Alumni Spotlight: Jaime van der Peijl

Jaime is a 23-year old-marketing and media student from Utrecht, the Netherlands. He loves to travel and write, and did an internship at Start Me Up in Bali. He was meant to stay for only a few months, but ended up staying for two years.

Why did you choose this program?

Hiking in Bali

I always wanted to go to Bali and was actually not very sure whether I would like to work for a startup which is what Start Me Up offers. However, I wanted to learn more about marketing, entrepreneurship, and PR while traveling and so this was one of my best options. Eventually one of my friends convinced me to go.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

I had been traveling quite a lot, also to Bali, so I knew quite a lot about the island. But the people at Start Me Up were very helpful in arranging accommodation, visa stuff, and training prior to my internship - I even got free airport pickup!

All the Start Me Up staff have lived in Bali for quite a while, and really know their way around. They had a list of all the best coffee places and fun things to do in the weekend, they also helped me and my startup mentor with our own startup.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

Make a clear plan ahead of your departure. Because otherwise you'll end up staying for as long as I have. And it's amazing if you have any business ideas of your own because they can really help you with your own ideas for a company, an app, or whatever. They helped my friend build an app!

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

It kind of depends on which startup they connect you with. I know that all of the interns work really hard. But because all of the founders of these startups and people you work with are traveling often and living the life, you can be flexible with your work hours.

I often went out with my mentor and other interns and we went on trips like volcano hiking, beach days, motorbike riding and little trips to other islands.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it and/or how did your views on the issue change?

To be honest I was a bit scared that no one would be able to speak English which was totally unnecessary. I was also a bit anxious about going away for 6 months, but time flew by so fast and now I would love to do it again.

Tell us more about your experience with Start Me Up:

Start Me Up was awesome, the people are very open and have a really personal approach, I got really close with most of the people who work there and with my startup team. It's amazing that you can actually make such a big difference in a startup's life in such a short time, because the teams are so small. This means that you'll have a lot of responsibility which you won't get at a big company.

I worked my ass off and learned more than I ever learned at school, from coding (I was interested and they sent me to a coding class), marketing strategies, to building a website (I have my own website now). It was really hard work and sometimes a huge challenge but if you work in an office with a rice field view or a pool it never really feels like it. It was the true definition of work hard play hard.