Romi, a student of communication sciences at KU Leuven spontaneously applied for an internship in our communication department. Her internship started in autumn 2022 and she extended it for a few months in 2023. Soon she will start as a communications officer at our subsidiary organisation, Digital for Youth. Beautiful story of a driven student. Romi summed up her course herself.
I really hit the jackpot here. At the end of my internship, I had two offers for a permanent communication position.
You sent an unsolicited letter of motivation to DNS Belgium. What attracted you to do an internship with us?
There are a lot of internship opportunities online. For me it was important that the company in which I did my internship was close to me as a person. What made the difference for me between DNS Belgium and other organisations is your vision. In exploring DNS Belgium's website and social media, I found out that you do much more than just managing domain names. Besides your core tasks, you also attach importance to sustainability, CSR and cybersecurity, for example. I was very curious about how you tackle all this.
Our core activity, managing domain names, might sound a bit boring to students. What did you associate with our organisation in first instance?
When I didn't know anything about domain names, I thought it was rather boring. Once I got to know DNS Belgium better, however, I saw that this is not the case at all and that there is much more to it on the communication front. Take your senior citizens campaign, for example. Safe surfing is necessary for everyone. By targeting at-risk groups such as the elderly, you can do a lot on the societal front and that is not boring at all.
What makes an internship at DNS Belgium interesting and fun?
You get an incredibly vast number of opportunities and trust here as an intern. The colleagues immediately consider you one of them. Moreover, you are not saddled with the 'stupid' tasks as an intern. They listen to what you want to learn and what tasks you find interesting. So, you can discover for yourself where your talents and interests lie. You also learn an incredible amount because there is excellent supervision. They take the time to explain things, while you learn to handle tasks independently.
What is an internship day at DNS Belgium like?
Every day is different and sometimes things prop up during the day. We start each working day with a stand-up. This is a brief meeting with the communications team to brief each other on what is planned for the day. They often check with me as well to see whether I have enough tasks for the day, so I can definitely be useful. I then usually make my hot chocolate and get down to work. We then have lunch together in the kitchen with all the colleagues around 12:30 pm. You work on an island with the colleagues from your department, but this is the perfect time to get to know the other colleagues. A number of meetings are often held while we are working. I got involved in all the meetings, even if they are not directly intended for me, because they can still prove interesting for me. Before you know it, the day is over. You could say that time flies here.
What do you take away, what did you learn in terms of communication?
Before I started the internship, I wrote down what I hoped to learn in an internship report. At the end of the internship, I had to assess the outcome, and all my expectations were far exceeded, in fact. You learn a lot here: from writing newsletters, to drafting bulk emails, organising internal projects, drafting campaigns, social media posts and much, much more.
What did you find challenging? What turned out to be a bit of struggle perhaps?
I remember that I found everything very overwhelming at the beginning of my internship. I had no practical experience in the communications sector. A lot of information comes at you in a short period of time. But future interns need not worry: you will get used to it very quickly.
What is a nice memory you have of your internship? Or what did you like doing most during your internship?
My fondest memory is definitely the team building. In the first week of my internship, I was immediately taken on a teambuilding activity with all my colleagues. We went laser shooting and played VR games. I was really touched that they thought of asking me along and at the same time it was a great opportunity to get to know the other colleagues.
In terms of assignments, I liked those entailing content creation best. I am someone who likes to think creatively. The communication colleagues also gave me the utmost confidence to come up with my own ideas and they were really open to them, which gave me a great feeling of being appreciated.
What makes DNS Belgium an (a)typical internship?
It might not be the first company that comes to mind when looking for a communications internship. Yet I was surprised by how important the communications department is for DNS Belgium itself and for society in general.
What I think of my internship at DNS Belgium? Surprising, educational, unforgettable.
Why would you recommend DNS Belgium to communication students?
For the weekly treats of sweets, coffee cakes or desserts 😉 You are considered as a real colleague here, not as a trainee. You get involved in everything immediately and join a fantastic team who listen to your needs and wishes and from whom you learn an incredible amount. Colleagues make time to help you with new tasks. They give you opportunities to take on challenging but fun tasks. You get a taste of real working life in the communications sector.
Do you have any tips for us? A parting word, perhaps?
I don't have any tips for you guys. It may sound unlikely, but I really have no remarks to make about my internship period. The biggest proof that I had an unbelievable time is that I volunteered to stay some extra weeks.
I would especially like to thank Kathleen, Hilde, Timur and Arnaud for guiding me so well in everything and also for the nice chats in between 😊