Fontys Consultancy: ‘Working with High Tech Campus innovators is an adventure, not a job’


(Editor’s note: Dispatches Europe worked with the Fontys Consultancy team on our Tier1 Tech Talent project. We highly recommend the Fontys team due to their ability to grasp complex concepts, then synthesize them into a business plan. You can contact Fontys Consultancy at: [email protected])

This September, four students from Fontys University of Applied Sciences started a completely new concept at the High Tech Campus Eindhoven.

We set up a consultancy office in Building 27, the innovation hub on the giant research campus that support startups at the “Smartest Square Kilometer in the world.” Here, the consultancy is available to work on multiple short assignments in market research, communications and other business-related activities.

How is this different from a regular internship? Essentially, Fontys Consultancy Office serves as a bridge between Fontys University departments and High Tech Campus. The Campus hosts more 60 startups and scale-ups, meaning there is always a lot to do.

Many companies have a great experience working with students as a part of their internship program. However, not every company needs a long-term project. So, Fontys Consultancy is oriented towards solving smaller issues and working closely together with the High Tech Plaza, startups and Fontys University.

If a company is looking for an intern, our team will contact appropriate Fontys departments and send possible candidates.With smaller tasks, our team will provide the consulting services themselves.


What we do and how we do it

Fontys Consultancy has a mentor, but compared to a normal internship, our mentor is here to guide and help us. Otherwise, we have complete freedom to decide what each one of us wants to focus on.

That means we get to explore our strengths, which will be handy later on in our careers. We ensure that every student of the team gets the best out of this project by dividing the tasks and assigning the team leaders per project.

For example, more technical companies dealing with deep tech would be a better fit for the person with more of a technical mindset. On the other hand, there are more creative projects such as conducting surveys and finding interns, creating business plans for talent-management companies, presenting and pitching – for certain, everyone of us can find a right fit at Fontys Consultancy.

As I said, Fontys is a bridge to HTC.

This happens in several ways:

• The first and most prominent way is by working with the companies present at the High Tech Campus on various assignments. Each company is different, which is challenging and fun.

In seven weeks, our team worked with more than 10 companies. The assignments themselves vary from doing market research for a healthcare-tech company, developing communication messages for an industrial technology startup and writing business plans for various companies including Tier1 Tech Talent, a subsidiary of Eindhoven-based Dispatches Media.

Assignments usually last from two weeks to four weeks, but some run
longer and are more focused if the company requires extensive research.

• Second, Fontys Consultancy provides additional internships and project placements for students with, for example, the Honours Programme and the Real Case Project.

Our assignment is working with HTC and developing a clearer view of the companies here on the campus and what they need.

• Third, we bring Fontys staff in contact with the companies, providing opportunities to share knowledge and contribute to our ecosystem. We are currently aiding the fourth-year electives of international business on a project and helping a course in object-relational mapping to plan a workshop.

Overall, being here gives us unique insights into entrepreneurship. The environment is extraordinary and creates a valuable learning experience as well as a tremendous network in Brainport’s high-tech industry.


Our Team:

The Fontys Consultancy team currently consists of two International Business students and two Commercial Economics students.

This semester, the team includes Anna Bubnova (the author), Carsten Tillmanns, Daphne Oberije and Pablo Schoots. We’re supported by students from Fontys bedrijfskunde (business administration) – Jurre Hendrikx, Mirelle Dohmen and Robin Rouschop – working on a project for one of the startups. The work we do gives us a great opportunity to have an impact on new businesses and to develop our different skills and interests.

The most interesting part is the learning processes behind it. Everyday, we get to know new people, meet new companies and discuss their projects, goals and struggles.

It sounds like a regular working day, but it is not. Here in “the smartest square kilometre in the world,” you don’t just get to meet regular people – you meet geniuses from all around the world.

Every time we as a team enter a company’s office, we prepare ourselves to have our minds blown … again.

Let’s be honest … how often do you usually talk to founders of companies:

• saving premature babies?

• making blood checks possible for developing countries?

• capturing carbon dioxide from the air?

Not that often, right? This is exactly how Fontys Consultancy work differs from a regular internship – we get an enormous variety of learning opportunities.


Meet the Fontys Consultancy members:

Daphne Oberije – Netherlands

I study commercial economics, and I love helping people and making them happy. That is why I want to be a consultant – to assist companies reach their goals. I am a perfectionist, very social and good at working in a team. Improving the online marketing strategy of companies is one of my favourite activities at HTC. After I finish my education, I want to work at Brainport Eindhoven as a marketing consultant.

Carsten Tillmanns – Netherlands

During my time as a Commercial Economics honours student, I have developed a great interest in marketing & innovation. Working with startups here at the campus is an opportunity I seized with both hands. Getting inspired by inventive entrepreneurs here at the HTC is what I hoped for with my internship. I would be delighted to get invited for a round of golf (handicap 1,0) by someone from the campus to discuss potential assignments.

Anna Bubnova – Estonia

I am an International Business Honours student, and I am truly passionate about working in a team with different minded people. That is why working here at HTC feels more like an adventure than like a job. In my world, there is no wrong opinion as long as one thinks outside the box. I wake up every day trying to be a little bit better than I was yesterday. In the future, I see myself working in the marketing field.

Pablo Schoots – Netherlands

As an International Business student, I am very interested in different cultures and socializing with people who have different mindsets. This means that working here at the HTC feels great, as there are so many smart people from all over the world.

Due to the nature of our assignments, we learn so many new things every week, and that is what makes working here so interesting. I hope to come back here in the future, possibly working for one of the startups.

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