Career cookbook combines the useful with the tasteful

Students and staff members experience a loss of connection in times of corona, Coby Doreleijers and Hilde van Esch realized during their work at the TU/e Career Academy. And what brings people together? Food! The two foodies consulted their network and asked recruiters and alumni for their favorite recipes and the very best career tips. The result: The Career Cookbook. The free download is in high demand, and part of the profits made by the equally successful hardcopy will go to the Foodbank.

photo Fotogrin / Shutterstock

The idea came to them during the Master’s course Career Development, which the TU/e Career Academy offers at several departments. “Students responded enthusiastically to the interaction with recruiters and fellow students – because they miss that connection so very much in times of corona,” career advisor Coby Doreleijers and trainer Hilde van Esch say. They decided to come up with a way to spread that sense of connection beyond the digital lecture hall. And since they are both true foodies who prefer to cook a different meal each day, it was only natural that food would play a role. Because what better way to create connection than by sharing a meal together or by talking about food? The plan for a career cookbook was finished in September.

Doreleijers and Van Esch went through their list of contacts and asked no fewer than 28 recruiters and TU/e alumni to share their favorite recipes and best career tips from day-to-day practice. They themselves added pages with advice on a range of issues: LinkedIn, assessment, the job interview and salary negotiations. The help from the TU/e Career Academy’s student employees – whose tasks included checking CV’s and providing workshops in the Skillslab – should also be mentioned, Doreleijers says. “I would like to mention Koen Vlot, who spent much time on the book’s layout.”


The Career Cookbook contains a wide range of dishes – including lunch meals, starters, main courses, desserts, baked goods and drinks – from various countries. You’ll find recipes for traditional Dutch Hutspot and fastfood dish Kapsalon, as well as for Iranian eggplant dish Mirza Ghasemi and Tempelopita, a yogurt and feta cheese pie from Greece. Scroll down to the end of the article for the recipe for a healthy Kapsalon.

Van Esch: “TU/e is an international community, and we wanted to reflect this in the book.” Internationals in particular know how to find their way to the Career Academy, Doreleijers says. “A part of this group came to Eindhoven because of the city’s location in the Brainport region. We can help them establish network contacts with companies there.”

The career tips in the book are as varied as the recipes. Some deal with discovering your dream job, others with job applications or how to find your way on the work floor as a graduate. Recruiters know what employers are looking for, while alumni can still vividly recollect what it was like to enter the job market without any experience.

Van Esch believes that the mix of recipes and career tips is a winning combination. “When you combine information with fun, it’s easier to process. And we could use some lightheartedness, especially now, when everything is so serious.”

Career tips

A few tips from The Career Cookbook:

‘Share your thoughts during interviews. It is not wrong when you don’t have an immediate answer to a question during an interview. In those situations, take the interviewer through your thoughts. Your way of thinking is valuable information as well.’ Maartje van Opstal, recruiter at ASML

‘Stay critical: when you are in an application process, it may become about winning the job. Make sure that the job is actually what you are looking for. Dare to say NO if it turns out that this is not the case.’ Tjalling Kraak, recruiter at Vanderlande

‘Asking for help is a strength, not a weakness: you had to do everything on your own when you were a student, but in your professional life, you are part of a team.’ Roy Jacobs, alumnus Mechanical Engineering

‘Be nice to everyone.’ Salih Elhag Adam Yousif, PDEng-alumnus Automotive Systems Design


The digital version of The Career Cookbook was completed at the end of January. Students and staff members at TU/e can download the book for free. Doreleijers: “We wanted to print a small number of copies and to present these as a gift to everyone who contributed. However, we quickly learned that more people wanted to have a paper book, to use it in the kitchen of their student house, for example, or to give to their college-going or graduating children.”

The decision was made to print a number of copies. These will be offered at a purchase price of 10 euros, and 2.50 euros of each sold copy will be donated to the Foodbank in Eindhoven. “Even though we complain about living with corona measures – our lives aren’t that bad, with our well-stocked fridge. This way, we want to expand the idea of connection beyond the campus,” Doreleijers explains. Almost 200 copies have been sold by now. Printed books can be ordered via email.

“We invested a great deal of energy in the book, but this gives back so much energy!” Doreleijers and Van Esch are of one mind. They refer to the many heartwarming responses they received, for example from a student with a passion for cooking who would like to contribute to the next edition. And from those who spontaneously paid more for a hardcopy, as an extra donation for the Foodbank. Doreleijers hopes that The Career Cookbook will have a similar effect on others, such as on students who have a hard time coping with corona. “Choose a recipe and invite a fellow student for dinner!”

Healthy 'kapsalon'

Recipe from Paul Verschoor, recruiter at TNO

* ½ kg of boiling potatoes
* 2 tbsp. (olive) oil
* 150 g chicken breast fillet
* 1¼ garlic clove
* 1 tsp. Al-Andalus herbs
* ½ tbsp. mayonnaise
* ½ tsp. sambal oelek
* 85 g Greek yogurt (0% fat)
* 50 g young matured 20+ cheese
* 100 g candy vegetable tomato mix
* ¼ cucumber
* 40 g lamb’s lettuce

1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C.
2. Cut the unpeeled potatoes into chips. Spread over a baking tray lined with baking paper, scoop in half the olive oil, and season with salt. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes.
3. Cut the chicken into strips. Finely chop 4/5 of the garlic and mix with the Al-Andalus, the rest of the oil, pepper, and salt through the chicken strips. Leave to marinate for 10 min.
4. Finely chop the rest of the garlic and mix in the yogurt with the mayonnaise and sambal. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a frying pan and fry the chicken for 10 minutes, medium heat. Grate the cheese. Spoon the fries into the baking dishes and divide the chicken strips over them. Sprinkle with the cheese and put in the oven for 10 min.
5. Cut the tomatoes in half. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and cut into slices. Take the dishes out and divide the lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber. Sprinkle the garlic sauce and sambal and serve!

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