From the beginning of February until the end of April I had the opportunity to do an internship at shareNL. Because shareNL is active in the sharing and platform economy, this was a very good addition to my school program. At the moment I'm studying at The Hague University of Applied Sciences and I'm studying Spatial Development / Climate & Management. I was delighted to be away from school and be able to work on a project that would actually have an impact. With my internship I wanted to learn what it is like to work on a project in a dynamic work environment. I could not have found a better place to do this! In this short article I will share some lessons that I learned during my past few months at shareNL.

Being part of the team right away
All your ideas are heard and appreciated within the team.

One of the many nice things about shareNL is that it is a small team. This means that as an intern you are taken seriously from the beginning and you are involved. For my internship I was able to work on a large European project where research was done on the implementation of the circular collaborative economy in several large European cities. I was given my own responsibilities during the project and was also invited for meetings. For one meeting with the project organizer and stakeholders I was even allowed to go to Brussels, which was a great experience. 

Speak up
It's not always easy to make yourself heard.

My goal for this internship was to learn how to share my ideas, knowledge and insights with others. Because you get your own responsibilities within the team, you also have to give regular updates on what you are doing. This created the ultimate opportunity for me to share my ideas. The same goes for meetings. Everyone listens to each other and all input is appreciated. After a while this resulted in me feeling comfortable in sharing my own ideas and insights. 

Small but amazing team
A day of not laughing is just boring.

All ShareNL employees are very open and social. The first day I came in, everyone was very welcoming and I was immediately enthusiastic about the following weeks. During work hours, the team members are not working in an isolated closed environment, they are available for questions or a chat. During lunch with nice weather we sometimes sat by the canals to eat. You can not imagine a better place for having lunch. We also had a team evening; an evening full of snacks and drinks where we enjoyed watching movies. 

Combining the sharing and circular economy
Merging two upcoming economies, is double the success?

Within my bachelor's program I worked with the sharing and circular economy before. It just never occurred to me to merge these two economies, how would it work? What I learned during my internship is that these two economies do in fact strengthen each other. For many cities this combination creates opportunities to work on climate goals and create new markets and jobs. For my research I have looked at how initiatives that play a role within the circular and collaborative economy can be identified. These initiatives had to be found within The Hague, Flanders, Prato, Porto, Maribor and Greece.

If you are interested in doing an internship at shareNL, I can certainly recommend it to you! Feel free to contact shareNL for more information.