My VU Year

The truth is, VU got me into this…

Alright, no joking, by “this” I mean the internship in ING Investment Management, Taiwan.

It all started, I guess, from me being a Taiwanese who somehow chose to study in Holland, and whose life story has thereafter taken a big turn. I was a Foreign Language & Literature student in a well-known technology university in Taiwan. Supposedly I would graduate in 4 years with my B.A. degree, doing whatever administrative job in whatever company. It never came across to me that I would be here today, albeit only as an intern, in the once-the-tallest-building-in-the-world Taipei 101, working for one of the most orange multinationals – ING.

The year in Amsterdam was definitely one of the most intense years in my life, physically and emotionally. True, I was bombarded by so much new information in every class. True, it took me so much more efforts than many others to understand the Western context. Even truer, there is nothing trickier and harder to balance between the harmony and conflict than working with an international team. But what happened was that, if I look back from where I am today, all those hardship and challenges have now proven to work to my own advantage. Not only that I become very quick in picking up new information or fairly adaptable in any situations, but also that I am somehow able to tackle with different communication styles. All these things I wasn’t taught, I learnt through living side by side with them, during my VU year.

Okay, the Chinese wisdom says that we should all hide our best talents and be humble (obviously contradictory to Dutch culture), so I probably wasn’t being very Chinese by telling you whatever good I’ve become. But my message was that: nope, it wasn’t all roses studying abroad, partying and all that. It was a choice you have to make, by accident or not, to work hard and gain life-changing-ly more than you would ever expect.

So back to me in the lion head, it was during an event that I had the pleasure to help organize for ING Taiwan. Thanks to this internship, I never felt too far away from my second homeland, Holland, and I hope sincerely that you will soon find yourself home in Amsterdam too.


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