on the Environment and Planning Act at the safety region.

Why did you want to do an internship at the the Kennemerland Safety Region?

Hidde: ‘Before I studied Public Administration, I followed another study programme, which focused on healthcare. At the Kennemerland safety region, the public health service (GGD) is also part of the safety region, so my interests in public administration and healthcare came together nicely.’ 

What were your work activities during your internship?

‘During my internship, I worked within the Environment and Planning Act core team where I did research on the implementation of this act, because the implementation of this act requires a different working method from the safety region than before. My research focused on internal cooperation and how the safety region could best put its stamp on the environment and planning policy. The final advice was: make sure you are involved in the process as soon as possible.’ 

Is there a moment during your internship that has stayed with you?

‘I went to a refugee shelter boat in Velsen-Noord for a day. When you go there for a day, you see how people are temporarily housed and what it looks like in practice. There I learned how important it is for public administration experts to have knowledge of the situation in practice before your can think of policy at all. This internship provided the opportunity to work there for a day which allowed me to be in a place your never get to go otherwise.’

What did you find valuable about doing an internship?

‘The internship changed my view of the public sector. I always thought I was going to work in the private sector, during my internship I saw the public sector is also nice. In the public sector, people think differently, and you are working for the common good. During my internship, I found out that working in the public sector also suits me.’ 

Would you recommend internships to other students?

‘Personally, I think it varies from student to student whether doing an internship is relevant. I think both are good. It depends on different aspects whether an internship is relevant to you.’ 

Text: Annemieke van Es  

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