A business presentation at Nyenrode. A campus event at the University of Amsterdam. Or an intensive project with Maastricht University. VodafoneZiggo shows what it has to offer at almost all universities in the Netherlands. With challenging workshops, cool projects, and with one pressing question. Are you the future talent of our company?

"VodafoneZiggo is a driver of digital progress," says Campus Recruiter Joëlle Erenstein. "And in the world we are creating together, young people feel most at home. As a result, they are able to think in terms of solutions and come up with surprising ideas. We are looking for a new generation of talented data specialists, techies, marketers, geeks and freethinkers . Universities are perfect places to meet, challenge and introduce these talents to VodafoneZiggo."

Campaign plan
Joelle visits universities to set up collaborations. "Can we come up with a nice project or participate in an event? With a scenario under my arm, I then get down to the business of VodafoneZiggo. Does B2B have an appropriate marketing challenge? Is there an exciting IT issue in the Technology department?" Whoever picks up the gauntlet will usually run the project. This keeps lines of communication short and projects concrete. 

Smart building
At Maastricht University, just such a project has been completed. For two months, a group of International Business and Strategic Marketing students got stuck into a challenging issue from VodafoneZiggo. Participant Mariska Geerts (25) looks back on it with pleasure. "It was a unique and educational experience. Our business case was about smart buildings: buildings with technology that optimise, for example, climate, lighting or security."

"We started with an analysis of the smart building market and got in-depth information about VodafoneZiggo's own smart building: the Central Office in Utrecht." Visiting this location made a big impression on Mariska. "Because of the tech – from all kinds of energy-efficient lighting and climate control systems to interactive software that optimises office occupancy – but also definitely because of the atmosphere. We were welcomed with open arms and observed very clearly how flat this organisation is. I saw the CEO looking for a flexible workplace like everyone else. That says more than a thousand words."

Indirect recruitment
A tour of VodafoneZiggo's flagship perfectly suits Joelle's indirect way of recruiting. "We don't do crude promotional talk. Instead, we introduce students to our culture. The open and inclusive organisation where you can be yourself. The support you get and the confidence it builds. Also, the focus on learning, developing and facing challenges together. When students experience those unique qualities, their excitement is frequently sparked. Consequently, a quarter of all Trainees come in through these projects."

Design thinking
Back in Maastricht, the students worked on the project in three teams using the design thinking method. From ambitious ideas – go big or go home, was the explicit brief – to tangible applications that will allow VodafoneZiggo to gain a foothold in the smart building market. "The attention and guidance we received struck me immediately. And we could ask for whatever we wanted. That instilled confidence.  I quickly felt that the sky was the limit. That made it easier to let my imagination run wild."

A stadium full of gadgets
Mariska's team focused on a football stadium. How do you transform such a building into a ‘full-service smart stadium'? "We filled 'our' stadium with sensors and came up with an app that takes the fan experience to a whole new level. From watching live, seeing instant replays, navigating easily through the stadium to crowd management for the organisation. In Japan, fans help clean up stadiums after the game. We also entice visitors to lend a hand through a points system on the app. In particular, the IoT technology on which our concept runs gives VodafoneZiggo the right to play in this market."

The project's pitch was reviewed critically and evaluated positively. “The only feedback was that our cost estimate could be better. Rightly so, by the way. AND it was instructive. I’ve certainly learnt that in business, your plans must be thoroughly worked out. I will not easily forget the atmosphere I got to experience, either. Here in Maastricht, I cycle past a large VodafoneZiggo office every day. Probably one of those aloof big corporations, I always thought. That image has really changed completely. I am seriously considering dropping by for a coffee sometime after graduation."