Candidate Exposé – Iris van Knippenberg

Iris van Knippenberg 3

I am Iris van Knippenberg, a 21 year old Dutchie, and am studying International Leisure Management at NHTV in Breda.

I always wanted to do my internship abroad, as I think you learn way more from that and it is just an amazing experience. After I went abroad to Finland, I even wanted to go abroad more and preferred going outside Europe this time. Canada was in my top 3 of countries outside Europe, so it wasn’t hard to finalise my decision when I got the offer to do this internship.

I first tried out to find internships on my own in the US, but it was really difficult to get one as you really need a network for it and they prefer people who are a native speaker as well. When I couldn’t find one on my own, I decided to look at my school database and that is where I found the vacancy to do an internship with INTERNeX. It spoke to me, as it was outside Europe and I really liked the tasks I would need to do here with INTERNeX.

I am doing an internship with INTERNeX itself, so I am sort of part of the practicum Iris van Knippenberg (words)program of INTERNeX. I had to do an internship for my study, so I couldn’t choose another one. I really like the internship at INTERNeX, I feel like I already learned a lot and there is so much opportunity to actually learn something if you really want to. It is really nice to hang out with the others who are part of the program too, as they experience the same things as I do and therefore really understand it.

The atmosphere in the company is really good. Besides that I also like my tasks and the projects I am doing for them as well. Like I already mentioned, I also got a lot of opportunities to work on my personal goals, which I really appreciate. Characteristics and skills you need to be successful here are I would say networking, being client-oriented and having good communication skills.

This internship is part of my university program and I think it is really useful because you finally get to actually practice everything and learn the skills, which you should not be able to learn when you are just in a classroom.

Iris van Knippenberg 1When I arrived I felt like Vancouver was really big (the buildings and the city itself) and pretty warm. I expected snow before I came here, so I was really surprised to arrive in a city where there was no snow and 7 degrees. When I left the Netherlands, it was way colder, so that is why I expected at least the same temperature in Vancouver. Right now it doesn’t feel big anymore, I got used to the city and I know my way around now. Canadians are really polite and easy-going. Besides that I found out that Canada has beautiful nature and there is so much to do here.

I attend every trip we organise with the PR-team, because I always like to go with the INTERNeX family, there is a really good atmosphere among us. I also like the events and the pub nights are always really nice too, so I always try to go to as many things as possible.

I already did a lot in Vancouver. While I am here I visited quite some amazing places. The ones that stood out the most were the Rockies, Kelowna and Joffre lakes. Besides that I also did a lot of amazing activities such as bungee jumping in Whistler, going to my first professional hockey game, hiking at Lynn Canyon, celebrating King’s Day in Vancouver and I went to a boat party.

I love the nature here and that it is so easy to just go on a hike or to the beach. While doing this, I have the feeling that I am actually escaping my daily life routine. I have been homesick in the beginning and in the middle of my time here. In the beginning I wasn’t used to living alone anymore and had to get used to it again. In the middle of my internship, a lot of my good friends were leaving Vancouver again and I felt a bit alone because of that. However, because of all the great people of the INTERNeX family I felt way better.

I can’t choose between two experiences which have both been really amazing for me, the Iris van Knippenberg 2Rockies and Joffre lakes. When you are at the Rockies, it totally feels like an escape of reality when you are there. The mountains and views are amazing and the atmosphere here is just the best ever. At the Rockies I got the chance to do a hike at Johnston Canyon while every waterfall was still frozen. Besides that I also did a hike on the mountain in Banff where I got amazing views over the mountains. I also walked on Lake Louise to a frozen waterfall. It was a bit scary to walk over it, but also really great.

Joffre Lakes was an amazing day-long hike, which was challenging but really worth the time and effort. As I did not have the right hiking shoes yet, I kept falling and it took me a long time to get to the second lake. Climbing up the mountain was also not really helping either. However, once we were at the second lake, I forgot all the pain and exhaustion. The lakes are blue-greenish as they are fed by glaciers and absolutely look amazing.

This trip definitely inspired me to travel more since I heard about a lot of amazing events and places while I was here (Oktoberfest in München and Carnaval in Aachen). Besides that I do not have the time to see the other side of Canada now, so I would love to go to the other side to see Quebec, Montreal, Ottowa and the Niagra falls.

INTERNeX helped me to find my way in Vancouver regarding finding friends. Besides that the organisation also gave me the opportunity to explore a lot of places where I would not have gone without them. Yes, my experience would have been way different without INTERNeX and I would not change a thing about it.

When I get Back home I will eat a lot of chees and order a “frikandel speciaal”.

– Iris

INTERNeX International Exchange
International Village,
Suite 2077, 2079 – 88 West Pender Street
Vancouver, Canada -V6B 6N9-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

Candidate Exposé – Björn Jentschke

Bjorn jentschkeMy name is Björn Jentschke, I’m 21 years old and from southern Germany (close to Munich and Stuttgart). Right now I’m working on my Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration specialized on Finance.

I have never really thought about going to Canada until I started working with Internex, who offers internships in New Zealand and Canada. So finally I decided to go to Canada and I’ve never regretted that.

In my third semester I was constantly thinking about doing an internship abroad as part of my studies, but I didn’t know exactly how to start with that project and wasn’t sure about it at all. Then, I think back in October 2015, I heard about Timothy Wells, the owner of an international exchange agency, would give a little presentation. So I decided to join that and yes, he convinced me to do such an internship abroad. After some weeks I decided to go with Internex, the following decision that I’ve never regretted!

I’ve chosen the international coop because I wanted to gain more experiences in the financial sector besides banks and of course experience how it is to work in another country with a different language and culture. That program was perfect for that.

I am placed at a company that is situated in the wealth management sector. So it is all Björn Jentschke (words)about individual portfolio construction or analysis, a whole financial advice in the matter of tax minimization, pension and also loans. It is a really fast growing company and they just changed their head office to downtown Vancouver, where we have a great lookout over Vancouver. To be successful here you have to show great commitment and being interested in the financial sector. You need to have basic knowledge about financial instruments and Excel. People there are very nice and friendly, so it is an asset if you are also really open.

It is not required to do this international placement in my university program, so it is more like an individual gaining of experiences. As a dual student I depended on the permission of my company to do this in my practical time, but luckily that was no problem. Is it useful for my career goals? Yes of course! I just can recommend doing something like this to everyone. Of course it is good for your CV, but I also learned a lot of the investment business from a lot of different people and perspectives now. I also improved my English skills a lot, which is very important and the most important part is that you will really grow as a human; being more confident and experience how other people live. Tim told me in our chat of the beginning of my program just to be confident and trying new things, also in my job here. It is all about that.

Here I live in a homestay with three other students and interns. I really enjoyed it. Also the owner of the homestay was fantastic so it was just perfect.

The first impression I got from Vancouver is that it looked beautiful between the pacific and the mountains and people were very friendly. Right now I feel very comfortable in this town.

The Internex PR-team organises several activities but it’s no duty to attend those, so I wasn’t at every event. But I really think that these events were always very good organized. They are a very good opportunity to meet very quickly some new people, especially in the beginning of your stay in Vancouver, and of course to have a lot of fun. On the weekend events you really have the chance to see the environment of Vancouver and a lot of nice places. Also, the PR-team always keeps you updated about changes in the planning or other things.

Activities I did and places I visited are: Zip-lining and bungee jumping in Whistler, kayaking in Deep Cove, visiting the VERY BUSY Capilano Suspension Bridge. I went to beautiful Bowen Island, did a weekend trip to Portland and Seattle. I went hiking to Lake Garibaldi and on the Howe Sound Crest Trail. I visited Vancouver Island, went to a country festival in Surrey, walked through Stanley Park and much more!

What I like most about Vancouver is of course the location between the mountains in the north and the pacific in the west. Also downtown is a very nice place to be and the environment is beautiful with great nature.

In the beginning it was a bit difficult to get used to the language, but after two weeks it wasn’t a problem anymore. With some help I’ve never experienced problems with the public transportation, but you have to be aware of spending every day at least more than one hour just to get from your homestay to work and back.

Internex was helpful for me for just organizing everything. From the homestay, to the visa, till the job. Everything worked very well and you can always call them if you have any questions or problems. They always replied within 24 hours and it is very personal and they have the know how. And it is also nice that they are just there if something goes wrong with your job or homestay, cause you will never know. I will definitely recommend Internex.

This experience definitely inspired me to travel more, to as many places as possible! But when I do get home, the first thing I will do is eating some Non-Asian food. Although I think I will miss the rice…

– Björn

INTERNeX International Exchange
International Village,
Suite 2077, 2079 – 88 West Pender Street
Vancouver, Canada -V6B 6N9-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

Candidate Exposé – Danielle Struijk

Danielle Struijk1I’m Danielle, I’m 22 years old and I come from The Netherlands. I am studying International Event Management at the NHTV in Breda. My internship here is part of my study program to finish my third year.

I decided to come to Canada because I love travelling and I have always wanted to go abroad at some point in my life, so when I got the opportunity to do that for my study I knew this was the time to do it. I didn’t really mind where I would go, so I searched for a company instead of a country.

At my university they have a database with vacancies and that is also where I found the one for being a PR-coordinator at Internex. So now I am doing the practicum program since I had to do an Internship for my university.

I’m a PR coordinator for INTERNeX. It’s an awesome company to work for. I get to do a Danielle Struijk (words)lot of stuff and besides my daily tasks I have projects that are challenging. The atmosphere in the office is really great and they don’t make me feel like an intern, but like I’m really a part of the team. They are always open to teaching me whatever I want to know. Here you need to be an open and social person, since you have to deal with a lot of candidates that come and go. You also need to be structured to know what is going on when. As I mentioned before it is for my university program and I have definitely learned things here that will help me in my future career. That included social media management, sales, video production and Photoshop.

Here I’m living in a house with 5 other people. We have a guy from England who is kind of our landlord, and 4 girls from Australia, Ireland, Netherlands and Canada. I found it through Roomster, a platform where people offer rooms.

When I arrived I first took a cab to the Airbnb I had booked, that was around 5 PM. I remember sitting in that cab and looking out the window thinking how different it looked from back home. At night Tess and I wanted to get some dinner and we passed trough East Hastings on our way there. In that very moment I was asking myself what in the world I was doing here and how I would ever survive the next 7 months. We got dinner, went back to the Airbnb and went to sleep. The next day the sun was shining and I felt very happy being there.

As a PR coordinator it is my job to organize the activities, pub nights, trips and events, so therefore I attend them as much as possible. But I feel very lucky to be able to organize and attend all the events. I have gotten to know so many amazing people from all over the world because of it. If I would ever go abroad again I would definitely try to find an organization like INTERNeX to go with.

Danielle Struijk3I’ve done so much here it’s insane. I’ve been to Granville Island, saw the Chinese New Year Parade, went skiing on Cypress, saw a Junior Hockey game, a Canucks game and the Whitecaps. I’ve been to Metrotown, Queen Elizabeth Park, FlyOver Canada, Joffre Lakes, Stanley Park and Deep Cove. I’ve been to the John Legend concert at Rogers Arena, a boat party and experienced St. Patricks day. I went to Kelowna to go skiing and do a wine tour. Went to Kamloops to visit my aunt. To Whistler where I went bungee jumping. Spend 4 days in The Rockies, which were amazing. Visited Vancouver Island with my mother, sister and boyfriend. Rented a scooter to explore Bowen Island and went to Squamish with my group of friends. I’m still going to Kelowna, Seattle and The Rockies again!

What I really like about Vancouver is that there is always something to do. There has never been a weekend where I have been bored. What I love about Canada is the nature. There is so much to see here and I’ve had amazing views. Vancouver is an expensive place to live though, so as a student it can be challenging at times to manage my budget right.

It is really hard choosing my most memorable thing here in Canada. I’ve done so many great things and I’ve had some amazing nights with my friends here. I guess my favourite was our trip to the Rockies and my boyfriend coming over as a surprise.

This trip definitely inspired me to travel more. Before I always used to be scared to go abroad, but this experience has really shown me that everything is possible. I have so many places and people that I want to visit all over the world.

The first I will do when I am back home is EAT! I’m looking forward to eating all the amazing Dutch food. I’m also looking forward to seeing my family, boyfriend and friends again.

– Danielle

INTERNeX International Exchange
International Village,
Suite 2077, 2079 – 88 West Pender Street
Vancouver, Canada -V6B 6N9-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

PuB NiGHT Review: 131 Water

Everybody who joined PuB NiGHT yesterday, thank you very much! We had a lot of fun.

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The 131 Water pub is famous for their games and cheap drinks. And we made use of that! People were playing ‘Who am I?’ and ‘Cards against Humanity’. During the games we enjoyed the happy hour deals from 9 pm till 12 am. The pub is located in a very nice location in Gastown, close to the Metropole and because of that we sang some songs afterwards in this karaoke bar. We closed the night with some food and went home.

Now it’s time to mentally prepare ourselves and our livers for the pub-crawl this Saturday. See you!

– Bart

INTERNeX International Exchange
International Village,
Suite 2077, 2079 – 88 West Pender Street
Vancouver, Canada -V6B 6N9-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

Candidate Exposé – Tess Mallens

20170624_135608I am Tess Mallens, 20 years old and I am from the Netherlands. I study International Event Management at NHTV Breda. I am in my third year now were we need to complete a 7 month during internship to finish the year.

I decided to come to Canada because I had to do an internship for my study programme and I wanted to do this abroad. When I was 17 years old I moved out to live in the city of my university. That was already a big step for me back then, but now I already survived that for three years now, so I guess it was time for a new challenge. I wanted to have a good placement, so I didn’t pick a country, but just an internship that suited my needs and that happened to be in Canada. Besides that my uncle also studied in Canada and I heard many great stories from him, so that also made the decision easier. So now I am interning at Internex itself as a PR-coordinator and I found it through the database of my university.

As a PR-coordinator I am responsible together with the other interns to make sure our candidates have a great time here in Canada. We organise pub nights, weekly events and monthly trips. We are there for the people when they need to get something from their chest, and just to create a great group of friends, who become kind of your family while you are here. I really like my work since I’ve met so many great people and learned a lot about their cultures. It is a fantastic and dynamic group and great to hang out with. I also really like my colleagues in the office and I am really into my projects. I develop the monthly videos and I built the new Candidate Exposé, so what you are reading now, is my project 🙂

For this internship I think you really need to be open-minded, a planner, have Tess Mallenscommunication skills and you need to be adaptable. You are working with people from different cultures, so they also communicate different. I think you have to be open-minded about their cultures and also adapt yourself to every person to make everybody comfortable. I know Dutch people, me included, are very direct so I needed to be careful with that. I guess I found my way through it though, and I learned a lot from it.

 

I live in a shared house in the Kitsilano / West Point Grey area, which are great neighbourhoods. I found it on Roomster, which is a platform to find rooms and apartments to rent. I am close to the beach and it takes me about half an hour to get downtown and work so I am very satisfied. I also get along really well with my housemates and I really can do my own thing there.

I remember it like it was yesterday when I arrived in Vancouver. I took a cab to my airbnb and after settling in a bit me and Danielle decided to walk into the city seeking for dinner. We didn’t know anything about the neighbourhoods yet so we walked on east hastings, a place you may rather avoid in the evening. I saw quite some homeless people, large buildings and it was dark. The only thing I thought was “What did I do, why did I come here”. Luckily the next day the sun was shining and we understood the neighbourhoods better. Once I walked in the financial district and around Canada Place, I already felt way better!

IMG-20170703-WA0022Because I organise the pub nights and activities myself, I attend most of them. I think they’re throughly great, since they give you the opportunity to meet other interns and young professionals really fast. Those people became my family during my time here. I think it is great Internex created this, since it would be really hard to get a group of friends when you’re just working in a company and only socialize with your colleagues. We get to explore fantastic places and create beautiful memories together.

surfing3I visited many places around here. I did many hikes and I am still planning to do a few more. My favourite trips were the Rockies trip, traveling with my parents around BC, experience Canada day in Victoria, snowboarding in Whistler and my trip to Tofino.

What I like most about Vancouver is the diversity of the city and its people. I am just never bored here and everywhere I go, somebody is in for a chat with you. People are really polite here, sometimes maybe a bit to polite in my opinion, and very understanding and accepting. I feel very welcome here and I just love the variety in Nature. I am really going to miss the mountains and the sea with its amazing beaches.

16144535_10202610003927059_1448813019_nSome difficulties I had while living here was the beginning of my stay, when I didn’t feel comfortable yet and I really had to adjust to the culture. Keeping up with my bank account was a difficulty as well, because you really run out of money fast in this city. Besides that I sometimes had to deal with home sickness, but that went quite fine. My friends made an amazing booklet for me where each of them wrote a story about me, accompanied with ridiculous pictures. They always get a smile on my face again with that, even though they are not here in person.

The most memorable things I did here are snowboarding in Whistler with my colleague 20170304_112545Becky, the Rockies trip and a surf trip to Tofino with my friends. Whistler mountain is amazing, and I felt throughly grateful for being there. It is a dream that came through, and with good company it only makes the experience better. I also surfed two times in Tofino and I really have no words for that feeling. Especially the second time was amazing since the conditions were just great and I experienced a great weekend with friends, beautiful sunsets and breathtaking nature.

This trip definitely inspired me to travel more, and also to travel more by myself. I lived all by myself for seven months, miles apart from my familiar and save life. I can do anything now and I will explore the world. Next stop: I hope to see London really soon, I can’t believe I haven’t been there yet, South America is definitely on my list as well and I am thinking about southern Asia.

The first thing I will do when I get back home is say hi to all my family in the airport and then run to the first restaurant / cafetaria I see to order a “frikandel” and “patatje oorlog” (A frikandel is kind of a fried sausage but then ten times better than the thing you are imagining now, and patatje oorlog is fries with satay sauce, mayonaise and onions). Then during the week I hope to get spoiled by my mums’ dishes, a croissant with melted cheese, cheese in general and cheese onion chips. I guess I like cheese.

– Tess

INTERNeX International Exchange
International Village,
Suite 2077, 2079 – 88 West Pender Street
Vancouver, Canada -V6B 6N9-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

“Home is where the heart is” – Iris

About a year ago I decided to go abroad again and this time for 7 months. I remember being scared that I would not find my place in Vancouver and would not find friends to hang out with. Little did I know that I would find this big group of friends and that all through INTERNeX!

18527540_10208994973812535_3495909027625169577_nFor INTERNeX I organised PuB NiGHTS, weekly events and monthly trips together with the other girls. And you might ask yourself: Don’t you get sick of going to all the events? The answer to this question is really simple; NEVER! It is just so much fun to experience all these things together with you, so basically I always wanted to go because I knew that you would be there. You guys made my stay way better and I wouldn’t have been able to do this all without you, so thank you all for joining us at all our events and also for being my friend.

17425002_10208531569787724_8443143331014455956_nWhile I was working at INTERNeX I got to see so many great places. One of my most outstanding experiences is going to Seattle with Kristina. I left to Seattle on Friday and got to see one of my most favourite bands there. The band is really small, so this was probably the only chance that I had to see them. As I was not that small compared with the Americans, I even catched the drumstick!

20904129_1862323020449807_1096242011_oThe two Rockies trips were most definitely part of my best experiences here too. I got to experience both trips with an amazing group and got to see the Rockies in winter and in summer. The views at this amazing place never get old and hopefully I can come back one day. Of course this would not be the same, as I would experience it without all of you guys. Luckily, I have great memories to look back on to and to remember all of you by. I hope you are thinking the same way and will always keep a place in your heart for the INTERNeX gang, because I will certainly do.

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Another great experience I had was Joffre Lakes. This is a pretty hard hike which I did together with Merle, Danielle, Alyn and Christina. I did not prepare myself that well and had pretty slippery shoes. It even became that bad that Merle had to slow down, so that I would not be the only one left behind. However, it was totally worth it. In the end there was this amazing view of the lake and I am so glad that I did it.

18118990_10208840900720804_2427322637916995175_nBesides all the great memories that I made outside the office, I had a great time in the office as well. I had the freedom to improve on my skills, which really felt great. I would like to thank the whole INTERNeX team including the previous interns; Danielle, Janel and Tess, for all of their support throughout my stay and for the opportunity to get to know all the candidates. This experience was life-changing and I am grateful for that.

18485828_10208994952852011_8192753097725154058_nI will certainly miss the great atmosphere among the INTERNeX group. In my opinion, what we have got is something special and I always feel welcome and at home when I am with you guys. I will also miss all the great karaoke nights and singing our song, We are all in this together of High school musical. Besides that I will miss all of you when I am back at home, but know that if you ever come to the Netherlands that you have a personal tour guide who can show you all the great places.

“Home is where the heart is” and my heart is with all the friends that I made here throughout my stay. So how lucky am I to get to call so many places my home!

I know that in order to start with my new adventure back in the Netherlands, there has to be an ending of this one. However, this will not mean that we will never see each other again! May we meet again somewhere in the world, but unfortunately for now goodbye.

– Iris

INTERNeX International Exchange
International Village,
Suite 2077, 2079 – 88 West Pender Street
Vancouver, Canada -V6B 6N9-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Email: pr@internexcanada.com

What to do on the weekend

It is finally Friday and it only takes a few more hours till we finally can enjoy the weekend. If you don’t have any plans for the weekend yet, then check out this blogpost for some inspiration!

36466811465_3540120658_oOn Sunday the INTERNeX gang is going to explore Stanley Park by bike. By doing this, we can cover more ground, which means that we will be able to see more of Stanley Park. Besides that you will finally experience Vancouver in the most Dutch way!

If you rather do sports, then the KitsFest is the place to be! This is a 3 day sports festival taking place in Kitsilano. You can do yoga, volleyball, water polo, basketball and many other sports. Besides that there is also a DJ playing music throughout the day. The festival starts today and will take place till Sunday.

You can also watch the great baseball team of Vancouver, the Vancouver Canadians. They will have a match against Everett Aquasox at the Nat Bailey Stadium. If you are not able to get a ticket anymore, then you can also watch the game in one of the sports bars in Vancouver.

This weekend is the opening weekend of PNE. The whole weekend you are able to get in for only $1.50 if you wear red or a Canadian maple leaf and arrive between 11 AM and 1 PM. Normally PNE is pretty expensive, so by going this weekend you will save quite some money. There are also shows, vendor markets and live music, so it is definitely worth checking out!

I hope to see you all at the Stanley Park bike ride!

– Iris

INTERNeX International Exchange
International Village,
Suite 2077, 2079 – 88 West Pender Street
Vancouver, Canada -V6B 6N9-
Web: http://www.internexcanada.com
Email: pr@internexcanada.com