What are the benefits of attending a university careers/employer event?

Student Opportunity have run numerous events over the Autumn and Spring Term here at Warwick – from the flagship careers fairs to the ‘meet the professionals’ series. But at a time when student timetables are jammed full of lectures, seminars and socials, is it worth finding the time to attend and what are the true benefits?

Your conversation could lead to a job or
work experience placement…

The most obvious benefit is it gives you the chance to talk to recruiters and could potentially result in a job or work experience opportunity. We spoke to Kelly, a classics student who attended ‘exploring careers in the arts and creative industries’, a networking event aimed at students interested in a career within the creative sector. Whilst at the event, Kelly met Olivia Allen, Gallery Coordinator at Runjeet Singh and this resulted in Kelly being recruited for an internship position at the Gallery. ‘I would recommend attending Student Opportunity networking events to my fellow students, as it provides you with the opportunity to ask questions and gain an understanding on the opportunities available post-graduation. I found being able to discuss potential career paths with first hand connections incredibly beneficial and attending the fair led to my internship at Runjeet Singh Limited.’

Prior to the event, Kelly spent some time searching the Warwick careers portal, MyAdvantage for jobs: ‘I saw a vacancy advertised which I was interested in applying to and after looking through the list of speakers at the Exploring Careers in the Arts and Creative Industries, I noticed that the hiring manager was in attendance. Interested in gaining a further understanding of the open vacancy and the application process, I attended the fair.’ The fact that Kelly had researched the event exhibitors prior to attending obviously made a good impression and resulted in her gaining some really valuable experience within the creative sector. This is proof that putting in a bit of effort and preparing for a fair or careers event can really make a big difference.

Attending Student Opportunity events are also a great way to make connections with employers and build a network. Travis attended the Social Impact Mini Careers Fair, we asked him about this experience and whether he would attend future events. ‘Definitely. It is useful for students who may wish to work or gain experience locally and internationally but may not have the connections. Attending events can be great icebreakers for approaching opportunities which seem daunting. The various handouts and freebies also help to making the experience more personalised and much more memorable.’ Since attending the Fair Travis interviewed for, and secured a volunteering position at Coventry Citizens Advice Bureau.

5 Top Tips…

So, if you fancy an opportunity to network, make connections and maybe even secure an internship or work experience opportunity, then check out the events tab on MyAdvantage and make sure you follow our top 5 tips for attending a careers event:

Prepare! As has been highlighted by Kelly’s experience a small amount of research before the event can have a really positive impact. So, make sure you find the time to look which employers are exhibiting and check to see if they have any live vacancies on myAdvantage – you never know where it might lead to.

Update your LinkedIn profile. You might want to connect with recruiters after the event and having a profile you are proud of will make all the difference.

Make a good impression. This doesn’t necessarily mean suiting up but think about how you present yourself, walking around starring at your phone or talking to employers whilst eating a sandwich might not have the desire effect. If you think your wardrobe could do with a refresh then check out the Workwear Wardrobe – a sustainable and affordable way to get work ready.

Practice networking. Careers events are a great way to practice these skills, it can be daunting but if you have done your research then you are in a great position to make a good impression. Asking about the culture of a company is a great way to break the ice and can lead to some valuable insights.

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