Een interview met Mark | Master Speeddate Event 2023

Een interview met Mark | Master Speeddate Event 2023

Lara Ersoy
04 april 2024

Hi Mark, can you tell us in general terms what the Master Speed Event entails?

The Master Speed Event (MSE) is for master students who want to speak with companies one on one to possibly obtain a thesis or internship position. That is why we choose the date of the MSE at the end of November, because many master students start their thesis in April. The period in between November and April makes it then the perfect period to have contact with companies. It is also a great opportunity for companies to connect with students and meet master students one-on-one. We had a total of 10 companies and each company had 10-12 students to speak with them. These speeddates were 10 minutes each. Last year the duration of the conversation was 8 minutes, however we received feedback that it was short, and because of that we prolonged the time by 2 minutes. After the speeddates, we still heard that the speeddates might be longer, but, for example, 15 minutes is not possible since you will then be too busy in the afternoon. The whole principle of a speed date is also that you quickly go through it and 10 minutes is perfect because that way you have a bit of depth, and if you had any questions, you could reach out to the companies afterwards whilst having drinks.

How does the introductory meeting with the companies proceed during the MSE?

We had a nice location, the Royal Industrieele Groote Club, located on the Dam in Amsterdam. First of all, you are already entering something royal and an elite club, so to speak. That is really cool and your coat will be hung up at the reception. We had rented 2 rooms, one was for the speed dating room and the other was a library that became the waiting area and later also the area for the drinks. We received the people at the stairwell, the students were sent to the waiting area and the companies were sent to the speed dating room. We had a schedule for which students had to go to the speed dating room, and that was quite a thing. We would assign students with the committee and the board to speed dating room, and then after 10-12 minutes, because they had a 2-minute break between the speed dates, the students were taken to the tables where the companies were seated. We had a neat schedule and the event actually went very smoothly, I must say.

All kinds of companies come to such a career event. From which field did these companies come,  what type of organizations participated and which career opportunities were offered?

We had opted for a bit of a mix. We first tracked down companies that had already shown interest to the board and the companies that already participated last year. Those were more likely to be asked by us since they had a privilege due their participation last year. The interesting mix we had consisted out of three of four companies that make up the big four of consultancy, but also small companies up to 25 people. Furthermore, we had two or three actuarial companies.

What makes the MSE unique compared to the other VSAE career events?

What was very nice at the Master Speed Event is that you could indicate your preference and the companies could also indicate their preferences. We try to find the best possible match, which can be a challenge, but did it regardless. We had 10 companies this year, last year we had 8, and half of the companies wanted Dutch-speaking students and the other half wanted English-speaking students. We had sent out anonymous CVs, that were individually assigned with a numbers, to the companies, allowing companies to conduct a selection process. They then consequently provided a list ranging from 1 to 60 applications. Similarly, the students could give a top 10 of their preferred companies. What makes the event so unique is that you can speak to the companies one on one. That way you really have the time to, in the 10 minutes that you have, gather enough information, so to speak. Talking to companies in a group, can be more challenging, but in an one on one conversation you can perhaps talk more comfortably about yourself. For example, if you have someone who is a bit quieter, they work might be able to express themselves better in such a conversation, rather than whilst being in a group.