Careers Editor Lael Hardtman covers the University of Birmingham’s exclusive Autumn Careers fair, which hosted a huge variety of graduate opportunities in the span of two days
Wasn’t able to make it to the Careers Fair? No worries, we went for you!
Set up in stalls at the Great Hall on the 12th and 13th of October, this was a fantastic opportunity to meet face to face with recruiters and employers from a range of industries, including but not limited to Advertising, Consultancy, Education, Engineering, Health and Social Work, Human Resources, Government, Journalism, Sales, Retailing and many more!
The Careers Fair was a great way to kickstart the job hunt that will haunt all graduates and is a great way to establish yourself face to face with recruiters. Remember, one of the key steps in the job hunt is always making a lasting impression!
It also allows you to practice your ‘elevator pitch’ to the big leagues (Accenture, PwC, ASOS, Capgemini, EY, and E.ON, and The Civil Service all making appearances) in a less formal atmosphere than at an assessment center. For the bold, the fair also presented the opportunity to get contact information from the recruiters themselves, and in a relationship driven world, it’s key to network successfully before the job hunt even begins. The impression you leave at the fair could be the stepping stone to a great career!
Many of the schemes offered require at minimum a 2:1 and a sense of self-motivation— the integral ‘can-do’ attitude that is key to success in a post-university career, along with a bit of experience, though not necessarily in the industry!
Generally, the opportunities presented at the two-day Careers Fair can be divided in two: graduates jobs, which after the aforementioned application period, throw you straight into the deep end of the industry (with training of course), or graduate schemes which generally offer a period between 6-8 weeks of training before heading onto a placement. The general consensus is that the training, either on the job or through the training and placement period, is prepping you for management roles in future, and thus presents graduates with an extraordinary opportunity to establish themselves as young, working professionals.
The Careers Fair was also a great way to test how the companies present themselves, and by getting a feel for the company and the recruiters it gives you a better idea of what you might want to do in future. It’s critical for students to ‘feel out’ how companies present themselves to make more effective decisions about their future, and on the flipside, companies are looking for exposure to our generation.
It was also good to learn about how your skill set that you’ve gained as a student at university matches with that of the industry, and learning about new kinds of opportunities you might not have otherwise come across.
If you missed the fair, check out Debut, Magnet.me, and the Careers Network websites, which are just a few ways of getting in further touch with graduate opportunities. Careers Fairs are your chance to establish yourself against the crowd and meet your future, so take control of it with both hands and keep an eye out for more fairs on campus!