Student - November 3, 2011

Talent-spotting on campus

They are tenacious hunters who keep their eyes skinned. They are on the lookout for fresh young talent among students all over the campus. Once they set their sights on you, they'll corner you ... and offer you a stunning career opportunity. They are called campus recruiters, and you get them in Wageningen too.

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Teun de Bakker, MSc student of Food Technology, is one of them. He looks around him for talent, in his study association for example, and at Ceres. His employer, Ebbinge and Company, is looking for future managers and technical staff. He was once recruited by a talent scout himself. ‘A nice experience.' Any ambitious student will be keen to get onto Teun's radar. He explains how he goes about it: ‘I look for sociable people, with a certain level of ambition in their studies of course.' Yet high grades are not the most important factor. Make sure you are active both in your study programme and beyond it. Join clubs, serve on boards and committees or start your own company. ‘You could also join a band', says Teun. ‘You just have to show that you want to make something of your life.'
Top appeal
Having spotted his talent, Teun doesn't pounce immediately. ‘You approach someone gently and don't spring anything on them.' By having a one-to-one chat, he soon gets the measure of the person. He is looking for students with aspirations for their future and a wish to make a go of it in the business world. He seldom draws a blank; in fact, most of the students he approaches feel honoured. It's a great opportunity for them.
Teun's employer is a headhunting consultancy firm that links students up with companies. Ebbinge helps them with career choices and grooms them so that they have top appeal as applicants. Students are trained in writing a good CV and getting through an assessment, for example. They can also come and see how things work at an in-house company day. ‘You can even come in at a later stage in a selection process', says Teun. ‘All nice opportunities that students can't arrange for themselves.'

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