More than 100 masters students participated in the IHS Alumni International network (IHS AI) organized alumni and career event last June 3, 2016. The event bridged the academic knowledge and skills acquired at IHS and its practical application towards job search and/or career development. The alumni network hopes to provide current students information and various options on what they can do after graduation.
The diversity of speakers and the interaction with the participants created a dynamic atmosphere during the event. Among the speakers were Karen de Man (EP-NUFFIC communications advisor), Jacqueline Neumann (IND), Florin Buduroi (Adams Multilingual Recruitment), Bernard Abeiku Arthur and Mansi Jasuja (board members of the IHS Alumni International).
The event started with a presentation from EP-NUFFIC introducing the Holland Alumni Network, consisting of more than 60,000 alumni worldwide, among which 27 Holland Career ambassadors who are open to sharing their experience of job hunting in the Netherlands. Different tips were given to assist with the job hunting in the Netherlands, among which learning the Dutch language and getting acquainted with the direct communication in the Dutch business culture.
IND then introduced the search year visa and the start-up visa possibilities for international graduates who want to stay in the Netherlands after finishing their studies. The search year visa is a one- year visa, applicable for up to three years after graduation and that poses no restrictions about the workplace and salary. Despite the fact that such visa holders cannot benefit from social security, healthcare and rent allowances, they face the opportunity of an extended period of job hunting, as well as the possibility of earning a reduced salary of 2228 euros per month (instead of the standard 4200 euros) after this visa expires. All these factors facilitate the chance of staying in the Netherlands after graduation, particularly for highly skilled migrants. The start-up (self-employed) visa is valid for one year too and is based on an innovative product or service. In order to apply for this visa, the applicants need to have a step-by-step business plan, as well as an agreement between themselves and a facilitator supporting them in their business idea.
The event continued with the presentation from the Adams Multilingual Recruitment sales manager Florin Buduroi, who gave some very valuable advice for job hunting in the Dutch market. Among the most important tips were to set the goals regarding the country, industry and function. Besides the preparation required for the application and interview processes, Florin highlighted the directness, non-hierarchical, relaxed, punctual and good life balance that the Dutch work culture offers. He continued by introducing some expectations that employers have from their candidates, as well as tips on the interview questions.
We had the pleasure to have a Skype presentation by Bernard Abeiku Arthur, the vice president of the alumni network, who provided a perspective on working with governmental institutions (local and international). In particular, his main advice was to keep integrity in the workplace and avoid corruption, which is highly present in many developing and emerging countries. In addition, he paid attention to the administrative politics issue, such as avoiding office fights, learning professional ethics and cooperating with colleagues.
The day concluded with a very special presentation from Mansi Jasuja. Recognizing the long day and the possibility of tired participants, she started with some yoga, which helped everybody to relax and to regain concentration. Mansi paid special attention to networks and elements such as collaboration, cooperation, coordination, capacities, mentorship and recognition. She closed the day by stating that the tools are the same for both good and bad things, we just need to be able to make the most out of these tools and use them for positive actions.
About the author: Eni Bejko is a Marketing and Communications Intern at IHS, who is passionate about urban development. She has graduated in Economics from Bristol University (UK) and is currently following a masters at Erasmus University. She is currently working with Alumni Relations and hopes to contribute to reinforcing the impact of IHS on urban development, as well as the links of IHS with its alumni and partners.