Yu Lan

Yu Lan China Digital Strategy and Analytics Intern 31 years old

Here I feel I’m more free and I can try different chances as I wish.

Why did you chose the Netherlands and not another country?

I found the Netherlands first when I was looking for the best Master program, and the University of Amsterdam was ranked the No.1 around the world. I think this could be a worthy program for me to get my second master’s degree and start a new life abroad. Then I dig deeper into this country about the living environment and job market. I found most of the people can speak English and it’s a quite international country that many internationals could find a job and start their life there. So the world-famous master program and the international environment attracted me to move here.

What do you like the most about working in the NL? What advantages did you get?

I have to recognize that I am still adapting to the environment and sometimes I still feel a little bit lost of how I can do better. However, I like that colleagues are friendly and willing to share information with you, and that there is not much hierarchy. People are equal to share their opinions and encouraged them to share.

Regarding my professional field, the media environment is quite different in western countries compared to China. So the first benefits of my professional career are that I’m more critical about what I’m doing now. The second benefits are that I learn how the western media is functioning, and now I can work for both media environment, which can help me to find a professional job.

If you have to mention some disadvantages, what are they?

I have been working for five years in China before moving to the NL, while the experience is hard to be accepted as the working system is different. So, the main disadvantages are that I have to start to accumulate working experience from zero. The working style here is different from what I’m used to in China…

Despite this previous point, do you feel you made a big step in your career by coming to the NL?

Yes. Definitely. The environment here is more open and has a lower work threshold, and I can have more possibility to try something that I want to do. Now I’m taking an internship and at the same time try to start my own business. I’m happy that I can do both.

Imagine you still in China now. Do you think you have had the chance to find these same opportunities?

I think I could find the same job opportunity in my home country. But the meaning to do a job here is trying to learn and experience something different from my home country. Though the job opportunity could be the same, what I can get from them is incomparable.

And from a personal development level, what are the main benefits you got by moving to the Netherlands?

I can better be myself. Something that I love in the Netherlands is the way that I can do what I want to do and without judgement. As the culture is different and it will affect personal life. Here I feel I’m freer and could try different chances as I wish. Another benefit is I’m more critical and more acceptable after I move to the NL, as I met people from different countries sharing different ideas.

Are you planning to stay in the Netherlands after your internship?

Yes. I would like to stay here for more than a year or maybe even longer. I think living here can make me be myself in an easier way.

Would you recommend living in the Netherlands to someone else? If so, why?

I would. Especially for people who always feel that they are not acceptable by society and don’t know how to deal with it. The Netherlands has a high acceptable level for a lot of things as well as your “strange” ideas.