Universiteit Leiden

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Science Based Business

Information for Internship Host

Do you have a project that will benefit from analytical skills or knowledge of science and business? Do you want to tap into talented graduate students and test-drive potential employees? Are you looking for temporary management support? Do you want to offer motivated science students the opportunity to get to know your business and acquire work experience? Then do consider involving an intern from the Master Specialisation Business Studies of Leiden University’s Faculty of Science.

The Msc. specialisation Business Studies bridges science, medicine and business, by focusing on areas such as technology management, innovation, entrepreneurship, operations and decision making. The Business Studies specialisation brings together students from across the Leiden Science Faculty, LUMC, and beyond, with an interest in management careers, industry, and technology commercialization.

Our students are trained in scientific problem-solving and are used to working independently. Due to their scientific education and research experience, our students are able to efficiently gather information and to interpret this information critically. Furthermore, our students complement their research oriented Master of Science program with acquiring business knowledge and skills. The combination of field-related knowledge in a scientific discipline and analytical and management training ensures that the students are trained as specialists who are also able to operate as generalists.

Students of our program have a good track record of successful internships at large multinationals and young startups in various industries, as well as at government agencies and non-profit organizations. Our students have demonstrated their competence in solving a diverse set of business problems: identifying and evaluating new business opportunities for existing technologies, designing a new product including marketing and manufacturing strategies, developing effective dashboards for improving productivity, and so on. The internship has proven beneficial for both the student and the internship host; many students stay at the hosting organization as formal employees after the internship.

Our students actively search for an internship position that suits their interests and skills. You can contact info@sbb.leidenuniv.nl to register an internship opportunity. This can be post to the (closed) learning environment of our program.

The internship period is usually between three and six months, and an internship can start at any point throughout the year.

The three most important criteria for our internship are:

➔ The internship should have a sufficient level of business/management engagement.

▪ For example, our students are looking for projects on strategic planning, marketing research, financial management, technology and operations management, business intelligence, management research. Projects with a purely ‘technical orientation’ such as those primarily involving lab work are not acceptable.

➔ The internship should have a sufficient level of complexity and be challenging at an academic level.

▪ The internship assignment should involve analytical problem-solving. It should not primarily consist of carrying out simple administrative support or routinized tasks, such as answering customer phone calls or updating sales databases.

▪ For example, the internship should not only involve the collection of data but more importantly should involve work focused on the analysis of data to inform business decisions.

➔ The internship should have a sufficient level of independence.

▪ The intern should have significant personal responsibilities, and there should be room for the intern to take initiatives for further development. The intern is not a personal assistant.

It is important to note that, we only require a significant part of the internship, but not all internship activities, to satisfy the abovementioned criteria. It is a natural learning process to start with some easy and small tasks. In addition, supportive and repetitive tasks are also important for the functioning of an organization, as well as for the intern to learn about the organization and to train management and interpersonal skills. We do not forbid these tasks, but these tasks alone are not sufficient for an internship.

Preferably the internship has some connection with the student’s scientific discipline. In addition, for certain types of internships the intern should have a relatively independent project that he/she is personally responsible for, and the project should have well-defined deliverables, e.g., a project report, and milestones. More detailed guidelines can be find in the Internship Handbook (available on the student's learning environment).


➔ Help the student to develop the internship plan, which needs to be approved by you and then by the Leiden University examiner responsible for the internship program.

➔ Provide the student sufficient training and guidance in order to fulfill responsibilities of the internship.

➔ Supervise the internship’s daily tasks and help solving work-related issues.

➔ Support and help the student to find his/her way within the organization.

➔ Conduct (1) a half-way evaluation and (2) a final evaluation, to assess the intern’s performance and provide feedback that the intern can use to improve his/her performance, as well as for further career development.

Staff of Science Based Business will provide academic supervision of the project. Students are required to write (interim) reports on their progress, which are reviewed by our staff so that possible bottlenecks can be spotted on time.

In general, SBB staff will not advise on or get involved in the actual internship assignment itself. We will be able to provide support in resolving any issues that may arise during the internship.

We may contact you inquiring internship progress and performance. Please also do not hesitate to contact us (info@sbb.leidenuniv.nl) should you need further information or would like to discuss any internship issues.

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