Alumni Spotlight: Rianne Scheepers


Going abroad is my second nature: I volunteered in Cambodia for 3 months, and I have lived in the USA for a few years. This time I didn't have to travel far from Holland to reach my destination: England.

Why did you pick this program?

I chose Corkscrew because marketing and business have always interested me. It also came at the right time: I had just moved back from the USA and I was still looking for a job. The Dutch partner organization contacted me, and asked me if I wanted to go to England for a month for this program. After some googling and researching experiences from previous participants I made my choice. This seemed like the perfect chance to learn more before starting my career!

What do you tell your friends who are thinking about going abroad?

Go, and have fun. Enjoy every second. Go out and see things if you're not busy. It's the perfect opportunity to learn about a country and a culture. You see and do things you wouldn't do if you were just a tourist. Personally, I wouldn't have traveled to this part of England as a tourist. But during the weekends I explored the whole area, and it was amazing!

What's your favorite story to tell about your time abroad?

I always tell people about the great program, and the awesome friends I made. I tell people about my loveliest host family, and the many great things I have seen during my time off.

But my favorite story is about Pitch Night. This Pitch Night is held at the end of the program. Each candidate gets to present their business idea to a jury and an audience of English business people. Every person receives Monopoly money to invest in the business idea they like the best. The idea with the most 'investment' wins. I never expected it, but my idea won the first place! It was an unbelievable moment!

What made this experience unique and special?

The combination of developing your own business idea along with writing a business analysis for a local business is unique and works very well together. What's also great about Corkscrew is the personal contact between you and the staff. They regularly ask you if you're still happy with the program and your host family, and are always available to help you out with your business idea.

I also loved the contact with the other participants, in my case there were 7 other participants from 3 countries. We helped each other with our business ideas, and we did fun stuff together during the weekends, such as bike riding, going to the beach, Dartmoor National Park, or going to the pub in Exeter.

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

In Corkscrew you have to develop your own business idea during the program. When I came in, I had no clue yet, and that slightly worried me. But no worries, there is plenty of time to figure it all out. You can brainstorm with fellow candidates, and the staff is always there to help you out.

What made this trip meaningful to you, or how did this trip change your perceptions or future path?

This trip was incredibly special to me because of the things I learned, but also because of the community I'm in now. Corkscrew has a very tight knit community of past, current, and future participants of the program, and each and every person is willing to help others with anything they need.