Entrepreneur

Interning in Berlin: ‘I’ve never made coffee for anyone’

They work where you don’t really see them. Most other startups or users don’t know their names. They’re not the highlights at conferences and you won’t find their pictures on the frontpage of a magazine. Yet, without them things would often not work as founders hope. They are smart and hungry. They are interns.

This time, VentureVillage talked to Shanice Heuzeveldt (21 years old) who is an intern at Outfittery. She is originally from Switzerland, and her parents are Dutch. She supports the Dutch team in the Berlin office which is the first foreign language team at Outfittery.

After finishing school, she looked for an internship in fashion. “I simply didn’t want to stay in Switzerland,” she states. When finding Outfittery’s posting, she applied right away and three weeks later she had her first day at the office in Berlin.

Navigating the real estate market is tricky in Berlin, so she contacted a friend and could move in with her. She now lives 10 minutes away from her working place. “Things came in handy,” she says smiling.

As a stylist assistant, she gets job insights and supports the team members whenever she can. “I’ve never made coffee for anyone,” she says. While her friends reported on internships where startups had to fire employees, but kept the “cheap workforce”, Shanice is not concerned about that happening at Outfittery. The secure feeling may also come from the €13 million the startup has raised this February.

Being able to be a part of something motivates her. “Everyone in the team believes in what we are doing. Together, we work on a big idea. But even for small ideas there is plenty of space,” she explains. She says that all you have to do is walk into the supervisor’s office, pitch it, get the ok and be able to do it.

While her parents run a business in the old economy, she is thankful to see how the new economy works to be able to bring the best of both worlds together in the future. “After my studies, I want to start my own business,” Shanice tell us. What exactly it will be is yet to be determined.

Besides working with a motivated team and being able to have an impact on its development, it sure helps that the internship is paid. Shanice says that she finds herself in a more comfortable position than other interns. With a small support from her parents, life is good in Berlin, she adds.

“This city is different to other places. You can do whatever you want. Especially when it comes to fashion. You don’t get judged or get strange looks if you don’t dress like the mainstream,” she explains. Berlin is full of international people and many move in and out of the city in shorter time periods. This might be another reason for the multicultural city picture.

Speaking of clothes: Since she started, the intern finds herself going shopping way less. “Being surrounded by clothes all day makes me want to see other things in my time off,” she admits.

Berlin is full of great things to discover which is another reason for her to return after her Fashion & Branding studies in Amsterdam. “In Switzerland you don’t find many startups. Berlin is, therefore, much more attractive for young and creative people,” she explains.

This story originally appeared on VentureVillage.


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