The importance of collaboration between schools & businesses

The importance of collaboration between schools & businesses

Blog by Wouter Martens & Stijn Willems

In our constant quest for new talent, we closely collaborate with colleges and universities. It’s important for us to be known among students, but it’s also important for the educational scene to stay in the know of the technology that is currently being used in the business world. In February we attended the PXL Jobevent and there’s two important lessons we are taking away from it.

1 / IT students are a rare and valuable species Ok, maybe we’re exaggerating a little but no one can deny that all companies out there need people with IT skills. And as a digital agency we need the best of them. Unlike what you would think, the job fair was not just filled with last-year students looking for a job. They were present of course, but there were also many 2nd-year students looking for an internship already, as well as some external, a little bit older students who were steering their career in a new direction. Did many of the last year-students not show up because they have already found a job? It shouldn’t be a surprise that if students like their internship (and manage to leave a good impression), they often stick with that company to kick off their working career. This is something several of our iCapps colleagues did. What does this mean for companies and organizations that are looking for young talent? You should aim even younger and target students looking for an internship. If they turn out to be an addition to your team, don’t hesitate to offer them a job ;) .

2 / Guest lectures are equally valuable At the end of the job fair we got a visit from some lecturers who wanted to know more about the collaboration possibilities. They were really interested in us coming back for a guest lecture, and we get it. Flashback to your own days in the auditorium: what were the lessons you remember most from? It’s possible you had an extremely inspiring, well-spoken lecturer and you remember all of their lectures. But it’s more probable that only a few of them stayed with you until today, and I’m guessing that several were guest lectures from ‘actual business people’. To understand why it’s important to master your IT skills, you need to be aware of their relevance. When you hear brands and organizations talk about how they are making use of for example React and React Native, Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning and Virtual/Augmented Reality to enhance app experiences, students will be much more motivated to dig into their textbooks or get their own experiments going. And apart from that, it also teaches them a thing or two about the right mindset for entering the real world.