Working in Suriname

Dirk Luijk, a student from the Netherlands, currently works at Qualogy Caribbean in the testing department of Suriname. I interviewed him about his internship, how he got here and his experiences working in Suriname.

Can you tell me a bit about yourself?

My name is Dirk Luijk, I’m from Alblasserdam in the Netherlands. I study Information Technology at Haagsche Hogeschool. I’m currently in my fourth year and hope to finish my study soon. My final assignment is my internship at Qualogy Caribbean. My background is in web development, but my main responsibilities lie with the testing department.

Why did you choose Qualogy Caribbean for your internship?

I wanted to do an internship in which I could see a part of the world. The biggest factors in my choice for this internship were the social and cultural aspects of the country. I wanted to learn and experience something new, and build new social contacts. At first, I tried to find an internship within Europe, but I wasn’t able to find anything suitable.

I then got into contact with Oracle, who couldn’t offer me an intership themselves. They did refer me to Qualogy in the Netherlands however. Over there, they asked me how I’d like to get an internship at their location over in Suriname. First, I did some research on the country. I’d be working and living there for 4 months after all. After I had done my research, I came to the conclusion that I wanted to take this challenge, so I did.

What are your responsibilities at Qualogy Caribbean?

My background is mainly technical, I have worked as a web developer. This assignment is a great opportunity to get experience working in the testing area. And also to broaden my knowledge of the subject.

My main task is to improve and automate the testing process. The biggest challenge is to pick the right tools for the job, which means you need tools that do not require a lot technical knowledge of testers. The assignment requires a lot of autonomous work, setup and design, which is what i like. It’s important that the results of my work are really an improvement to the testing results.

Why did you choose a foreign country for your internship?

I took this challenge to live and work in Suriname for several reasons. The first one is the opportunity I got to travel, which I’ve never done before. I’ve prepared myself well by reading up on the country and asking others about their experiences here. Despite the preparations, it still was a new experience for me. I’ve always lived with my parents, so apart from moving to a country which was completely unknown to me, I’ve had to take care for myself for the first time as well.

What do you think of Suriname?

I very much like the culture, the friendly people and the great food. I also think that people in Suriname are very social. People meet up a lot compared to in the Netherlands. It also seems like the bond they share is much warmer than back home. I also like the nature here. Only thing I don’t like about it are the mosquitos.

Impressions

Qualogy Caribbean is a great company to work for. I think it’s great that despite the size of the company, it still feels like one tight-knit group of people. The togetherness and the way colleagues treat each other were all new to me. I experienced this as something unique and positive, especially compared to the Dutch way of working. It’s also very nice to see how everyone tries to share their knowledge with colleagues. Despite the differences though, working here still feels more Dutch than I would expect. The differences aren’t as big as I thought at first.

All in all, I’d definitely recommend an internship at Qualogy Caribbean!

Dirk: “Despite the size of the company, it still feels like one tight-knit group of people”