After spending two and a half months in the Netherlands, I can tell you that living abroad changes your life forever. Let me tell you a bit about my experience in the country and at VIEC.
My name is Sergio, I’m 22 years young and I’m from León, a small city in the north of Spain. I studied Administration and Finance there, where I was offered the opportunity to do my professional internship abroad, and that’s how I ended up in Europe.
It’s funny because a couple of years ago, due to personal situations, I thought I wouldn’t be able to leave my city behind, and now after these months, I can say that I have exceeded my own expectations. Leaving your country always confronts you with situations that you never thought you’d be able to handle at first.
Import Export Consultant between Vietnam and Europe is not what I thought
But personal development is not the only thing that comes from living abroad. At the company VIEC, I’ve had the opportunity to understand the functioning of international business relationships in a B2B model. The company’s activity is based on helping Vietnamese producers and companies bring their products to the European market, and vice versa for European companies. They also offer import export consulting services for businesses between Vietnam and Europe, although during my internship, I worked mainly in the sales and marketing departments.
In the sales department, I worked with the coffee company GAIA, helping to bring their products to the Spanish market by trying to introduce them to specialty shops and cafés in the country. Later on, I began working in the marketing department, creating both text and images for the company’s social media posts (TikTok, Facebook and Instagram), and promoting VIEC and the company’s image we were working with at the time, GAIA in my case.
Working in both departments has allowed me to develop my communication skills, as well as to learn to work in a team and to jointly achieve the company’s objectives. I’ve also had the opportunity to develop my skills in B2C environments, as VIEC has close contact with Apollo Gym, a gym located in the same building, where I was able to develop professional skills in customer service and problem-solving.
In both environments, I had the opportunity to work with people from other countries, such as Vietnamese, French, Portuguese, and obviously Dutch. This of course gives you a totally different perspective on things, which in my opinion allows you to open your mind to new possibilities.
To-do list for you if you want to find a job or internship in the Netherlands from my experience with VIEC Vietnam Import Export Consultant
If you’re considering coming to the Netherlands, and specifically to VIEC for your internship, here are some tips that might help you in the country. Let’s start with what you should do:
- Get yourself an OV-chipkaart. This rechargeable card allows you to travel on ALL public transport in the country. Plus, you have the option to add a subscription to your OV, which allows you to travel throughout the country at a very good price.
- If you have any doubts, ask. Dutch people are very pleasant people who will always be willing to help you with whatever you need.
- Familiarize yourself with the local language, Dutch, which is not the same as German. The vast majority of people, if not all, speak English perfectly, but if you know the basics of Dutch, it will make things much easier for you.
- Come with a mindset of enjoying, learning, and getting to know new cultures.
- Get a bike, you’re in the Netherlands, the country of bikes.
- Take advantage of the fact that Nijmegen is a university city, and join events of student associations, such as ESN or AEGEE. There is also a very interesting event that takes place every Wednesday at the university, Meet and Eat, where you can meet people from all over the world while enjoying a themed dinner.
- Try the local food. The Netherlands is not known for its cuisine, but what I can tell you is that they have some delicious sweets.
What you should not-do list from my experience working at VIEC in Nijmegen the Netherlands
Similarly, we could talk about what you shouldn’t do:
- Close yourself off to new experiences and people.
- Stay in your city. The Netherlands has excellent public transport, which will allow you to explore this incredible country.
- Don’t make plans because of bad weather. There’s a saying here that goes, “there’s no bad weather, only inadequate clothing,” so put on your raincoat and go enjoy!
- Likewise, don’t trust the weather forecast, as the weather here is very changeable.
In short, living abroad is an enriching experience from any point of view. You’ll have to face situations that you probably wouldn’t encounter in your own country, but I can assure you that it’s in those moments when you most will develop all your skills. Additionally, at VIEC and Apollo Gym, you’ll find an environment that will support you in achieving all your personal and professional goals, always with the help of the entire team that make up the company.