We asked Jeroen Nouse, a Marketing & Public Relations Officer for the Recruitment Days, what he was most proud of. After a brief pause to consider his answer, he replied, “The Sustainability Day held on 1 February.” 2018 marks the first time the Recruitment Days have a special day devoted to sustainability. Nouse explained why the organisers chose to highlight this subject: “We have noticed that sustainability is a hot topic among students. We wanted to cater to that sentiment by devoting a special day to it.”

Shell, Phillip Morris and sustainability

Judging from the response to that day, it is indeed a popular subject. “Several hundreds of students have already signed up for our Sustainability Day. That is a huge number for a theme day,” said Nouse. KPMG and Unilever are planning to show on 1 February how major companies deal with sustainability issues, on the basis of case studies.

Volkert Engelsman, the Managing Director of the largest organic fruits and vegetables imports company in Europe, will be another speaker. He recently claimed the top spot in a sustainability top-100 published by Dutch newspaper Trouw.

However, Nouse is quick to emphasise that these are not the only things students will be able to do on campus in the next two and a half weeks. In addition to the Sustainability Day, a Big Data Day has been scheduled, as well as a Rotterdam Careers Day. On other days, students will be able to attend workshops and training sessions taught by many kinds of companies, ranging from oil giants such as Shell and ExxonMobil and tobacco manufacturing company Phillip Morris to the Rotterdam Municipal Authorities, PostNL and Coolblue.

Half-empty rooms

The organisers have come up with another novelty, as well – fines. “In the last few years, some students who had signed up for events have failed to show up, leaving companies to face half-empty rooms. We hope to prevent this from happening this year by introducing two types of fines. If students cancel too late, they will be charged 15 euros. If they don’t show up at all, without cancelling, they will pay 25 euros.” In order to check who shows up and who does not, the organisers have breathed new life into their app. “This will help us scan the attendees’ codes at the entrance to events.”

So far, 2,200 students have signed up for the event, paying €12.50 each. The organisers particularly target Business Administration and Economics students. Companies who wish to attend the recruitment event to teach workshops, provide training sessions or interview people have to pay for the privilege, as well, but Nouse was unwilling to tell us how much.