A Blog by International Students at Leiden University

The Uprise Festival – startup scene options

Today is one of those sunny days when we all might feel it is time to put the work to one side, and just enjoy the day.
Yet, there are things to be done, places to be visited, and festivals to be attended.
What if, though, one could combine both in one event – work and having fun?
That is indeed what I had the chance to do today (followed by an all-by-foot day outdoors in the smaller and less crowded alleys of Amsterdam).
How? ー well, I attended this morning a startup inference, which they called, fittingly, the Uprise Festival, in Amsterdam itself.
I will just use this one as an example, I am pretty sure there are a lot of other startup events and career options out there, depending on your interests. This was a tech event.
Before you write it off as out of reach / boring / too much effort, here are three reasons why you might want to give it a try next time:
1) If you are a student (you are, since you are reading this) – you might be able to get the ticket for free!! (such options are easily found on the website, or you can inquire in person or via email a member of staff)
2) You meet a lot of open-minded people, who are more than willing to talk with you. And tell you what they, and their companies, are all about.
3) Practice – you will, sooner or later (I’d recommend sooner!) – find yourself speaking to prospective employers, collaborators or researchers. You want to be able to speak with them naturally, know what your goal is for meeting them, and importantly- enjoy the process.
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Get mentally prepared for the day – which might – or might not, include:
1. You getting nervous 
And that is completely normal. Just make sure that you eat something beforehand, those places rarely offer cheap food options (or if you are not concerned over finances, it is still nice to not be starving the first couple of hours out there!)
2. Make sure that you in fact have everything you planned to take, with you.
A good idea might be to make your own business cards (as a student or otherwise), and bring them along. Make sure there are no typos – even one tiny letter can ruin your entire presentation! (Okay, yes, I had a typo on my business cards…. I left them home…)
3. A LOT of people
Both exhibitors and attendees.  I was surprised to learn that there were a lot more students than I expected originally (I could tell them apart because all if us wore those bright armbands, to set us apart).
All in all
I only spent there a couple of hours, and despite being nervous, I tried to make it count. I spoke to 5 companies, out of which 3 I researched before the event and wanted to speak to, and one that just had a really friendly representative who just started talking g to me as soon as I appeared. One just had a really cool production could not just walk past (AI earpieces – whatever that means)
I have added some of the pictures I took.
What I’m hoping is, that more students will become aware of all the exciting projects that are happening around, and maybe reach out.
Those are not only career events – with the right mid set and strategising, you can make any event a networking opportunity.
Even if you don’t like talking to strangers, or find the events intriguing – at least you will know for the future, and it still is a great experience.
I am just about to finish my drink at this pretty cute café, I hope you also have a great day today!

About antoaneta@theleidener

I moved to Leiden back in 2014 to do my Master's in Asian Studies with Japanese, which is something I am still doing along with many other projects. I have been an international student ever since I started my Bachelor's degree in the UK, and have lived in a bunch of different places, and have met so many lovely and interesting people along the way. I hope in the future I can continue travelling and exploring new ideas and places.

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This entry was posted on April 22, 2017 by in Uncategorized.

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