Discussions between technology students and our companies show that the second edition of the High Tech Career Competition (HTCC) was successful. Approximately 50 students, half of them from abroad, visited the internship market of Northern Netherlands high-tech companies at Resato International in Assen. Students were highly motivated and some got out of bed early to find themselves a great internship or graduation project.
Thanks to social media and internship notices, students know about this market. Some even visited the first edition at Philips in Drachten last year. Yde, who is an electrical engineering student at NHL-Stenden university of applied sciences, is pleased with the setup of this market. “I know you from last year and from a high-tech safari. I like this concept. At the other fairs, you only meet pushy recruiters. Here you can talk with companies directly. I prefer this setup.”’
Plenty of choice
Jeroen, electrical engineering student at Hanze university of applied sciences in Groningen, was enthusiastic. “There are hardly any internships in embedded software to be found online, but here there is plenty of choice!’’ This was the first time he saw most of these companies. VDH Products in Roden was one of them. “They don’t know us,” said Jacco, software engineer at VDH Products, “therefore I have to do my best to convince them that we are interesting employers for them.’’ This worked with Jeroen, who showed an interest in a graduation project on low-cost Ethernet for industrial use. “I know the technology used in this project from my previous internship and it is a subject that appeals to me.” According to Jacco, Jeroen stands a good chance of getting the assignment. “It is a nice fit with his education and interests and, what is important, he is enthusiastic. If a student is not motivated, this is likely to have an adverse effect on the result.’’
Brenda is an intern in the HRM department at Neopost in Drachten. She got a good first impression. “The students are a good match with what we are looking for. Compared to the last career day at NHL-Stenden, we now see more software engineers and this is the type of engineers we are looking for.’’ Brenda and her colleagues do not only focus on knowledge but also on practical skills. Students who tinker with technology in their spare time have an advantage. “Real engineers like to get their hands dirty.’’
The stand of HTCC’s host Resato drew a lot of attention, despite a few highly specialized vacancies. “I would have liked to see more technical business administration students,” said Quality Assurance Manager Peter. Still he felt his presence at the market was useful. “From my interviews with the students, I learn what they consider interesting and worth getting out of bed early for. That is important because it tells us how to create vacancies that attract future colleagues.’’ Rob, software engineer at FMI in Drachten, agrees. He mainly paid attention to the student’s eagerness and passion. “Who is at the front of the row and knows what he is talking about scores points with me.’’