/ #On Location #Activity 

On Location: SME Market

On September the 28th Scintilla organized the first SME (small - medium enterprises) market and dinner. As I’m near the end of my study period, I feel a slight urge to start looking for jobs and I signed up for the market and dinner. The description of the activity promised an afternoon and dinner where the participants would have the opportunity to meet employees of 8 SMEs from this region. So I signed up with 30 other students and participated in this great networking activity.

A few days before the market the list of companies that would be present was published. I decided to do some preparation and I googled all companies and read their websites. I decided that not all eight companies would be interesting for me, mainly because of my master specialization (computer vision & biometrics), but I found the majority interesting enough. The market started around 15:00h, however I decided to arrive a little later, as I already thought I would not have long conversations with all the companies. The market was neatly organized in the foyer of the Waaier. All companies had a stand and brought some demo projects, banners and flyers. As the group of participants was not too large, there was enough opportunity to have a chat with the engineers or recruiters of the companies. Although only 8 companies participated in this first edition of the SME market, there was enough variety to offer everyone some interesting options.

After getting to know the companies at the market, there was an opportunity to ask even more in-depth questions during the company dinner. Just before the market ended, we had to make a top 3 of companies we would like to talk to during the dinner, so the organization of the activity could make a plan that would best match the wishes of the participants. By the time the market ended, I had talked to all companies I was interested in and decided on my top 3. The dinner was hosted at the Broeierd, and by the time we arrived the planning was known to all participants.

During the dinner there were three options to talk to the employees, during the appetizer, the main course and dessert. As you were seated next to a company of your preference, the questions that were asked were more in-depth than during the market. We talked about favorite projects the employees worked on, their own time at the university and more practical things like the size of their teams. While enjoying the food, I had the feeling that I had a better idea of what working at the companies would be like. I think this concept gave great opportunities to have a more casual conversation with companies together with other interested students. I think this was a great first edition and hopefully more will follow in the future.