'I am originally half Canadian and half Dutch but if I had to choose one, I actually feel more International. At the age of 12 we moved from the Netherlands to Switzerland where I went to an international school. All of the sudden I had friends from all around the world, learnt about many different cultures, jumped into having to speak English and French, and of course not to forget, had the privilege of the Alps in my backyard.

I learn best through practical experience, and that is just what Sport Studies – track ISMB is perfect for.

graduate - Sport Studies - track ISMB

Freestyle Skiing internship in Canada

My first internship was in Canada at the Freestyle Skiing Association, located in Calgary at the Olympic Park. As an event management intern, I got to help with the all-around organisation and hosting many different national and international competitions. However, I also got to see the other side of this newly rising sport, being responsible for several creations such as an Athlete Injury Report System and a Social Media Strategic Plan.

From office desk to commenting for the World Cup

Every day of my internship was full of new experiences and surprises: one day I would be working in the office, another day on skis interviewing athletes in training, and to my surprise, one day holding the microphone as French commentator for the World Cup. This great all-around experience of my internship allowed me to emerge into a sport that I had grown up loving yet had no idea about the management side of it.

How I ended up at the Olympics in South Korea

When searching for my next internship, I specifically focused on all of the big upcoming sports events to be held in the next year. I used my network and sent many emails. The Olympics has always been an event that I have looked up at my entire life. I am very lucky that I got accepted to intern in South Korea for the PyeongChang Organising Committee of the 2018 Winter Games.

The PyeongChang Organising Committee

The PyeongChang Organising Committee, as host city for the 2018 Winter Games, was entirely responsible for the organisation and execution of the event. With a big event also comes a big team. Within the organisation, there were many different departments each with their own responsibilities. The organisation had been working towards this event for the past ten years. As you can imagine the pressure levels as well as the excitement was high.

Organising meetings for 130 different nations

I worked for the National Olympic Committee (NOC) Service Department. This is the connecting bridge between all of the participating countries’ NOC’s and the departments within the PyeongChang Organizing Committee. One main responsibility in this department was the Delegation Registration Meetings (DRMs); individual meetings held with each NOC in which all the logistical information and numbers concerning their country were finalised and discussed; a process that could take up to 12 hours. My primary job was as DRM Coordinator. This entitles that I was responsible for the organisation of each one of these meetings for around 130 different nations.

Improving communication inefficiency

During my internship I was also conducting research around the topic of communication. I aimed to find out reasons for the communication inefficiency issues inside the organisation. In order to get a deeper insight, I got the opportunity to interview professionals with ten years of experience in the Olympic field.

Staying for the Olympics

My internship period was actually slightly longer than the usual term of twenty weeks. Fortunately I got to stay in PyeongChang for a total of six months to also experience what the hectic behind-the-scenes work is like during the actual Olympic Games.'