KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

Part of the family even though it’s for a short time 🙂

Proud to be Dutch.

Interview for my internship at KLM

It was the month full of exams, and in the end I would have my interview with KLM recruitment services, I was honestly really tired, the exams seemed to have sucked out all my energy, but the thought of someone of KLM choosing my solicitation letter and CV and inviting me to an interview, changed everything.

I was a bit early for my interview, and the closer it came, I started getting nervous, as if it was an exam. What if I can’t answer her questions? What if I start rambling about things? I started to panic, but took my Dad’s advice to grab a Chai Latte at Starbucks and relax a bit, which worked, until I got to the interview. I entered the room and realized: I forgot to practice my opening ‘introduction little speech’ the ‘About me’ part, I had done this during my last interview and realized that it calmed me down and gave me more confidence. Luckily, my interviewer wanted to first tell something about herself and the organization. So, while I was reviewing my ‘About me’ speech in my head and what I was going to say, I tried to listen to her. At one point, her story of her life, study and job became so interesting that I stopped thinking about my speech and started focusing on who she was, what she did – and wow! I also kind of blurted it out: You have an awesome job! But not only that, the fact that she had studied something that wasn’t specific for KLM (she has a law degree), got me interested, I mean I was applying for a marketing internship while I was studying engineering. Then, after her studies she decided to do the Management Traineeship at KLM, because she wanted to learn (even more) and work on different projects, this is something I want to do aswell. Anyways, as you can see, I am still amazed by this story, I got distracted and didn’t concentrate on the ‘About me’ part, which after her turn, miraculously came out of my mouth in an ok way, not too good, but not bad. The interview was finished, I said thank you (the handshake order didn’t go quite to well, we all stuck our hands out to each other at the same time) and left the room.

Once I was out of the building, I took a deep breath, crossed my fingers, said a little prayer and walked to the bus.

The phone call

I was lying in bed, half awake, half asleep reading the news on my iPhone, when I got the phone call.  I was really excited they were calling, but you didn’t know; were they going to tell you bad news or good news? Then I told myself: Just pick up the phone, otherwise you won’t get any news. I was accepted for my internship for KLM, at the Marketing & Brand Product Strategy department. I jumped out of bed and danced my way down stairs, all I could think of was KLM, and the amazing experience I was allowed to be a part of.

First day

My first day at KLM, I could barely sleep the night before, but was nicely greeted by a great cup of cappuccino by Frederique (The interviewer, and the one who will guide me through my internship). Frederique wanted to talk to me before the introduction to the office and her colleagues. The fact that I was at KLM headquarters was already a big deal to me. We chatted a bit, and then went upstairs to the Marketing department. I was surprised at how big it was, and heard an overall chatter and people typing frantically. I was shortly introduced to everyone in the department (after four weeks I finally got their names), and was introduced to my own space and desk! I then heard from Frederique that I would be getting a laptop soon, they had already ordered it, but it was late, and a phone. Really nice of KLM, talk about spoiling people!

I did some research for myself looking around, reading some files, and the occasional small talk, I could not hide my smile the whole day. Once my first day was over, I started calling all friends and family, couldn’t wait to tell them, how great my internship is.

Four weeks

It’s my fourth week at KLM now, and I still enjoy it very much, time has flown, and the week days seem really short. All my colleagues are really nice, and that goes for everyone in the rest of the building too. Lunch time at the cafeteria is extremely busy, but everyone has a good talk. Back in the office, we have the occasional ‘group’ question, anything ranging from: ‘What’s another word for…?’ to ‘How would you solve this problem..?’ The other week we had a bit of a problem, we wanted to see how to spell “China” in Chinese and the only problem is: None of us speak Chinese. We had two options which we thought said ‘China’ the only problem is, two people say it’s option number one, and two other people say it’s option number two. Don’t worry, someone from China will come to the office on Monday, so we will ask him.

Sometimes we all feel we have sat too long behind the desk, and we go grab a cola to chat a little, and walk around a bit, but then quickly back to work.

As the day goes by, everyone starts typing faster and harder, and I think some of them will seriously develop blisters on their fingertips. If they are walking, it more like speed walking, at their desks they are so concentrated on their screens that when they look up it’s hard not to ask: Are you ok? They all maybe have three different agendas they have to follow…  But, they are the ones who make things happen.

I can’t say it enough, I feel really in place at my internship, I am able to grow a lot and learn different things, and every day there are new challenges which I see my colleagues tackle and solve, I am not that experienced in solving the problems they have to solve or organizing the projects they do, but enjoy hearing how they do it, and see them solve something, that’s something I enjoy the most, I hope that I will be able to solve problems and organize projects the way they do. I often get the question if I still like it here, and if I am comfortable, or if I am bored. I try to answer calmly every time, but actually want to say: Are you kidding me?! I am doing an internship at KLM, I have the freedom to research all kind of projects and think of new ideas, I have a list of people I still want to meet and see how other departments work, I love seeing my other colleagues work on their product, and can’t help but get curious, although I don’t want to ask too many questions. Am I bored? Do I still like it?

I would pay to be able to learn everything I am learning now, and the experience is priceless.

My new motto: Time flies when you’re having fun! 😉

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