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Randstad Global Legal Team: Get inspired!

Contribution by Randstad Global Legal


After exploring the theory around D&I for some time, the in-house legal team at Randstad Global wanted to go beyond the policy on paper. They felt it was time to put D&I in practice. Randstad Global Legal offered Hamza Enes Kaya, a Turkish lawyer and political refugee in the Netherlands, an internship within their department.

Who is Hamza and what drives him?

I am a humble young lawyer with major aspirations. I have a law bachelor’s from Istanbul University in Turkey and an LLM degree ‘International Trade and Investment Law’ from the University of Amsterdam Law School in The Netherlands.

During my recent internship at Randstad Legal, I focused on the implementation of the GDPR regulation and gained a lot of practical experience with GDPR compliance.  As the use of technology and its implications exponentially grow in our lives, I believe I can make use of my law background not only in trade and investment law but also in IT law-related issues.

I was born in 1995, I am 25 years old now. I am the first child of my parents and I also have a sister (14) and a brother (6).  Due to my academic success which enabled me to have scholarships, I have had my primary and high school education in private schools in Turkey. Again, I have had the chance to be educated in Turgut Ozal University with a scholarship except for my senior year, which was shut down like 14 other universities and more than thousands of primary schools and high schools after the so-called ‘coup d’etat‘ in 2016. Then I was transferred to Istanbul University, where I received my bachelor’s diploma. Unfortunately, I had to flee my country in 2017 and my journey ended up in the Netherlands, where I have been living for more than 2,5 years now.

The motto of ‘being the best of myself’ drives me. I am aware of the potential not only within me but also in every human being. The only thing that hinders us is ourselves. Our willingness to procrastinate, to earn things without sacrifice, to follow only our capricious desires is what hinders us. But I believe that if we get to know ourselves better, we will also realize the potential in ourselves and this will also shed some light to challenges lying ahead. If we manage to utilize this potential within us, things we can achieve are beyond imagination.

For me, the only thing that matters is how disciplined and perseverant I am to overcome myself and achieve not only my personal but also, hopefully, humanities’ dreams.

Therefore I always follow my father’s advice, ‘’You can be a shoe-shiner, and if so try to be the best one’’.

My experience at Randstad Legal was beyond my expectations

My experience at Randstad Legal at the HQ in Amsterdam will be one of the most cherished ones in my life. It was my first international law and English working surrounding experience, and being a non-native speaker I naturally had some challenges in regard to the English language in the beginning.

It was a great way to obverse the Dutch working mentality; you can be quite flexible with your working schedule as long as you get the job done. At the start, I was following a strict timetable, but the more I got used to the system, the more flexible time-wise I got at getting the job done.

The final stage of my Randstad experience was during the strict corona measures and lockdown, thus we had to work from home. Although it is more challenging to work from the home office, especially in the beginning, my colleagues did not lose focus on their job and responsibilities. I think this is because they are happy with their job and are not only colleagues but also friends with each other. 

 Since I live by myself in a small studio I did have some challenges with my concentration and it was difficult to keep focus. Over time I got adjusted to the working from the home situation. We had quite some online communications and meetings and I was very grateful that my colleagues were willing to hear my say on certain issues and made me feel very welcome and inclusive from the start.

It was a great experience that will help me to advance a career within the law industry. Currently, I am full time busy learning Dutch and seeking further knowledge within IT-related law areas, especially in the cybersecurity area. Building upon my experience related to GDPR during the Randstad internship, I am searching for possible opportunities in GDPR compliance. I hope to blend my law background with IT-related issues. I hope to play a part in the legal domain and aspire to get a job in the future. Should you want to reach out to me you can reach me at hamzaeneskaya@gmail.com.

Randstad Legal: What did you learn from this experience?

Fiona van Lede: “Randstad is the global leader in the HR services industry and Diversity and Inclusion and equality, in general, is a very important topic to us. We have implemented a Human Rights Policy and within the company facilitate several initiatives, like Pink Randstad, Women in Finance, D&I Intranet. As lawyers within Randstad, we felt it was also time to put D&I in practice. The Dutch Bar Association brought to our attention an initiative of the City of Amsterdam to arrange internships for status holders (refugees) with a legal background. They organized a speed date afternoon where potential employers could meet the group of lawyers looking for opportunities in the Netherlands.  We had several positive interviews and were impressed by the overall level of experience, drive, and ambition.

Although from an employment law perspective you are normally only able to have interns who are still studying, there is a specific exception for refugees in the context of giving them relevant work experience in the Netherlands. Therefore we were lucky enough to get to know Hamza, who also had a Masters Degree, and offered him an internship at Randstad Legal.

Next to the fact that Hamza is very smart and hard-working, he also contributed a lot to the legal department, taking time to meet people, joining our team lunches, and generally taking an interest in the Randstad business.  It was interesting to hear from him how he experienced working in our company and our department and where his expectations did and didn’t match reality. He was surprised by the casual and amicable way in which we interact and quickly adapted to that. 

Although we consider our department to be fairly diverse and inclusive (6 nationalities in a team of 14), we were still wondering whether this would also be the perception of someone who was not used to working in a large multinational company. Therefore we asked Hamza this question when he left after 3 months, and luckily he confirmed that he felt very welcome and accepted.”

Get inspired!

Neysa Hooi: “It is good to be aware that there are many legally qualified people in your surroundings who may not surface immediately through the regular channels but who have a lot to contribute to your company. The initiative of the City of Amsterdam to arrange internships for status holders/refugees with a legal background, as well as Hamza’s contribution to our Legal Department, made us realize that we can all do better in finding a mutual way to help each other to advance in our legal careers. We loved having Hamza around!

The City of Amsterdam is currently organizing another speed date afternoon to connect lawyers looking for opportunities in the Netherlands with law firms/companies. We would like to call on all law firms/companies to participate in this project!”

If you have any questions or suggestions, regarding D&I at Randstad and Randstad Legal’s initiatives in this regard, please leave a comment or contact Fiona van Lede (fiona.van.lede@randstad.com) or Neysa Hooi (neysa.hooi@randstad.com), both lawyers at Randstad Global Legal in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

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Credits
Randstad Global Legal Team
Fiona van Lede and Neysa Hooi, both in-house lawyers at the HQ of Randstad in Amsterdam, have taken steps to improve diversity and inclusion within Randstad Global Legal. They offered Hamza Enes Kaya, a Turkish lawyer and political refugee in the Netherlands, an internship within their department. Randstad’s legal community is led by General Counsel James King and deputy General Counsel Marianne Scholten and consists of the legal department of the listed Randstad holding entity and the local legal departments of the operating companies (Randstad operates in 39 countries). Approximately 170 legal professionals work for Randstad worldwide.

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