Are you looking for an interesting internship? Ever thought about an internship at the NBSO-Texas office in Houston? Read all about the experiences of our two former interns Mark Ardesch en Elène Lenders:

 

Mark Ardesch

During the last year of my Bachelor Business Administration at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, I did my internship at the Netherlands Business Support Office (NBSO) Houston. As an intern at this office from September until December 2016, I had the opportunity to experience the broad range of services of the NBSO office in the field of trade promotion and trade development between the Netherlands and Texas. I also had the unique opportunity to experience the real American life for four months in one of the largest cities in the United States.

The team. Working together with three fantastic colleagues in an inspiring office, living in an amazing city and made my Texas-time unforgettable. Saskia Pardaans is the Chief Representative of the office and I’ve got to know her as a fantastic person, very driven and passionate for her work. Mariella Priem is the Deputy Representative and is a very enthusiastic and pleasant coworker to work with. Mariella was my internship coach and influenced my internship thesis in a big way, which is evaluated by the Erasmus University with a grade A. I started my internship at the same time as Elene Lenders. It was very pleasant to work with her and to share our America adventures.  

The assignments. During my internship I researched the challenges within the NBSO-network. My research was focused on the following research statement: ‘In what ways will the NBSO-Houston be able to improve her brand awareness in the Netherlands?’ Existing research on the NBSO-network, the RvO and the Ministry of Foreign affairs are the pillars of my research. With the help of my coworkers I conducted multiple surveys and interviews with employees from the Ministry of foreign affairs in the United States and the Netherlands. I also interviewed multiple Dutch companies, located in Texas. In addition to my research, I also had the opportunity to work along in the office. I participated in two Business partner scans and multiple trade promoting activities. Absolute highlights of my internship were the company visits together with Saskia and Mariella.  

The City. Last but not least, I would like to say something about Houston. Houston is a very dynamic city and in according to American tradition, there are a lot of big sports clubs. My absolute favorite sports clubs are the Houston Dynamo’s, the Houston rockets, the Houston Astros and the Houston Cougars. The city has an annual Rodeo show and in February 2017, Houston hosted Super Bowl LI. I lived in an apartment complex in Midtown. Midtown is known as the perfect location for many bars and restaurants. Next to Houston, I visited the cities of Austin and New Orleans, together with my roommate and students from Rice University. Those were all unforgettable city trips! Houston is very centrally located, close to the southern border with Mexico. This offered me the perfect opportunity to visit the amazing places of Yucatan and Miami.

By living in Houston for a few months, you’re able to get to know the real American culture. Sports, Politics and a true connection with Americans makes for an awesome adventure as intern at the NBSO-Houston. Houston stole my heart, I will be back for sure!

 

Elène Lenders

From September 2016 until February 2017, I did my internship at the Netherlands Business Support Office in Houston, Texas. As a student in environmental economics, I investigated the potential of renewable energy in Texas and business opportunities for the Netherlands on that field. Since Houston is also known as the ‘energy capital of the world’, the location for my research was perfect. It was great and challenging at the same time to exchange perspectives about renewable energy with business professionals and academics and to include the findings in my report. I was able to work very independently, and on the other hand I also gained insights into the activities and goals of the NBSO. There was always a nice atmosphere at the office and everybody supported me. I experienced it as unique and special that this little office represents the Netherlands and their topsectors in the vast and big state of Texas. I am glad I had the chance to see something of Texas and visit the diverse and nice cities here. Besides, I know that I will miss my daily drive to the office, which looks out on Houston’s skyline and its adjacent river. All in all, I’ll never forget the educative, inspiring and fun time I had here.