Joel Briscoe has just completed his first year studying an Undergraduate Degree in Physics. He attended the Yorkshire Graduate Recruitment Fair last week and here he outlines his experiences of it.
I didn’t really know what to expect at the Yorkshire Graduate Recruitment Fair other than being bombarded with flyers and requests for my emails, however, I was happily surprised this wasn’t the case when I arrived!
At The Fair
So, the first thing I did after picking up my programme was to find the employers I really wanted to talk to during the day. Even though these employer stands were not located near each other, I didn’t mind as this gave me the opportunity to have a look at all the stalls – which included over 100 different graduate employers!
The first employers I spoke to were Veracity, who are a finance analysis company based here in Leeds on Cumberland Road. Being the first chat I had I didn’t know what was expected of me as an attendee but it felt surprisingly natural to just ask what I wanted to know – added to the fact that all the employers were really easy to talk to – I settled in rather well.
Next I wanted to go see the “hello my name is…” stand. An innovative new approach to your CV. Almost like a lonely hearts video! “Hello my name is…” uses a short video introduction to get the personality behind your CV across to employers, which could be a really useful and unique way of making yourself stand out from a crowd of CV’s!
Next I visited Maersk International, the international giant oil company, about their sponsorship through postgraduate degrees which I had previously researched into. I was enquiring about the Geophysics course they sponsor here at the University of Leeds and to my luck an alumnus of Leeds who was sponsored for that course was at their information desk. We had a great chat about how I would go about getting the sponsorship and what’s required of me in turn and although a job isn’t guaranteed it’s highly likely. He then gave me his business card and said if I have any further questions he’d be more than happy for me to email him with any further questions. This turned out to be the highlight of my day at the YGRF.
Lastly I spoke to the National Nuclear Laboratory as one of their 5 national locations is close to my home town.
So did I find the fair beneficial? In one word – YES! There were a few beneficial things I had not initially expected to achieve when talking to the employers at the fair but I was proved wrong. For example, getting a feel for the company and how you, as a graduate are valued – instantly you get a real life like feeling for that company. This is what I experienced with Maersk, I could have spoken to the alumnus and felt like it just wasn’t for me but it really reaffirmed my decision that the information I had read about on paper seemed great!
Overall I had a great time at the Yorkshire Graduate Recruitment Fair and made some excellent contacts. I highly recommend popping down yourself in the future – regardless of the year you’re currently in. The whole day had a feel that everyone at the fair is there for you, which is true! However I do have a couple of pointers for you when you visit – make sure you do a little bit of research on the companies so you can really find out more from the people you want to talk to and get to know everything there is about what they offer. I think without that prior research I wouldn’t of got that all important business card off the alumnus at Maersk – in fact I know I wouldn’t!
See you next year at the YGRF!
If you are hoping to attend one of our careers fairs in the future, have a look at our website highlighting how you can make the most of a careers fair and you can also pop into our drop-in for some help.