Emma

Age: 25
Nationality: British-American

Emma found her current job at ITEA 2015 and has been working at IDEXX for eight months

There are a lot of people at the ITEA event, so you feel less put on the spot than in an interview. It’s more of informal chat and more personal. It just feels more natural.”

Emma completed her Bachelor of Biology in the UK and obtained a Master's in Biology at the University of Amsterdam. After graduating in 2014, Emma was looking for a job but she didn’t really know what she wanted. After months of applying, she learned about ITEA via Facebook and decided to attend. At ITEA 2015 she made contact with IDEXX, which eventually led to her current job.

How did your career path go after attending ITEA?

I went for the full day, and I went to one company talk: IDEXX. I felt that the talk wasn’t very centred on something I was interested in. After the talk, I went to the fair and I was walking around, being a bit shy. At that moment, all I knew was that IDEXX was a company that helped with animals and veterinarians. Then Vincent, one of the IDEXX HR guys, came up to me. He asked me about my background and I said, ‘Marine Biology’. He told me that there was someone else working at IDEXX with the same background as me. Before that, I felt that companies always hired people with specific backgrounds that are in line with the job, but it was nice to know that they were willing to hire someone who didn’t have such a specific background. Vincent told me that he would let me know if there were any openings. Around two months later, I got an email with two job openings from him and he asked me if I’d like to be considered for one. I liked one of the two jobs and was invited to come to the company to meet the team. I was invited for a second time, where I did a personality assessment. Then the team had to decide whether to hire me. After some internal politics, I learned that I was hired, and I started in the beginning of July.

What did the International Talent Event do for you?

I took copies of my CV, but for IDEXX it wasn’t necessary because they just asked me to sign up to their LinkedIn page and Vincent gave me his card. Make sure you have your LinkedIn ready or go to the LinkedIn workshop at ITEA. I did have my printed CV checked in the career café. I came as a scientist and I got very useful CV advice. I also went to workshops with general information about finding a job and I learned a lot. The fair was also a good place to go. There are a lot people at the ITEA event, so you feel less put on the spot than in an interview. It’s more informal chat and more personal. It just feels more natural.

What would you advise current international students?

If you don’t know what you want in your career, then be open and find a company that is willing to hire you to train you. Don’t be afraid to ask what the company can offer you in terms of training.

What would you advise students who will visit ITEA?

Go and meet people in the fair, even if you’re shy. Even though I only talked to one company, it was definitely useful. Also, have your CV and maybe LinkedIn checked, especially if you know what you want to do. People who want to get into media, for example, have very different CVs than people who want to get into science.