‘Going around the world for your internship’

Student Anne travels along with the Volvo Ocean Race

Traveling to all the corners of the world and getting to know all kinds of cultures, who doesn’t want that? Anne van der Wereld, who studies Business Management Studies, gets the chance to do this, as she has her internship at Volvo Ocean Race, the biggest sailing regatta in the world.

“It is cool that I can travel so much and get to see so many people and cultures”, tells Anne van der Wereld (24), student Business Management Studies. She has her internship at the Volvo Ocean Race and travels to all kinds of countries where the participants moor their boats.

Top athletes
Top athletes from numerous countries participate in the race. Anne: “They are very driven and have a mindset that involves no nagging and working hard. I am very ambitious, so it is nice to work with them.”
At the twelve places where the boats make their stops (see the cart at the lower left side), will be a ‘race village’ equipped with attractions for the audience and workplaces for the organisation and participants.

Anne is accreditation coordinator, she makes sure that the staff and sailors can enter the zones that aren’t available to the general public. “I check beforehand whether they have been signed up by the sailing teams. I also help with the practical tasks: arranging lunches, picking up visas, setting things out, checking the internet connection and so on. In that respect I feel like a real intern, haha. It is nice that there is so much to do! Although I did hope for a bit more of a challenge and more responsibilities.”

Unique chance
Anne got in touch with the Volvo Ocean Race during the Minor Event Management. She wanted to do her thesis at the event, but she doesn’t have enough credits yet to do so. “I still went. The event will only be held again in three years, so this is a unique chance.” Some teachers find that to be less responsible and advice Anne to get her credits first.

‘I feel like a real intern’
“Luckily, others agree with me and consider this a special opportunity that I should seize with both hands. I feel very supported by a teacher who I regularly Skype with. He stimulates me to work on school too.” The most important thing that Anne learns during her journeys: be less direct. “I am quite task-oriented in my mails: chop chop, this is what we are going to do. To Brits, this comes across as blunt. They are much more held back and would rather bite off their tongue than say “Yes, but why?”.

Making friends
When boats cover a lot of ground to their next stop, Anne has some time off. She utilizes that time for sightseeing. “Soon I will have two weeks to explore New-Zealand. I’ll be visiting a special river, going for a hike and fishing. And before, when I went to the Philippines, I did a lot of diving.”
Does she miss things now that she’s away from home for so long? “Eating cheese! Luckily, a few employees fly to The Netherlands in between. They sometimes bring a kilo back for me. Furthermore I of course miss my family and friends.”
“A week before I left I got a cousin. By the time I’m back in July, she’ll be able to walk! Luckily I see her almost daily through Skype.”

‘I have never drank that much’
At every stop there is a party for the temporary winner and there are crew parties held regularly for the staff. “It is easy to make friends. We go out for dinner often and at night we go for drinks in the city. I have never drank as much as during this internship. This internship is really student life next level!” – Jitse Schipper

What is the Volvo Ocean Race?

  • The Volvo Ocean Race is the biggest, most prestigious and maybe toughest sailing regatta in the world.
  • The teams sail across the world within nine months. The race started in Spain in October and went through Africa, Australia and China to New-Zealand, where Anne is now. During the coming months the boats will sail to Brazil and the United States, and it will end in Europe.
  • The participants are top athletes from all over the world. Some of them also attend the Olympics or the America’s Cup.
  • The event exists since 1973 and was mostly (three times) won by teams carrying the Dutch flag.

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