Close to 1,000 international students join TU Delft every year. And countless other internationals move with them or for work nearby. Those internationals are looking to expand their professional and social networks and do so through a number of groups available in Delft.
The organisation started in 2007 as a platform for networking among Dutch support staff, but in 2012, it reinvented itself as a space for all young employees of TU Delft under the age of 36. The goal of the organisation is to help employees, especially international staff, get to know each other and develop their skills. The Young Delft board is comprised of volunteers from across the university. “The diversity in backgrounds (both in positions, as well as in cultural background/nationality) of the board adds value to the activities undertaken,” says Rudy Negenborn, the chairperson of Young Delft. Last year, the organisation hosted events such as ‘Speeddating the Board of Directors’ and the ‘TU History Event & Boat Tour’. “In 2013 we have already experienced a successful New Year’s Lunch and are currently working on organising the Secret Places Walk, the Science and Creativity Week and regular Cool Colleague Cafés,” adds Negenborn.
If your idea of networking involves some fun and games, attend the next event organised by expat group DelftIans. Besides weekly squash meets, board game evenings and poker nights, there are also monthly pub quizzes for you to get your geek on. The group started in 2006 with 7 members and today has 454 members on their mailing list. Joe Neesan, who took over the organisation in 2010, says, “Our motto is ‘We will introduce you to your new friends.’” They organise drinks every two weeks in one of the local pubs (usually at ‘t Proeflokaal) and also encourage members to organise events such as film nights, dinners, parties, dog walking, and games nights. “Basically, we try to match new members with people who have the same interests or speak the same language. The TU students mostly enjoy the drinks and meeting up with other TU students to talk about their research,” says Neesan.
If you’re hoping to stick around and work in Delft after TU, then definitely attend some INA events. The International Networking Association for Delft professionals, which started in 2011, brings together the English speaking international community in the city, and provides resources for those looking for work or starting their own businesses. “It was founded by a group of internationals based out of Delft who were tired of trekking to Rotterdam or The Hague to do all of their professional networking,” says Molly Quell, vice chairperson, DelftIna. Besides networking events, they organise a series of workshops on topics relevant to young professionals such as the Dutch business environment, how to write a CV, tax planning and so on. “It’s a great platform for young professionals to network with likeminded people,” she adds.
Delft Expat Project
Started in 2009 under the aegis of the Gemeente, the Delft Expat Project helps expats feel at home. The organisation arranges an annual event to welcome new expats into the city and help them find their feet around. Their website is constantly updated with information about events in the city that would interest expats, such as the Blues Festival and English Story Night. They also have a twitter account called Expat Team Delft (@DelftExpats) and a smart phone app called Discover Delft. “The Delft Expat Project team addresses ways in which the city can improve the living and working environments of expats in Delft,” says a note on their Twitter homepage.