Internship: what do students have to pay attention to

Marloes Wigman, at Dow. (Photo: zvg)
Marloes Wigman: “We do not make a difference between students with disabilities and those without.” (Photo: zvg)

Read the interview with Marloes Wigman and find out what students with disabilities can expect from a Dow internship.

MyH: Businesses often have doubts concerning employing people with disabilities. How can they benefit from offering students with disabilities the chance for an internship?

MW: We engage ourselves for variety and inclusion, which are key concepts of our success. Students are highly qualified temporary staff and can bring valuable support to our projects. They bring new perspectives, new knowledge as well as a good performance. For students with disabilities, this is even more so, as they had to overcome more hurdles than students without such constraints. This makes them more creative and gives them great determination; these are exactly the characteristics we are looking for in our students and employees.

Dow engages itself for diversity and inclusion

MyH: Which work environment awaits students with disabilities at Dow Europe?

MW: As our President Andrew Liveris says: "While Dow pursues its path of transformation, our engagement towards diversity and integration is a very important aspect of our work. Diversity and integration show how we implement our deeply rooted values. They are key aspects of our success as well as an important part of our strategy for attracting the most intelligent co-workers and retaining them on the workplace."

We pursue an open policy for employees with disabilities, which enables us to create a work environment in which employees can unfold their full potential. Dow promotes a good and caring work environment.

Proactive approach

MyH: In which ways can the interns engage themselves at Dow?

MW: We offer internships in all of our various functions. For students with a technical background, this can be in the production or in the field of research and development. We also offer internships in the Public Affairs field, Logistics, or in the Human Resource department, where I work. Our internships are announced on our website:

MyH: Which are the three most important pieces of advice you have for students with disabilities who are looking for an internship?

MW: First, it is important to be proactive, to verify the job-pages of the company, call the responsible people, and ask for information and for a meeting. Use your network. This extra effort will distinguish you from other applicants.

Second, visit career fairs, for example those that are organised by universities. This is an excellent opportunity to find out more about enterprises, or internships which they are offering, or how to apply for a job, etc. There is also the possibility to have a first talk with a representative from a company, who then has a chance to gain a first impression of the student.

And last, I have already mentioned it, but it is really very important: Come well prepared to a job interview. Take time to reflect on why you would like to do this internship and why you would like to work in this company. Have a look at the job description, what is required, and if you understand everything. Call and inquire about what is not totally clear.

MyH: Mrs. Wigman, many thanks for this interview!

Since 2010, the cooperation between Dow Europe and the Foundation MyHandicap aims at improving the chances for people with disabilities to find their place in the work market. This is implemented through job trainings, offered at the application workshops. During this event, applicants not only have the unique possibility to present their application to the right person, but they also receive precious advice for their professional careers, through job interviews and trainee units.


Text: Patrick Gunti - 08/2013
Translation: MyH - 11/2013
Photo: Dow,

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