“At TNO, you sometimes forget you're an intern”

Internship coordinator Maike Hulscher is looking for the best interns for the best internships. And she works with her recruitment colleagues and intern supervisors to find them. Given that there are around 500 internships every year, that’s a lot of work.

“TNO aims to be the best company for internships in the Netherlands. We offer attractive internship assignments that target talented students who want to transition to a junior position at TNO. And it all starts with high-quality recruitment and selection. How do you assess a student’s CV? How do you uncover whether he/she is “TNO material”? And which research project is the right fit? During the research, the project supervisor is an intern’s first point of contact. This offers the intern the best chance to get the most out of the assignment, and to see everything that TNO has to offer. Our internship policy clearly lays this out, to ensure that all interns learn a lot during their time at TNO.”

Broadening horizons

“We had more than five hundred interns in 2019, and the vast majority of them work in our nine research domains. Students choose TNO because of the great research assignments, but also because of the bigger picture. You can’t find so many different disciplines under one roof anywhere else. It’s an excellent opportunity to broaden your horizons and figure out what you’re passionate about. And we encourage that exploration. It’s to our advantage if interns get to know TNO very well, since that increases the chances that young talent will find the place where they can be most beneficial to us. Whether that’s immediately after they graduate or a few years later. We’re planting those seeds now.”

Reputation with reach

“It makes me feel good to see how alive the internship policy is within TNO. We strive together to create the best possible internship experience. I also feel a great sense of satisfaction to hear interns say that their experience with us delivered everything they expected. We use an instrument to evaluate every internship and measure that experience. We want to know how closely we’ve met our quality requirements, and what we can improve. An intern recently suggested that we communicate with interns in English even more than we already do. We’re going to work on that, because we also welcome a lot of students from abroad. They see an internship at TNO as a great opportunity to also conduct applicable scientific research that benefits the world. Our reputation extends that far.”

Springboard for the future

“For students, an internship is more than just a core component of their study. It’s also the start of their working life. The great thing about what I do is that I can contribute to that start. I get to offer students the opportunity to get to know a fantastic organisation. Sometimes, you hear people say that they wish that they’d gotten more out of their internships. They feel like they were on the side-lines too much. That doesn’t happen at TNO. Here, you’re such an integral part of the team, you almost forget you’re an intern.”

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