Classes, exams, study groups, parties… These are some of the things that normally come to mind when thinking of a local uni student. Even though the university’s ruthless timetable can be a lot to take in, students are still able to find some sort of structure amidst the chaos. By planning day to day, we are able to juggle social life and university like no other. However, when we, second-year IBCoM students, needed to find an internship for the last term of the year, we were suddenly thrown out of the loop of having a nice chaotic planning. We no longer have to plan out everyday, because we already know what most of our day will be occupied by: work. Working from 09:00 to 17:00, 5 days per week.
In the beginning of my internship I thought this structure would help get my life together. Work out before work, eat healthy, go to sleep early… Well, I can tell you only one of them has come true so far: sleeping has become one of the easiest things to do after my start of the internship. Coming home exhausted after a whole day of work because of all the new impressions, tasks and people, helps me to, as the Dutch say, voor Pampus liggen (sleeping really really really deeply). Rather than cooking some healthy lunch for the next day, you choose the easy option like noodles or ordering pizza. And working out before work??? I definitely need that extra bit of sleep.
However, as exhausting as a corporate job can be, it is fascinating to temporarily be part of the corporate job workers in Rotterdam. Every morning I am traveling to work with what feels like half of Rotterdam, and the same thing happens when my day is over. From people in suits and dresses on their bikes to people stuck in their car in everyday traffic trying to get through the center of the city. The supermarkets are always full during lunchtime, as everyone that is cooped up in an office wants to take a walk and get some food with their fellow co-workers.
As much as I do feel like a little adult when doing this corporate office job, I miss the freedom and the underlying stress of not knowing what to do with my time. As I am officially halfway through my internship, I can say it gets easier. I don’t feel like a zombie everyday when I come back home, and I actually have extra energy to work out after work. The weekend also seems much more rewarding, and you actually feel like you have been productive the entire week. Also, after you come home from work, you do not have to feel guilty doing literally nothing, as you do not have any other work related obligations anymore!
But, would I choose a 09:00 to 17:00 work structure over the chaos that is living in university survival mode? Never.
Author: Phoebe Elliott
Editor: Anisha de Vries
Visuals by: Iryna Lizenko