By Antoine Cachera
Editor’s note: This news story is part of a collaboration between The Herring and AUC’s journalism course. The story was entirely reported, written, edited, and fact checked by members of the journalism course. Some material may have been altered by The Herring’s editors to fit its style guidelines.
–Not all university students are crystal clear about their future career. The International Talent Event Amsterdam 2017 (ITEA) took place on April 21 at The Student Hotel on the Wibautstraat. Through a variety of offers and activities, the event aims at establishing connections between companies and international students.
Since 2015, the ITEA has been organized by the Student Careers Centre of the University of Amsterdam. Through one-on-one meetings with company representatives, career skills workshops and CV or LinkedIn profile reviews, the event helps students and young professionals better understand their career options. Brands like Adidas, Booking.com, Club Med and ING have stands there to create contact. According to the event description, such events offer a compromise between challenging meetings with recruiters and experts, and providing “an informal and playful environment that is perfect for networking”.
The previous ITEA allowed 53 partners of the event to match with young international talents and students. “A lot of companies were very happy at the end of the day and were sure of recruiting some of the people they had spoken to during the day,” says Marie-Elise van den Hoek Ostend, Career Coach of the ITEA team.
David Gibbons, Senior Consultant for Adams Multilingual Recruitment, has been representing his company at the ITEA for the past three years. For the first time, Gibbons’ team had an official stand where they prepared participants for potential job interviews. His advice to students is to come prepared to the event, he says, “probably by researching the companies attending beforehand so that no time is wasted”.
While AUC students often talk about getting out of their comfort zone to gain experience, they may disregard events like the ITEA due to a lack of time and awareness. Zuzanna Orlowska, a second-year Social Science major, is one of the few AUC students that had heard about the ITEA. “I really wanted to get to know about job and internship opportunities, especially international, in the field of neuropsychology and psychology,” says Orlowska.
Ana Chaloska, a second-year Science major, was not interested in the event as a way to find a job for after university. “I was intending to find an internship I would do during my studies at AUC,” she says. Gibbons confirmed that this is a common tendency. “A lot of the students were only looking for internships as they were in the early stage of their studies, but we managed to meet a few candidates who we are already working with.”
According to Gibbons, events like the ITEA are extremely useful for students, and to overlook them would be a mistake. “It gives them the opportunity to meet recruiters and HR people and to develop their network,” he says. Regardless of your field of study, it might be a good idea to start creating relations and getting more familiar with the professional world.