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Henry's internship:

an empowering experience

Quick intro round: Henry, 22, Gent, studied Industrial Design at TU Delft, worked in a MedTech startup, went to study Innovation Management in London, started a summer internship in Made’s Strategy team. BAM, 7 seconds.

If I look back at my internship, and completely ignore the pandemic, there are 3 key topics I want to reflect on: my involvement, the team, and something fuzzy about comfort zones.

My involvement

From the first days of my internship, I was actively involved in multiple projects. Scary at first, it turned out to be a valuable, empowering experience.

I expected an innovation agency to be a dynamic environment, but the reality was more intense than I had imagined. Everyone works on multiple client projects simultaneously, and that’s no different for interns. I was given the opportunity to explore a wide range of tasks in every step of the process: preparing workshops, communicating with clients, doing research, assisting in interviews, debriefing results, and continuously aligning with colleagues.

Lastly, everyone at Made contributes to projects outside of their ‘official’ role. I worked on the validation of 2 internal projects and took on the role of ‘Metrics Master’ in our Strategy team.

Until now, I worked on 9 projects in 9 distinct industries. It takes a little getting used to, but for someone who loves learning new things, it’s exciting stuff!

Everyone works on multiple client projects simultaneously, and that’s no different for interns.

The team

Throughout my studies, I must have worked in tens and tens of different teams. Somehow having a ‘slacker’ or underperformer in the team was a recurring phenomenon (sorry to those who read this and feel offended, not talking about you of course).

Working with only motivated and skilled people was an exception to the rule. This is the case at Made. I’m able to learn from my colleagues every day. The assigned Mentor and Buddy also allowed me to get to know the company and team in a nice way, much needed in these special times … (damn, almost able to ignore the pandemic, so close!).

I do miss regular team activities though. Despite some great initiatives such as quizzes, online meetups and more, nothing can beat real people!

Comfort zones

If there is 1 thing that best characterizes my time at Made, it’s the process of stepping out of my comfort zone. Working ‘in’ my comfort zone feels safe, feels familiar and the output is often of a high standard. But it stops there. It’s by doing those things that I am not entirely confident at, that I can learn something new, develop my skills and grow as a person. I have (un)consciously pushed my own boundaries before, but the process became much more prominent at Made, where I was deliberately challenged to step out of my comfort zone.

Sometimes it’s challenging, sometimes I’m not sure if I will be able to execute or achieve the expected level of quality, but every time I look back with some kind of pride and joy. It might sound all too obvious to many, but for me, the adventure of the comfort zone was a revelation that defined my internship! And after all, most things are “safe enough to try”, as my Mentor Niels told me in one of our talks…

I have now been working as Junior Design Strategist for several weeks, and the story continues…

Lunch at office - Made #together

Are you interested? Get in touch!

Make us an offer we can’t refuse. If you know how to push for win-win situations, you will certainly find an environment that enables you to do so at Made. You could be joining our Fajita Fridays soon.

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