On 21 April, UNESCO-IHE organized the annual Water Sector Market for the fourth time. The aim of this event is for the public and private water sector to get acquainted and build long-term relations with the international student population at UNESCO-IHE and its alumni abroad. Fifteen water sector organizations attended the event as well as approximately 200 MSc students and PhD fellows.
Meet & Greet
Dr. Johan Aad van Dijk, Business Director at UNESCO-IHE, welcomed all those present. ''This is not just a market, this is a place where enthusiastic students are studying in the field of water. You are now UNESCO-IHE students, but at a certain stage you will be our alumni and will go back to your country and your organization. That moment will be a important step in your career, and you will not only be an ambassador to the Institute, but also to the Dutch Water Sector. We would like to cherish this and give you the opportunity to meet with representatives of the Dutch Water Sector at this water market.''
Together, we can do more to solve global water challenges
Managing Director of the Netherlands Water Partnership, Lennart Silvis, continues with his business perspective: working in the water sector. ''What I learned so far in the water sector is 'culture', working with people from different countries and cultures. I experienced this as a great opportunity to work together. Secondly, 'content' is important: the experiences in the field related to your water study. Today, is about 'connection', between you and the Dutch water organizations. The Netherlands Water Partnership brings water organizations together. Together, we can do more to solve global water challenges. I would rather rename our Dutch Water Partnership to an 'international' partnership. We can only do our work, if we work together.''
Speed dating sessions and social interaction allowed the water sector to connect with international students from developing countries and countries in transition. The senior students are in the final stages of finishing their MSc programme, and will graduate on 26 April, with the majority returning to their home countries soon after that. This event gave them the opportunity to meet up with the water sector operating from the Netherlands, making contacts that could benefit them in their careers after they return home.
Graduates can play a key role
UNESCO-IHE's graduates can play a key role in providing linkages between the Dutch water sector and international partners. This event was an ideal opportunity for the water sector to proactively generate interesting business opportunities for the future with the mid-career water professionals studying at the Institute.
MSc student from Cambodia: ''I think this water sector market is a great opportunity to communicatie with the organizations and find out if there are possiblities in Cambodia.''
UNESCO-IHE alumni are employed in public and private organizations in the field of water, as well as in international organizations worldwide. Many alumni reach prominent positions in which strategic, managerial, policy and decision-making components become a major part of their function. They support the implementation of the global water agenda and improving the quality of life of their communities every day.
Iosif Skoullos, PhD fellow: ''My expectations of the market is to see what the organizations have to provide and if there are vacancies for alumni and Phd fellows. Furthermore, I want to learn more about the experiences in the field.''
Several water sector companies and organizations introduced themselves on video. Please find them below.