From Market to Networking

Sunday, May 14th

Wow!! What a beautiful day in Amsterdam. We have had the best weather this weekend and it’s been amazing! We started off our day on a group trip to the largest flea market in Europe. To get there we had to take a fairy which was such a cool way of transportation. I was shocked to see how popular this way of traveling is. The IJ-Hallen market is the biggest and most unique flea market in Europe. I had never seen a market this large before. The market was filled with anything from clothes, furniture to taxidermy. I think Because of the size of the market, supply and demand are very balanced here and everyone who attends will find something they are looking for. The prices are extremely low and many booth owners are even willing to negotiate prices. After talking to a jewelry shop owner who had a booth I was made aware that for many of the people who sell this is a pretty major job for them. They are constantly collecting, storing and trying to re-sell items. From what I saw the market is extremely popular and located in a pretty densely populated area. From a business standpoint this area must be an extremely attractive area for other businesses not related to the market just with the amount of traffic it gets. For example, after walking around the market for a while I got pretty hungry and right outside of the gates was this huge restaurant filled with people. Many of the customers had come from or were going to the market.

Following the market we took the fairy back to attend a networking event with Pitt alumni that now work and live in The Netherlands. This was a really great way to hear about all different paths that work can take you on and how working abroad is different from the U.S. Many of the alumni all started working in The U.S. and then got job offers through a company to work in Europe. A common theme was that opportunities like that are once in a lifetime and something one must not pass up. All the alumni were so thankful they made the move and especially thankful for the work life balance that is so prioritized here. In the Netherlands everything moves at a much slower pace and every decision in work is made with time. Many of them said that this was quite hard to get used to at the beginning, but now prefer that work culture over a fast paced work environment like we see in the U.S. Meeting with the alumni really made me rethink the direction of my career and allow myself to explore all the options once I graduate!

Leave a Reply