Student - October 6, 2009

A hand full of name cards, but no jobs

Despite the crisis, companies are keen on new personnel. A graduate-to-be tries his luck on the career day at VHL Velp.

Stijn van Gils (right) looks for a job on the Career Day in Velp, organized by alumni association VVA-Larenstein annually.
About 45 companies are present on the career day at Van Hall Larenstein. There's no better moment than this to see what's in store for this graduate-to-be of forest and nature management. I walk confidently up to the engineering firm of DHV. 'We're doing well', says Bart Jansen, who once studied at Van Hall Larestein. Cautiously, I start to talk about job hunting. 'Well', came the answer, 'officially, we have a hiring freeze but there's always place for good people.'
Things look a bit better over at the Municipality of Rotterdam. I shift gear into city dynamics, space shortage and the fantastic challenge of fitting in with nature. This appears to be a good introduction; I was quietly rewarded with a usb-stick. 'Have a look at this film', says Martijn Kleinveld. 'We also offer traineeships which start you off in various places in the municipality, so you can chalk up experience along the way.' Coincidentally, the municipality also has a job opening for an ecologist. Martijn doesn't have the details, though, but I can always phone later.
In one of the lecture rooms, a debate is taking place about the characteristics of good employees during a crisis. Well, it's more like a lecture actually. It's a little too abstract and long-drawn, and a waste of my search time. The afternoon flies by. Do I know Lybrae Consultants? Nope. Ah, they are in search of ecologists, in particular, with experience, but there's no harm trying. Well, well, if I had been interesting enough, I would have been given one of those nice caps too. Eelerwoude recommends an internship. Van Der Tol gives me a posh writing pad. They are looking for forest and nature managers, but I would end up in small-scale urban greens. With a hand full of name cards, I leave for home. Sigh...I'd rather have a job in the pocket than ten name cards in the hand. ® Stijn van Gils