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Liesbeth van der Veen

Education: Msc international Management/CEMS at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam and UCD in Dublin
Role today: Trainee, International Talent Program (Focus Area: Controlling)
Journey so far: Summer Intern 2016 and International Talent Program today.

Hi, who are you?
Hi, I am Liesbeth and I come from a small city in the east of the Netherlands. After finishing school, I was ready for a challenge and so my interest in travelling was sparked with a move to Argentina. Even though I enjoy travelling a lot, I also love to go back home to friends & family and pamper them with baking apple pie or go together for a hike. In 2016 I began my journey with H&M as a Summer intern within the Global Sales and Operations department. After the internship, I finished my studies and returned happily to H&M as a Controlling trainee in the International Talent Program. With the program, H&M is supporting me to do what I love the most: to discover other countries and experience their cultures. Soon I will start my first placement in Barcelona.

Why did you choose to apply to H&M and the Summer Internship?
During my master degree, I was looking for an international work experience in which I could apply my learnings. The internship at H&M seemed to be the perfect opportunity to experience how it is to work in a fast-growing global company. I also found it very interesting that H&M stands very close to their customers, providing a lot of opportunities within different functions in the company. Moreover, I knew that the values and way of working within H&M are close to mine and so I applied for a Summer in Stockholm.

Tell us what you did as a Summer Intern? 
As a Summer Intern I was one of the lucky ones to receive lectures from all different departments of H&M; from production to marketing. We also visited the distribution center with the entire intern group. In addition, I was placed within Area Controlling and was shown all the different aspects of being an area controller. Next to learning about the daily routines, I was also given a project and together with another intern I did a test case in store and presented the outcomes. At the end of the internship, I also worked in store to receive the full picture of all operations of the company.

What was your biggest challenge during the Summer Internship?
The biggest challenge during the internship was to process all the new information. In the short period of 6 weeks, I learned a lot about H&M’s past, it’s development and the outlook. The journey is inspiring and it is an amazing opportunity to hear the thoughts behind the big decisions within such a fast-moving industry.

Tell us about your best memory from the Summer Internship
My best memory was presenting the case together with a fellow intern, we were proud to present the outcome of our project and we had a lot of fun during the process. Also, I treasure the time I spent with the other interns, we became good friends during this period and it is great to nowadays see each other again within the company.

What is your main takeaway from the Summer Internship?
My main takeaway is that H&M is built on a strong cultural foundation. The corporate culture encourages openness, entrepreneurial thinking and curiosity. During my current function, I often think of these values and remind myself to continually ask questions.

What´s the best part of working as a Summer Intern at H&M?
As a Summer Intern, you are given the amazing opportunity to have a quick look into H&M and discover what happens behind the scenes of a rapidly growing fashion company. Next to experiencing in depth what a specific function entails, you will also receive amazing lectures of the top leaders of the company.