Francesca C. Pimpinella
Working in a different country teaches you valuable lessons about the country itself, including its culture and its people.
How I landed the job
I attended the Marketing Strategy course myself as an MSc student. Since I really enjoyed the class, the material used and the professor's teaching style, I sent him an email asking whether he needed some help for the following year. A week later, we had a friendly chat in his office and he offered me the teaching assistant job on the spot!
What I love the most about the teaching assistant job is the flexibility of the work. It usually does not matter when, where, how you work, as long as you meet the deadlines and work according to the guidelines agreed upon with the professor. From a more professional perspective, these experiences taught me a lot about academic life and what it means to start your career as a researcher and professor. I learned how to be critical, precise, and thorough, and how to pay attention to details while still keeping the whole picture in mind.
A specific characteristic of Dutch working culture that stuck with me, is the strict organization and rigid rules that govern the Dutch system. From the thoroughness of the contract to the precise steps to declare your working hours. Coming from the messy bureaucracy we are used to in Italy, I came to appreciate this organized and responsive system very fast!
Job search recommendations
My first recommendation would be to just go for it. Working in a different country teaches you valuable lessons about the country itself, including its culture and its people, but also a lot about yourself, in terms of what you like and dislike, which will contribute to your understanding of what you want to do in the future.
Secondly, don't be afraid of trying. Especially within the university environment, many students don't apply to job positions because they are afraid of their lack of experience or qualifications. Unless specific requirements are stated, the only assets that you need are willingness to work hard, sincere interest in the job and a lot of enthusiasm!