This week we spoke with Rick from Integrand. They form the bridge between the student and the business world. In what way? Well, actually just a lot of different forms, but mainly by offering internships. Integrand is completely run by students. Pretty cool for such a professional organisation. You can call them very formal, but besides this formal character, there are also plenty of social activities. The board regularly goes out for drinks together, but also with other Integrand branches. Curious about what Integrand can mean for you? Then read more!
WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU DO WITHIN INTEGRAND?
"My name is Rick Jansen and I am responsible for promoting Integrand to all student and study associations. As a board member, you also have your general tasks."
WHAT IS INTEGRAND ABOUT?
"We are the bridge for students to the professional field. So we really try to build the bridge between the student - who is not yet familiar with the field - and the companies. In this way, we bring them into contact with companies. Integrand connects and stimulates ambition. We not only offer work placements, but also work-study or graduation internships. So we have all kinds of internships, but also starter positions, for example. Our portfolio includes all major companies, but also many smaller ones. These are very diverse companies. That's why there is always something for everyone.
"In addition, at Integrand we have so-called 'In-house days'. Here companies set up their own event. Students can come to this event to get in touch with the company. Sometimes this takes place at the company itself. We also organise many career events. An example of a career event is 'Flourish your Future'. Each edition focuses on a specific sector. In recent years, for example, we have organised a Law and Marketing edition and on 17 May we are organising a Consultancy edition! This is a day that attracts many companies and where students can then meet those companies. Companies speak about their business here. So it's really a bit of a larger scale event."
WHY SHOULD STUDENTS LOOK FOR AN INTERNSHIP WITH YOU?
"First of all, it is completely free and without obligation for students. Personally, I think the personal attention is very nice for students. For example, we give them CV, motivation letter, LinkedIn and application tips. Often the process of finding an internship is a bit exciting. It is new for many students. You don't quite feel at home yet. We try to anticipate this. We are all students, you can say anything to us, and we will find the right match for you. That personal attention is usually experienced as very nice. In addition, the internships themselves are also often experienced as very positive. There really are so many different internships. They range from law to data science and marketing. There is something for literally everyone. Of course, everyone experiences the internship differently in the end, but in general it is experienced as positive."
WHAT WOULD YOU ADVISE STUDENTS IF THEY ARE LOOKING FOR AN INTERNSHIP?
"The most important thing is to register on the site first. That is only a matter of creating an account online. You fill in important information for the process. If you then find something that is cool, then you can apply to it using your account. From that moment on, it comes to us and we will do everything we can to help you find the right internship. Once you sign up, the rest happens automatically."
“ WE STRIVE TO BE THE MOST PROFESSIONAL STUDENT NETWORK IN THE NETHERLANDS. ”
WHAT DOES YOUR BOARD CONSIST OF?
"Our team consists of twelve people. We have, of course, a chairman, a vice-chairman. We also have a sales, marketing and events team, and there are three people in each of these. We also have someone who is responsible for operations, he supports the team and makes sure the process runs smoothly. We do all this on a part-time basis."
WHAT DO YOU GET OUT OF IT AS A BOARD?
"Actually, you can see it as follows. Integrand is a very formal thing, where you can develop yourself professionally. Everyone has their own responsibilities and tasks. The structure of Integrand is comparable to the business world. In addition, you get a very large network of companies and students."
"You also get the opportunity to attend different trainings. You can attend as many training courses as you like. These are very valuable trainings in many different areas, such as soft and hard skills, which are useful for your later life. These trainings are offered for free."
"Apart from that, it also has a very informal character. When you come to us, you feel at home in the group very quickly. They are students from all sorts of different backgrounds. Wednesday evening is actually our regular evening. First we always have a work meeting, where we tell each other what we did last week. After the work meeting, we often go and do something fun, like an escape room, ice skating or to the Polly. That's also just fun and it's all part of the game.
WHAT ARE THE HIGHLIGHTS IN A YEAR AS A BOARD?
"The highlights are definitely things like the policy weekend. Policy weekend is actually a weekend away somewhere in Europe! The class that goes away organises the weekend as a surprise for the rest. Last November we went to Prague and in the beginning of May we are going away again! In addition, the Wednesday evenings are always fun, sometimes it is a planned activity, but spontaneous outings also happen often. For example, we spontaneously went to the Efteling amusement park one day."
“ WE HAVE NOTICED THAT NOT MANY STUDENTS YET KNOW WHAT INTEGRAND ENTAILS. THERE ARE STILL OPPORTUNITIES FOR BOTH PARTIES. ”
HOW IS THE MUTUAL CONTACT WITH OTHER BRANCHES?
"Integrand consists of twelve offices spread across the Netherlands. Integrand is located in every student city with a university. That is one of the advantages of looking for an internship with us. We simply have a very large network. The companies that recruit the team in Amsterdam are also in our network and vice versa. In addition, together we make sure that the perfect match rolls out of the system. Two offices approve a match and only then is the student put forward as a candidate for the internship. This means that you partly take over the HR tasks of the company. At the same time, as a student you know that it is being looked at properly."
"We also have monthly meetings with the other officials. We talk about how we can help Integrand move forward as a whole. We're setting that up now, but it's very valuable. You can support each other together. We also follow training courses together that are given by Integrand Netherlands".
"We also often do fun things in an informal way. At the end of March we're going to do something fun with the Rotterdam branch. In addition, in May we have the Integrand lustrum where all the branches come together and there will be drinks. These are really activities to look forward to."
LOOKING AHEAD: WHERE DO YOU WANT TO BE IN 5 YEARS?
"We would particularly like to become better known among students. We notice that not many students know what Integrand is all about. There are still opportunities for both parties, because we can really help each other. We have targets to reach a certain amount of students and we'd like to expand and reach them in the future. So it's mainly about getting more brand awareness. Of course we also want to let as many new companies as possible know about Integrand."
If you want to find out more about Integrand, take a look at the site!