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‘Try to get to know different sides of an organisation during your internship’

Annelot did an internship with the crisis management team of ‘Rijkswaterstaat’. During her internship, she was involved in improving an app used for information management during crisis situations.

Why did you choose to do an internship at Rijkswaterstaat?

Annelot: ‘I did the minor Security, Safety and Justice because I found the topics covered in the minor very interesting. When I decided that I wanted to do an internship, I started looking for an internship in line with the themes of that minor. Eventually I ended up at the crisis management team of Rijkswaterstaat.’  

What are the day-to-day activities of the crisis management team?

‘The crisis management team of course deals with crises. However, there is not a crisis every day. In their day-to-day work they are preparing for possible crises: is information in order and can this properly be communicated to citizens? They are also on standby for when a crisis breaks out.’ 


What were your responsibilities during the internship?

‘Within my internship, I was responsible for an app used internally during a crisis. The app is used for internal information management so that people know how to find each other in times of a crisis and keep track of information.  My task was to improve this app because the app's software was not working properly.’

What did you enjoy most during your internship?

‘I really liked that I got the opportunity to go to various crisis training sessions. One of the trainings I attend was a simulation of what happens if Den Helder floods. Rijkswaterstaat's responsibility in this type of crisis is to ensure that information management to citizens is in order. Rijkswaterstaat also looks at how to evacuate in such a situation. At the time of training, maintenance work was carried out on the Afsluitdijk, so it was not possible to evacuate via there, which meant we needed to look for another evacuate route. During these trainings, you learn how to act in a crisis and what a crisis looks like.  

I also got to spend a day with the road inspector. This is the executive part of Rijkswaterstaat. They drive around in a certain area and are called in when there is an accident, for example. They check what the situation is and take care of road closures. The shift I was on was very quiet, but- this way you get a good idea of what kind of work someone does, and you learn about different parts of the organisation.’  

Do you have tips for students taking up internships?

‘It is important to show initiative and if you like a certain task, ask if you can do it. That way, you can see different sides of an organisation during your internship, and you can learn a lot about it.'  

Text: Annemieke van Es

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