Make it in the North brings companies and talents together

13 februari 2020 | International talent abounds in the third successful edition of the Make it in the North career event.

‘Working with different professionals satisfies my creative thirst’

Many international talents visited the third edition of the career event organized by Make it in the North, turning it into a success. On Tuesday February 11, the entrance lobby of Markt058 – an apartment building for expats and students in the city center of Leeuwarden – was already full of people before Alderman Friso Douwstra officially opened the event with a short speech. The audience consisted mainly of young people. They had come for the workshops and the stands of dozens of small and medium-sized companies.

At the career event, Antonio from Greece caught our attention. He told us that he had come to the Netherlands with his wife who is a student at the University of Groningen. Antonio introduced himself as an engineer in search of a job. Because of his smooth talk and good looks, he soon got an invitation to join the sales department of YP Your Partner. However, they did not offer the kind of job he was looking for. ,,I like many things and would like to discuss with a company how we could help each other. That is why I want to learn more about your cluster.” He showed an interest in our partnership between high-tech companies. ,,I would like to program, preferably at a company that has a positive impact on society. I also find it important to work with professionals from various backgrounds because that satisfies my creative thirst.”

Feeling at home

Antonio is the perfect example of a partner who moves to a different country with an expat and starts looking for a job without having a clue where to start. Make it in the North can help. Since last year, the platform helps internationally oriented talents in the Northern Netherlands to find jobs, opportunities and information. By doing this, Make it in the North also helps these talents feel at home in our region. ,,This is what motivates us,” said program manager Joost Krebbekx of Innovation Cluster Drachten. With special programs for students, alumni and other technical talents, high-tech companies show that the jobs on offer in the Northern Netherlands are just as interesting as in other regions. ,,Our companies operate worldwide, employ 45 nationalities and play a leading role in their industry.” According to Krebbekx, attention not only goes to companies in Eindhoven and Delft. ,,Our companies may be less well-known, but the jobs they offer are just as interesting and challenging.” This is partly the result of the knowledge they exchange and the cooperation between their R&D departments. ,,Students who experienced this in practice are eager to stay.’’

Washing and drying

The visitors shuffled past the stands. Some people did a workshop in the lobby where inhabitants of the building got on or off the elevator. Hidden behind a few stands, two women were lingering near large washing machines. They finally drummed up enough courage to take their freshly washed laundry out of a washing machine and place it in a tumble drier. None of the visitors noticed. They were only interested in the companies presenting themselves at the stands. Not only NHL/Stenden students, but also many University of Groningen students had come to Leeuwarden. Most of them spoke English. They came from many different countries, ranging from Germany and Belgium, from India to Italy, and from Brazil to Spain.

Technology map

Maria from Barcelona was looking for sales and marketing jobs, but also showed an interest in high tech. She said she knew ASTRON. ,,They are doing great things. I attended several lectures on astronomic research at Dot Groningen. The connection between science and technology appeals to me.” Maria is a student in linguistics at the University of Groningen. She would like to work in a hospital or a company in which research is important. ,,That would allow me to learn a lot while working,” Mitchell from Drachten is already familiar with our cluster of companies. ,,I find your network very interesting. For my PhD I worked at Variass and saw the possibilities for collaboration within the Innovation Cluster. This offers me many opportunities.” Mitchell graduated in Supply Chain Management and is now looking for a job. ,,The Northern Netherlands are generally not seen as a place to look for a technical job. This is changing and Innovation Cluster Drachten is increasingly visible on the technology map.”


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