Alumni important in building networks
Consid is a rapidly growing IT company. Its headquarters are in Jönköping and it has 150 employees. Simon Zachrisson is a former student at Jönköping University School of Engineering (JTH). He read for an engineering degree, specialising in data communication, between 2007 and 2010. He started work at Consid immediately following graduation.
"Consid has several employees from JTH here in Jönköping, and the company is continually growing," says Simon, who works as a web developer. "We consultants in the IT industry have established a network, which we would like to expand so that interested students can also participate. That was something I missed while a student," says Simon.
"We can also visit JTH and update students on the latest in systems and web development. That is our chance to build networks, with contacts that are beneficial both for the company and for the students," adds Simon.
Mentorships for female students
Having a mentor for part of the course is important for all students, but particularly so if the student has opted for a non-traditional course. Just over 30% of the students at the School of Engineering are women. But they are mainly on programmes such as architecture, graphic design and lighting design. There are fewer on IT courses.
"Knutpunkten Career Center has a history of mentorship projects exclusively for female technology students at JTH. Joining a mentorship programme as a student enables you to build important networks. Working with my mentor enabled me to make contacts with his network, which was extremely important when I applied for jobs," says Pia-Lice Svensson Koopman, who studied building technology at JTH and graduated in 2009. Today, she works at Van der Stelt & Schoots, a firm of architects in Amersfoort in the Netherlands.
Q University – bringing more female students into IT
Q University is a partnership between Consid AB and the School of Engineering in Jönköping (JTH). It aims not only to increase the percentage of female students on IT courses, but also to reduce their dropout rate.
Consid's initiative aims to address the IT industry's gender imbalance by increasing the percentage of women in the industry. A workplace with an even gender balance is more attractive to both men and women. The project is high on Consid's agenda because they believe that having access to both men's and women's experiences is enriching, and increases the quality of the work they do for their customers.
Initiatives for reaching the goals
Women who study IT at JTH are offered a mentor. "Female engineering students will be offered a female mentor who works as an IT consultant at Consid. As well as supporting them during their studies, this gives them an insight into the world of work following graduation," says Annika Eriksson.