The Autumn Graduate Jobs and Internships Fair is an annual event which is this year held on Monday 14th October. In this blog post our student intern, Chloe McDonald, runs through why careers fairs are useful to you!
Careers fairs. You’ve seen the Tweets, the banners around campus and the emails that are sent to you every week. The Autumn Graduate jobs and Internships Fair is just round the corner, but why do you need to go? Why is it a good idea to go to a careers fair when you could be watching Breaking Bad, shopping at Trinity or preparing for an evening at Fruity?
There are a multitude of benefits that come with going to a careers fair, both for you and the employers that are there. Think about it this way: why would employers come to careers fairs or events if they didn’t think that they would be beneficial to both their company and the students that attend? Employers come to fairs to scout the best talent, to encourage bright, innovative students to join their ranks!
We asked Steven Ladhams, a Graduate Recruitment Officer for Grant Thornton, the key reasons that Grant Thornton attend careers fairs:
“Careers fairs are vital for us to give students an opportunity to meet us, although we have a careers website aimed with students in mind, you really can’t beat meeting people face to face. I often see students attending careers fairs perform better in the recruitment, as they have taken the time to speak to a variety employers and find out which career path and organisation is best for them.”
So that offers an insight in to why employers come, but why should you come?
Here’s what Jessica Felton-Page from G’S Fresh had to say:
“Attending the Careers Fair and engaging with the employers is a fundamental step along the road to a successful working life. Rarely will you ever get another opportunity to have so many options at your fingertips in such a great environment. You’d be surprised at how far a conversation can take you. Preparation is always useful – look at some websites, read some articles in the press but even without that, as long as you’re open to options and prepared to consider all possibilities for a career, the opportunities are endless!”
And this is what James Johnston from ACCA thought:
“The Graduate Jobs and Internships Fair has always took its place in the busy Graduate Recruitment season as a key opportunity for organisations to connect with Leeds University students on a personable level, and before the formality of the rigorous application and assessment period! This is a great chance for students to ask all those questions they’ve been wanting to ask about Graduate Schemes, salaries, employability skills and just expectations of the graduate jobs market in general. One way students can really get ahead of the competition is to simply research and familiarise with the sector they’re going to be working in. If you’re applying to Finance Graduate Schemes and you’re not familiar with the sector you’ll be working in, the service provided, and the company’s clients, etc then you will come across as under prepared. Two words – Commercial Awareness.”
As James and Jessica said, preparation is key! For more information on how to best prepare for a recruitment fair you can look back to our previous blog post; Will you be getting the most out of the Yorkshire Graduate Recruitment Fair 2013? Which offers some really useful advice on how to make the most of careers fairs. You can also find advice on our website, and the full list of employers that are attending the Autumn Jobs and Internships fair on it’s event page, so you can really look in to which employers you would like to speak to.
So you’ve heard from the employers, but what did our students bloggers think? Here’s a snippet of what Catherine thought of her experience at the Making a Difference Fair last semester:
“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!”
You can also read Catherine’s full blog post about her day at the Making a Difference Fair.
Another of our bloggers, Joel, went along to the Yorkshire Graduate Recruitment Fair; here’s what he thought:
“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!”
You can find Joel’s full blog post in our archives.
Our student bloggers both agreed that going to a careers fair was really beneficial to both their confidence and their book of contacts! You could be reaping the benefits of the extensive networking opportunities that a fair can offer in just under a weeks time!
The Autumn Graduate Jobs and Internships Fair is on 14th October 2013, you can beat the queues by signing up online before the event and printing off your ticket or showing it on your smartphone!
We’ll be there, will you?