At TalentIT Twente, we go for the perfect IT match. Discover the story of Interaction Technology student Daniela and Extendas. Daniela van Meggelen (23 years old) is from Rijssen and came to Enschede to study Creative Technology at the University of Twente. She has completed her bachelor’s degree and is currently pursuing the master’s degree in Interaction Technology. Additionally, she found a job through TalentIT Twente last summer. She works as a software designer at Extendas in Enschede, a company that deals with software for the fuel market.
'TalentIT Twente immediately felt personal and informal'
Daniela, first of all, congratulations on your job! How do you look back on your collaboration with TalentIT Twente?
‘Thank you! Very good. I got to know TalentIT Twente through my study association and the contact was immediately informal and personal. Right after the lecture I had a pleasant conversation with one of their matchmakers. I mentioned that I didn’t really know how to approach the job search. Even now that I’ve found work, they regularly check in to see how things are going.’
What were you looking for in a job and at a company?
‘First of all, of course, I was looking for a nice place to apply my desig skills and broaden my ICT knowledge, but definitely also a place to further discover what the right fit is for me. I am expressive and informal, so I was also looking for a workplace that fits in with that. A place that is certainly not too formal or hierarchical, because that’s something I don’t like.
Image for illustrative purposes
Sounds like the match was successful?
‘On most levels, yes. Only on one point not quite yet, because of course the fuel industry can still be a bit more sustainable, which is also important to me. However, the freedom and learning opportunities I get are very great. I am the only designer within the company, but I also get the chance to learn front-end programming.’
'They check in regularly to see how I'm doing'
TalentIT Twente puts a lot of emphasis on personal questions in such a matching process. How did that go for you?
‘They asked what I was good at, liked to do and wanted to learn. Sounds simple, but those questions were very important. So: a job as a software designer with a technical extension, at a small and informal company. And it was also about the fact that my studies are quite broad, therefore, it is difficult to know exactly what you want. They’ve helped with that very well. After the match, I took over the process myself and have now been working at Extendas for six months with great pleasure’
We say it for a reason: Push IT to the limit! In our search for companies in Twente that push the boundaries in the field of IT, we found Spectro-AG. A start-up from Bentelo that specialises in hyperspectral and multispectral sensors for UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) and UGV (Unmanned Ground Vehicle) systems. With the help of IT talent, Spectro-AG gains new insights, helps develop talent and increases the support for AI (Artificial Intelligence) in the industrial sector.
Using advanced technology Spectro-AG makes it possible to detect the quality of grass fields, downy mildew in vineyards, weeds, risk of mice infestation, unhealthy trees in forest areas, beaver tunnels or processionary caterpillar nests. Furthermore, they make 3D surface drawings using vegetation indices techniques and can recognise objects from space in satellite images. We spoke with founder Dr. Ir. Hamed Mehdipoor: “We focus on the research and development of the digitisation and automation of AI modelling and remote sensing workflows for drone and satellite data, especially for industrial sectors in the Twente region.”
The company is growing fast, so they are always on the lookout for new IT talent: “Spectro-AG is growing and needs talented young developers with a high level of expertise for its projects, but we also want to help talent make progress in their careers. Finding the right developers is challenging for us. Fortunately, we have found TalentIT to take on exactly this challenge. AI automation is relatively new and there are few high-quality developers. The cooperation between Spectro-AG and TalentIT will help improve this,” says Hamed.
“Finding the right developers is challenging for us. Fortunately, we have found TalentIT to take on exactly this challenge.” – Dr. Ir. Hamed Mehdipoor
Two of the IT talents working at Spectro-AG are Cas Bolwerk and Emiel Steerneman. They study AI at Utrecht University and Robotics in University of Twente, but are currently working on a professional network in the region of Twente. “I finished my internship at Spectro-AG last week. The match went well, because it quickly became clear that we had a mutual connection. I will be staying on to work there part-time as well! The work consists, among other things, of programming systems that make use of AI. My internship project was about the object detection of weeds. We ended up testing it successfully through a drone flight.” Says Cas.
His internship went very smoothly, but he also gained new experiences: “The work I was asked to do corresponded to my own expectations. It is very challenging and I often deal with technology that is brand new. When working in a start-up like Spectro-AG I sometimes have to tackle work that goes beyond my focus. This can be more than expected at times, but now I do have a better orientation of the company culture.”
“The match went well, because it quickly became clear that we had a mutual connection. I will be staying on to work there part-time as well!” – Cas Bolwerk
In a brief reflection and anticipation of his future career, Cas is very clear: “The best moment was presenting another project for Drone2Go, a drone event. Now I would like to move on to the technical side of AI, so I can focus on reducing the complexity. Then we can start deploying our models for everyday use.”
Hamed Mehdipoor is also very positive about the IT talent: “We have had a very good experience with the three students who were introduced to us.” He says. “We have no hierarchy and we are all members of a team that will not stop learning, regardless of age. The young but experienced Spectro-AG team works with confidence in the talents of its team members. We make sure that team members enjoy what they do while advancing their careers. Our team is always open to new ideas and skills.”
In addition to my studies, HBO-ICT (Software Engineer), I wanted to gain new professional knowledge at an IT company in the form of an internship or a part-time job. That is how I ended up at OVSoftware via TalentIT Twente. They provide advice on automation and provide support for efficient software systems. Their solutions in Java and .NET ensure that both businesses and governments can work more easily and efficiently.
At OVSoftware, I worked on an application for Android with which users could scan a wine bottle. The app can show the data of this wine via Augmented Reality. This same data can also be used to provide quality score. This means that the app can predict how much you would like that wine based on reviews you previously left with other wines. Machine learning is used for this. For OVSoftware this means that they will soon be able to show that they have experience with AR and machine learning. They can then use this app as an example.
During my stay at OVSoftware I could also ask colleagues questions when I got stuck. The supervisors also helped me through tough situations at certain times. This way I was able to gain a lot of new professional knowledge, especially in the field of machine learning.
“I am very pleased that TalentIT can always help me with a suitable challenge.”
The advantage, which makes the IT industry unique to me, is that after my internship period I now also have the chance to get an IT-related part-time job. In most other studies, it is not really possible to have a matching part-time job while studying. In addition, having experience as a Software Engineer is very important, which makes it so great that TalentIT can help me with an internship, part-time job or graduation place that matches what I am looking for; more professional knowledge as a Software Engineer.
TalentIT knows how to help me quickly and purposefully. The communication was clear and fast, which allowed me to start working on a new assignment within a few days.
– Willem Lefferts, Software Engineer