Finding work in the Netherlands

International students may feel at a disadvantage when it comes time to look for a job, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Students coming out of most faculties at TU will find that there are jobs available.

“The Netherlands has not been as hard hit by the economic slump as other nearby countries and engineering is a strong field”, stated Madeleen Stamm-Vuijk, a Careers Counsellor at the TU Delft Career Centre. Jobs are available for TU graduates. Landing one of those roles as an international student might take a bit more work, but is very possible.

Preparing to look for a job is a three-step process. The first step can start even before you arrive at TU. “You need to figure out what you want,” explained Stamm-Vuijk. International students need to have a clear end goal in mind and put a plan in place to reach that goal. For students that need help with finding direction, the Career Centre offers study choice counselling. This can be very useful in determining which masters or minor field to study.

Once you have a clear goal, the next step is to start building a network. Stamm-Vuijk emphasized how important it was to start networking long before you enter the job market. “You should try and speak with people in the role that you want. If you approach them while you are still a student, it makes them feel that you are interested in learning about the job and not asking for them to find one for you. This makes them more willing to give you helpful information.”

Networking is not a one-time event either. “Try and build your network early on and nourish those relationships,” advised Stamm-Vuijk. Recent TU Delft graduate Tania Veiga echoed that advice. When asked what she found to be most important, she answered, “Networking, networking, networking! It is important to be good at what your do, but it is equally important to know the right people.”


The last step in the job search process is to turn any perceived negatives or concerns to your advantage. The staff at the TU Career Centre see a lot of advantages in hiring international students and regularly advise companies and organizations about them. “We find that many companies have not even thought about hiring an international person. We explain the benefits and train them on how to interview and hire people from abroad.” The main concerns that international applicants face are about language competency, ability to fit into the organization and commitment to stay in the Netherlands.

Savvy job hunters can easily turn these concerns to their advantage. For example, you can use your experience as an international student to show your independence and ability to integrate into a new environment. You can tell employers that your experience in adapting to new environments will help you get up to speed faster than someone without international experience. Additionally, many international students spent time working before coming to TU and this can be a great advantage. Finally, tell interviewers that you want to learn Dutch. “I asked whether or not the company would pay for Dutch language lessons,” says former student Sameer Shah. “The interviewer seemed really impressed with my desire to learn.” 

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