This article is part of the series ‘Twente Lives!’ Here you can read personal stories about working and living in Twente. According to the talents we speak, Twente is a nice place to be. The beautiful nature, space, the down-to-earth mentality are all things that characterise Twente. Besides, there are plenty of career opportunities! Twente has many innovative, international and future-proof companies that are crying out for staff. Do you want to know what Twente offers? Read the story of Conny Willemsen below.
Conny Willemsen grew up in Almelo and also completed her pre-university education there. She left the familiar Twente to study Communication Sciences at the University of Groningen. After a pleasant period of three years studying and living in student dorms in Groningen, the choice for a master’s degree brought her back to Twente.
Conny: “I had a wonderful and educational time in Groningen, but after my bachelor’s degree, I did not find a master program that appealed to me. I was interested in the psychology and strategy behind marketing, but Groningen specialises in linguistics. So, during an open day at the University of Twente, it turned out that various master’s programs matched my interests. Also, the vibe on the campus immediately felt good, so I quickly made the choice. In the end, I completed two masters at the University of Twente: Communication Science and Business Administration.”
While Conny wrote her thesis and focused on graduating, she was already looking for a job in which she could use her talents. “I found the Ascending People traineeship online, which directly aroused my curiosity. After a successful personal consultation with Belia, I not only gained more insight into my possibilities on the labour market but Ascending People also guided me in the job hunt. At Ascending People, they made me think carefully about what exactly I am looking for in a job and what would make me happy because the right match is critical. Ascending People then brought me to Vcare Connect's attention, and they invited me to an interview. Now I have a marvellous job there! Vcare Connect is a cheerful company that offers me plenty of opportunities to develop further.”
Besides the job as a Communication Specialist at Vcare Connect, Conny follows the one-year traineeship of Ascending People. Conny: “Once every three weeks, I have a training on Friday with other starting young professionals, and every time there is another theme. Sometimes we are talking about finance, LEAN, or change management; other times, marketing or HRM. But Ascending People also pays attention to my personal and professional development during the meetings and individual coaching conversations. ‘How do you start as a starter in a new job, and how can you develop yourself successfully?’ I find the training sessions delightful and valuable. That you can develop yourself together with like-minded starters makes this combination of work and a traineeship so much fun.”
In her search for a challenging job, Conny has mainly focused on Twente. Although she initially thought that there are primarily technically oriented companies in Twente, it soon became apparent that there are also many opportunities in other sectors. “Twente has many brilliant companies. We may have some less well-known, internationally operating companies here, like in the Randstad, but the diversity of companies, the dynamics and the innovative power within this relatively small region is amazing.” Conny indicates she has consciously chosen to work at a somewhat smaller but innovative and fast-growing company. “Vcare Connect currently employs about 40 people, but this is exactly I get a lot of different tasks, and I feel very involved in the company. Within Vcare Connect, I am trusted with a lot of responsibility, and I can contribute ideas at a strategic level. For me, it feels like I can and should contribute significantly to the growth of Vcare Connect.”
“The people of Twente have a great mentality. Everyone is always up for a chat, and I love the friendly atmosphere here. I have had a large, close group of friends for years, and we always do a lot of fun things together (outside the COVID-19 situation). Even when everyone was studying in a different city, we still regularly came together in Twente, for the 50th anniversary of one of our parents or celebrating carnival, for example. For me, Twente means everyone is always welcome, and people have a good time together, but they are also there for you during worse times.”
Since childhood, Conny has been fond of horse riding. “I’ve been riding horses since I was eight years old. Twente is, of course, ideal for such a hobby. You can drive straight into the woods here. You won’t find that easily in the big city. It is a secret dream of my boyfriend and me to one day own a house with a lot of land next to it for keeping animals and possibly a horse. Fortunately, there are many such beautiful spots in Twente. I won’t be leaving here for a long time!”
Twente is the ideal place to live and work, according to the talents we meet. Want to know why? Read personal stories about living and making a career in Twente on twente.com/twente-leeft. Want to look for a job immediately? Then take a look at our extensive job site.