8 reasons why interning at DIGITAL SME should be among your resolutions for 2020

Big things will happen in 2020. If last year is any standard, our organisation might triple its size this year. As such, we need talented young people to support the team in its various activities. But what exactly would that entail, and why should you want to intern for us? Here are eight reasons why DIGITAL SME is one of the most amazing places to intern in Brussels right now.

1. We are the digital future of Europe.

Every single company, with very few exceptions, is a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME). It’s actually a misleading label; why isn’t there rather an acronym for the few huge global players (HGP!) which aren’t SMEs? SMEs are all companies that are not HGPs. Well, it’s a little more complicated than that, but not much.

We represent more than 20,000 digital enterprises throughout Europe, and our membership is growing every year. With the ongoing digital transformation, this trend is likely to continue in the foreseeable future. We are a young association, and rapidly growing. Joining DIGITAL SME at an early stage means you’ll be able to make a lasting impact and contribute to our growth toward Europe’s largest and most important digital association! 

2. You’ll never have to make coffee out of boredom. Guaranteed. 

Our work is incredibly diverse. What does “digital” mean in the digital age? The short answer: almost everything. From microscopic software producers to niche-market leaders with hundreds of employees (still medium-sized!), and from European- or even global-level digital policy to city and district legislation—and everything in-between—we are involved. We participate in projects that contribute to the greening of Europe’s energy market (like SABINA) as well as blockchain, cloud- and platforms initiatives, to name just a few. We are an established authority in ICT standards and cybersecurity as well as digital skills. You are guaranteed to learn something new every day here, and it won’t be how to make decent coffee with a machine (because we have coffee-aficionad@s working here, and they make great coffee so you won’t have to. At least not every day.). 

3. Flexible working hours.

This is cool if you’re still studying. As we care more about productivity than just “time spent at the office”, we’re happy to offer you flexibility if you keep up with your tasks. The latter condition, though, is absolutely crucial. Trust needs to be established and earned. Work hard and do a great job at your tasks and nobody will ever comment on the time you show up in the morning. 

4. We’re an awesome team! 

An often overlooked variable when people choose organisations, team cohesion and harmony actually play a crucial role in what and how you learn in your internship. We are very happy to say that all of us actually LIKE working together. People who join the organisation usually comment on this after they start: The team synergy is awesome! We’re very young (half of the team is under 30!), from many different backgrounds, and have many kickass women in the team (which isn’t exactly the standard in the digital sector. . .)

5. Get to know the people who matter in digital policy.

Networking is a crucial part of any internship in Brussels. With us, you meet people in the most important positions in regard to digital policy on one hand, and crucially, people working in digital enterprises all around Europe on the other. We are a European organisation, not a Brussels one. Knowing people from both the public and private sector is a very coveted asset, and this is exactly what we offer. Have coffee during a break with a Spanish entrepreneur one day, connect with a politician from the city of Helsinki on the next. While you will get to know a great number of people, the different backgrounds and contexts also enable you to expand your horizon in terms of what kind of job opportunities exist out there. More often than not, getting a job isn’t a matter of blindly sending a CV, but rather sending a LinkedIn message to a person you’re already personally acquainted with through your network. 

6. Mentoring and support that go above and beyond your internship.

We won’t forget about you after your internship finishes. You’ll be part of the DIGITAL SME family. And we care about family. Forget about a simple reference; if you did a good job, we will activate our network to make sure you get a good shot at an interview with an organisation that interests you. It also won’t hurt that you met all these important people in the fancy networking events (see 4). . .

 

7. Hone (digital) skills that will actually boost your employability

Our requirements are few but important. Above all, we care about your learning ability, dedication, good communication and language skills, and team compatibility. We could be boring and list the requirements like this: “You should have experience with WordPress, MS Office or its equivalents, social media etc”. But let’s scrap that and just call it “Advanced Millennial Computer Literacy”. If you have these skills to build on, you will learn A TON with us. Somewhat advanced CMS, CRM, design skills, copywriting, networking, event communication, project management, policy analysis and support, teamwork (which totally is a skill on its own), and many more. Our day-to-day work is as diverse as the digital sector itself, and knowing these skills will open doors for you in the future. 

8. You won’t slave away for some anonymous corporate overlord. You will work for a meaningful cause. 

We are a nonprofit organisation. None of us will get rich at DIGITAL SME, but that’s not what we’re about. We care about Europe. It is our deep belief that Europe can and must return to the forefront of digital innovativeness, and for that, it must build on its strong SME economy. The US and China are churning out startups as much as they are emitting greenhouse gases, without much regard for sustainability and worker’s rights. We believe in SMEs not only as enablers for the digital transformation, but as a core element of the social fabric of Europe. Companies that care about and are rooted in their communities. Entrepreneurs who care about the environment and their employees at the same time. 

This puts us in direct opposition to phoney organisations who proclaim to “support SMEs” (because it sounds fancy) but are actually backed by big tech and actively undermine the status of SMEs by swallowing them up and creating cartels and monopolies. We proudly oppose these puppet organisations and represent real companies led by real people. So next time your friends talk about sustainability, tell them that our companies have the absolute lowest possible carbon footprint, or that we fight for tax equality, or for more women in tech. . .

So there you have it. If you feel like you fulfil our requirements and are looking for a real challenge and doing some good at the same time, go ahead and check out our internships right now