Catherine, one of our student bloggers, outlines her experience of the ‘Make a Difference’ fair
I will admit now that I am not entirely sure what I want to pursue as a career. However, I do know that I am not massively motivated by money. Ideally I would like to find a career that allows me to use my skills and talent to benefit more than just a CEO.
That is why I went along to the Careers Centre’s ‘Making a Difference’ fair on March 5th in Parkinson Court. Planning for and attending this fair has made me develop new skills, discover new levels of confidence, and massively increased my optimism for life after graduation. Here’s what I did.
My first port of call in preparing for the fair was to reread last week’s blog. It explained the importance of researching and understanding the various organisations that were attending, preparing good questions to ask, and thinking about how best to present yourself. I also had a look at the advice on the main careers website.
For me, researching the TEFL companies was my main priority, but I also looked into the opportunities non-profit organisations like Cancer Research and Yorkshire Wildlife Trust had on offer. I also put together a little pitch on myself, which I have done for job fairs in the past. I find that just writing down a list of what makes you employable, special, skilled and unique the night before a jobs fair can really jog your memory and make it easier to know what to say in that potentially awkward moment when you approach a new company.
THE BIG DAY
Interestingly enough, it was completely by chance that the day before the fair I stumbled on a TED talk about body language. I would seriously recommend checking it out here. Inspired, I did a few ‘power poses’ in the privacy of my home before setting off for the fair.
I am the sort of person who does need to fake confidence just a tad when I’m in a new professional environment, but I found that the research I had done on my chosen organisations really paid off. I was able to go straight into detail with the various representatives, and used the valuable opportunity to ask specific questions about application processes, candidate criteria, and their personal experiences of succeeding in the industry. This is the sort of information that most organisations are not willing to just give out to everybody on their website – that would be making it too easy!
I made some great contacts at the fair, and picked up various names, business cards, and promises of further assistance and guidance. I also have new found confidence: pitching myself to professionals and have them respond so positively makes me think that I may in fact be quite employable! I also have a much more positive impression about the number of opportunities within the third sector. How did everybody else find it?