Russian Konstantin Korotkikh got down to work at Twentebelt thanks to Connect

| Mariska Roersen

A friend pointed out the Connect-project to Russian Konstantin Korotkikh (25). A project that helps foreign UT and Saxion graduates to find a job. ´By then, I had sent two hundred job applications and had done about five job interviews. There was no progress.´ Through the network of Connect, Korotkikh started working at Twentebelt in Hengelo in May. The company is specialised in making metal conveyor belts.

Photo by: Gijs van Ouwerkerk

He was born in Siberia. ´Close to China.´ Smiles: ´And by that I don´t mean the Dutch interpretation of close.´ His mother was a women who travelled around a lot. ´As a kid, we moved often, but at a certain moment my mother decided to go back to the Urals. There, she met a Dutch man. We moved again. This time to Moscow. Eight years ago they left for The Netherlands, Enschede, where my mother married her new love.´

Korotkikh stayed in Russia because of his study. He obtained a master in statistics and considered doing a second master. ´Preferably in the financial area.´ He hesitated between a study in Norway or The Netherlands, but eventually chose the University of Twente. ´To be close to my family. I had not seen them for a long time.´ After his master business administration, where he followed the track financial management, Project Connect took him to Twentebelt. ´I was looking for a job in The Netherlands. Only, I couldn´t succeed in finding something by myself.´

Thanks to the connections of Connect he started working at the company in Hengelo. ´Twentebelt exists 100 years and has two branches. One in Poland, where mainly the manufacturing takes place, and a head office here in Hengelo.´ The company develops all kinds of metal conveyor belts and wants to enter the market in Russian speaking countries. ´There is a nice task for me to do. I currently translate the website into Russian and I do all communications with Russia. We have a distributor there, but not everybody in my motherland speaks English. You can imagine that communication is hard. I can help in this area.´

Next to that, Korotkikh opens up markets in other, Russian speaking countries. ´Think about the former countries of the Soviet-Union like Belarus. How do I do that? I first call people I know and then try to get a hold of a distributor through them.´ According to him, there is definitely interest in metal conveyor belts from Twente. ´People eat and drink everywhere and conveyor belts are needed. A specialty of Twentebelt is the so called Twenteflex, a new technology in spiral wirelink belts. This belt goes up in a circle and is very suitable to cool down bread before it is packaged, for example. Because the belt goes up like some sort of spiral staircase, space is saved.´

Korotkikh is planning to visit customers in Russian speaking countries this fall, and is equally excited to visit his freshly opened markets. A home match to him. To the question if Enschede is his new home, he answers that he wants to live here for now. ´But this is definitely not my last place of residency´

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