Vacancies for internships lay waiting for students who walked into the ICD tent. Students did not linger at the entrance, partly because they were curious and partly because it was cold outside. They came from Engineering the future, an annual event organized by Hanze University of Applied Sciences. This event took place in BuildinG, the earthquake-resistant center for construction and infrastructure on the Zernike Campus in Groningen. Upon entering BuildinG, students received a flyer about HTCC and directions to the tent outside. This tactic clearly worked.
,,Enter your name and you will certainly hear from us,” Sietske Dijkstra of FMI told students who came to her stand. Sietske, metrology engineer at FMI, was at HTCC together with a colleague to look for enthusiastic students. ,,The assignments we have to offer show directions and opportunities. They give students an idea what they could do at FMI. If students enter their name on the list, we will talk to them and will look for a suitable assignment. If we immediately feel a connection with someone, we make an appointment for a follow-up interview.” The list of names and email addresses on the table grew steadily in the course of the event.
Many students came without knowing exactly what they were looking for, although they were eager to find out more. With a few exceptions, they did not really know our companies. Max and Bart, second-year students in mechatronics at Hanze University of Applied Sciences, were among these exceptions. ,,I know WhisperPower from Drachten because I did a work experience internship there when I did my MBO,” said Bart. ,,But I did not know that there are so many interesting companies in ICD.” The two students were surprised to find such a large tent filled with stands from high-tech companies next to the event hall. Max: ,,I am in the right place. I want to do something in industrial automation.” They did not obtain internships at HTCC. Bart was mainly there to explore the opportunities. ,,I went there to get acquainted with companies that appealed to me and collect business cards from people at the stands. I don’t need to get myself an internship until next year, but now I at least know which companies are offering internships.”
During his interviews with students, Peter Tamminga, product engineer at BD, focused on one aspect. ,,I prefer students who show a wide interest and willingness to work on many different things within our company. They can specialize when they actually get a job at BD. I want other people in the company to get to know them.’’ His colleague Frans Freijen, who is involved in ICD’s cobots 2.0 project, often works together with students from Hanze University. ,,They learn from us and they do projects we have no time for but which are important all the same.”
Sytze, engineering management student at Hanze, decided to do a minor in renewable energy. ,,I got to know ICD at an in-house day at Stork. I want to know more about renewable energy before I choose my internship. I mainly look for sustainable initiatives and hope to find some today.” Ruben, second-year student mechatronics, said he was mainly interested in industrial automation and would like an internship at Neopost. Nynke, second-year student electrical engineering, was surprised by the wide variety of internships on offer. ,,So many different companies! I am interested in an internship in the medical industry. I would like to develop medical equipment.” Abe, third-year student in electrical engineering said he was looking for a graduation assignment. ,,I have no dreamproject in mind, but would like an assignment in embedded software or hardware development. I would like to develop a new product and align software and hardware. BD could be the company for me, but I will also visit the stands of Ziuz and Variass.”
,,Students are attracted by the text on our exhibition panel, but have no clue what technology we use. We don’t mind and are happy to explain,” said Melvin Akker, project engineer at Photonis. Melvin discovered that his company might be rather unknown among students, but that this did not stop them from lining up at his stand. ,,We don’t have many assignments to offer, but this is a good way to increase our name awareness. Perhaps I will even meet a student who is so interesting that I will invent an assignment just to get him onboard in our company!”