A Day in the Life: Amsterdam

Amsterdam-Canal

Written by Sage Corps Summer 2018 fellow, Brittany Belding.

Brittany-Belding

Why do Sage Corps fellows LOVE interning in Amsterdam? Brittany, a Communications major and Sustainability minor from the University of Michigan, reflects on her summer here:

Housing

"I live in the World Fashion Apartments with three other girls in my program. A few places we like to hang out are at Corner Bakery, a little spot a few blocks down by the canal, on the swings in the park behind us, or in Vondelpark! When we're in the apartments, everyone normally comes and hangs out at our apartment on the balcony."

Commuting

"I used to work about an hour and a half away from where we lived, so I took a lot of transportation for that. That commute had me walking from the apartments to the metro station, and then metro-ing from there to the train station, where I would take the train to Haarlem. From the station in Haarlem, I would take the bus out to where my work was in Heemstede and walk about 10 minutes from wherever the bus took us that day through the tiny town to work! 
Since I switched startups, my work is located in central Amsterdam and I just tram to work every day. I tried biking, but it's so crazy busy in the mornings I'm just not coordinated enough to make it through rush hour!"

Working

"I used to work pretty far from my apartment, but then I got switched to central Amsterdam! I work with just my boss, Ev, in a shared workspace called TQ. We work on the top floor in the club space which is really cool! We have access to the balcony, as well as the basement where there's a giant hang out room with bean bags, fuse ball, badminton, picnic tables, you name it! I think my favorite spot to grab lunch was Stach--a teeny tiny shop with all of the sweets you could want, plus drinks, and fresh sandwiches! Amazing!"

Amsterdam-Work-Space

Startup Life

"My startup, Straw by Straw, sells bio-disposable straws made from actual straw. Since I am only the second member to join this team, I take care of a lot of the marketing side of things while Ev runs business development (and everything else!). Over the summer, I have curated the startup's Instagram (@strawbystraw), as well as edited the website for English fluidity amongst other smaller tasks."

After Work

"After work, my friends from my cohort and I normally hang out--whether in Vondelpark, our apartment, or somewhere new! We constantly met new people, local and visitors, so we pretty much constantly had other people in the mix of our group of friends, which was fantastic!"

Amsterdam-Interns
 Summer 2018 Amsterdam cohort at Impact Hub

Summer 2018 Amsterdam cohort at Impact Hub

Weekly Programming

"I can't pick just one favorite program event, so here are my top 3: a tour of a startup accelerator, a one-on-one event with the founder of a startup, and our last meal at a restaurant called Happyhappyjoyjoy. The accelerator tour took place at Amsterdam's Impact Hub, a space where budding (or more established) startups that have a positive impact on the world can work with others to better their business, as well as others! The one-on-one event was on a boat, which automatically made it cool. However it wasn't just the boat, getting to hear about really it seems everything about this man's business was incredibly valuable. Lastly, our last meal as a cohort was really special; a lot of the time it's difficult to get everyone together for a big meal, so having everyone there together was great! Especially getting to hang out with our city manager, Melissa, who we all loved! We also really liked our other city manager Ally, she just wasn't able to come to the last meal!"

Weekends

"My weekends are always super varied on what I would do. Whether it's exploring the city and its countless museums and festivals, or traveling to neighboring countries - I have really never been bored on a weekend in Amsterdam!"

What Surprised You Most?

"The laundry machines were terrible! I guess it's a pretty common thing, but I definitely didn't expect that!"

Advice

"For future fellows, I would really just say be present. No matter what you're doing, just live that moment until the next one comes. This program flew by, and with the friends I've made and the experiences I've had I'm really bummed for it to be over! However! That's only because I stayed in the now and really lived every day to it's fullest."

Want to see more from Brittany and the Summer 2018 Amsterdam cohort? Check out their Instagram account, @scamsterdam2018!

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