Riding the wave as a second-year student: on-campus opportunities you’re probably missing out on right now
First-year is over, you’re long familiar with the available study spaces in Tinbergen and peak hours of the library, the best cafes to study at and have gathered your own endless pile of summaries on the desktop.
And unless you already did side activities in the first year (and, seriously, kudos to you for doing so!), you’re ready for an official launch into the sea of opportunities provided by the Erasmus University campus (…and beyond). Yes, we were in your shoes and we know how easily overwhelmed you can get by the flood of information, that’s why the following list contains opportunities tailored just for you! (- and, eventually, your friends if you’re feeling generous today😉).
Benefits: substantial expansion of your network, ability to work on specific skills, bonding and a cosy place to chill in-between study sessions.
This is my go-to advice for those who want to meet ambitious people outside their own study program, or who simply want to meet fellow faculty-members with the same interests. And depending on the field you choose, you can practice your marketing, sales or management skills by complementing the theoretical foundation you already have. How do you find the right option for you?
- Look for your own faculty association. ESE has EFR and more, RSM has STAR, ESHCC has ACE and so on. You may want to join something related to your own study and link fellow students to useful workshops, book sale deals and other opportunities within the same faculty. EFR recruits new committees every January, June and September. So keep your eyes open for the EFR committees you can be part of. EFR offers a lot of different committees to organise all kind of things for economics students from all kind of trips, to all kind of events to meet companies to parties and a lot more!
- Train specific skills. Are you interested in marketing and want to gain additional knowledge into the field? Join the marketing association of the university! Do you see yourself as a future entrepreneur and want to gain first-hand insights into entrepreneurship? Join the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship!
- International orientation. Do you want to work in the more international background, in a well-established NGO that has offices in multiple countries? You may opt for AIESEC that links students to internship and volunteering projects abroad, established in 1947 with over 40 000 active members in over 50 countries.
- Are you interested in sports or do you practice one yourself? Erasmus has more than 20 sports associations for various activities like swimming, rugby and sailing. Browse through all the options and choose one that fits best.
- Specific fields you may have a passion for. Fashion, art, theatre, dance, orchestra. Sustainability, investments, debating or LGBTQ+. If you’re a member of a community, you may want to join the EUR branch and meet fellow students with the same aspirations.
How to apply? Keep an eye out for their social media pages and website for the recruitment period. Most of them recruit in September - at the beginning of the year, or in May, but they can also have open positions throughout the year. Just be pro-active and have a CV prepared in advance!
The Erasmus Student Network aims to facilitate the functional tasks incoming students face once arriving in the Netherlands. Do you want to offer a hand in that? Do you feel like your own experience and knowledge of the on-campus and Rotterdam tricks and deals can be of great help to the first-year students? Then check out the EUR buddy program.
As an international student, you have plenty of opportunities for side jobs in Rotterdam. And, sometimes, you can look no further than your campus! Keep an eye out on the opportunities offered by the university on the official website and work a few hours per week as a student ambassador, student or teacher assistant. Sometimes the opportunity may come from the faculty itself, so keep your eyes open, try to maintain a decent GPA and have a CV ready to be sent. Tip: don’t forget to update it as soon as you have a new experience!
And now that you’ve successfully recovered from the first year’s stress, you may be thinking to yourself: “have I spent a year of my life learning theories and graphs just to qualify for another year of the same stuff?” Frankly, with a plethora of undergraduate internships around, you may stand to reap the benefits of your first-year knowledge while possibly earning a few bucks on the side. Our advice is that it’s never too early to delve into the work field that you’re interested in, whether it be closely or remotely related to your course, you should shoot your shot.
However, it isn’t enough to merely be encouraged, there seems to be a general impracticability inherent within applying for an internship: the infinite regress of qualifications or experiences required by the employer, hence, where should one start to equip themselves? Luckily, we have noted other opportunities below that would add to the gumption of your resume. Conversely, if you think you may be qualified enough, here are a few options to start applying for internships:
- Checkout Erasmus’ page on Working in The Netherlands. There are various websites mentioned such as studentenwerk.nl, studentjob.nl, and so on, just to name a few;
- Moreover, Erasmus’ helping hand doesn’t just stop there! There’s a Career Services platform provided by the university that could be accessed. The advisors will provide counselling on a broad range of topics concerning the job market, starting from getting to know yourself better up until a substantive recipe for your CV!
- There are also more specific platforms to find opportunities. Erasmus recruitment platform for example. As a student, you can find different jobs, internships and events from all kind of companies to apply for.
- However, if you decide to shrug external help and go solo, there are also websites and applications such as LinkedIn and Glassdoor; usually, companies will publish internship vacancies along with a complete list of requirements and sometimes even the salary offered.
Needless to say, there’s still yet another problem: how does one incorporate work into the already encroaching holy trinity of sleep, study, and social life balance? To this we say, there’s always a first time for everything, do or do not, you know yourself best!
Minors are individual courses that are usually taken in block 1 of the third year. However, as a second year, you have the opportunity to expand your knowledge early and superimpose it on your current degree—you can even take minors outside of your faculty, which adds to not only the depth but also to the breadth of your study. Of course, this has to be approved first by the examination board! Our advice is to check if you have sufficient knowledge before taking the minor, otherwise, it would be futile; it would be absurd to take Behavioral Finance without having an initial grasp of Finance for example. The benefit of taking an early minor course is to free up your block 1 in the third year to possibly use it more productively by filling in for internships or to extend your summer break if pastimes increase your utility.
Philosophy Double Degree
Is there a God? What is the meaning of life? Why do we find beauty in some things and not others? If taking an early minor isn’t enough to satisfy the need for expanding your worldview, and you’re one of the people yearnings to answer the aforesaid questions, then taking philosophy as a complement to your current degree might be suiting. Philosophy is the mother of all sciences, and as an undergraduate, you will learn the problems we face in the 21st century, what it means to be a human being, the enlightenment philosophers, and so on. But most importantly, you will stand on the shoulders of giants, building on your own worldview according to past thinkers whilst exercising your writing, communicating, critical thinking, and close-reading skills, which is more than ever, an imperative edge in the current job market. However, this isn’t without a cost; taking a double-degree will add another year to your study, hence you will likely graduate at the same time as your American-university peers. Nevertheless, you will be graduating with a double degree and ascertained job prospects increase, which seems like a good bargain to us. Check out the Erasmus School of Philosophy’s website.
Conclusively, we have laid out a substantial amount of second-year opportunities that we are aware of. We hope that we have opened the eyes and inspire many of the current first-years to pull through and make it to the second year, as there are many opportunities available to develop one’s own potential as a person; and for the current second years, may this article be a source of knowledge to inform about the opportunities that were previously unforeseen. You, the reader, as a rational and now, well-informed individual, should follow our advice as you see fit; the final verdict is in your hands.