Young Talent testimonial: Femke Morsch

Femke Morsch talks about her time in SURF's Young Talent programme. She now works as a product manager in the Trust & Security department. 'The job vacancy mentioned innovation, ICT and self-assuredness as key words – things I could really relate to!'

How were you chosen as Young Talent?

After my Biomedical Engineering degree at Delft University of Technology, I knew I wanted to do something involving technology and ICT. As soon as I saw the SURF Young Talent advertisement, it felt right straight away. I noticed the key words of innovation, ICT, combined work and study, and self-assuredness – things I could really relate to!

I applied, was accepted, and had a good feeling about it right away. I was nervous at first because I didn't know whether I had enough knowledge of ICT, but everything turned out all right. A strong affinity is all you need to brush up fast.

What did you do as part of Young Talent?

My first project was SURFnet Labs, a website intended as a showcase for SURF's experimental services. The aim was to turn it into a working environment where services could be shown and documented, with links to communities on the subject. I developed the concept for the site, and also created a proof of concept.

After that I started work on the development of SURFconext, SURF's online collaboration infrastructure. In that position I concentrated mainly on the development of the functional specifications, or the question of what users should be able to do with SURFconext. In addition to writing user stories, I also helped create a demo-portal that we could use to demonstrate SURFconext. In another SURFconext project, I was testing the user interface.

When SURFconext was introduced, I organised all of the activities related to SURFconext. This included setting up a workshop, and organising speakers for various sessions.

What was the most special thing about your time in the Young Talent programme?

Young Talent enables you to work with lots of people within a short time, people from many different fields. I met with developers, the student support team, SURF employees, as well as the future users of SURFconext, to name a few.

At SURF, you learn a lot because nobody gets pigeon-holed. You have the freedom to try out new things, such as the way you organise a project. You are granted a lot of responsibility, which gives you the confidence to take on things yourself. As Young Talent, you are seen as fully-fledged.

The mutual contact among the Young Talent members was also very special. There were five or so of us in the programme, so there was always someone to go to for advice or feedback. In addition to our mentors, of course.