Careers Fair 2017: a Student's Perspective - Zee Chimkupete

Zee - career blog

Zee Chimkupete talks about his experience at this year's Pearson Business School Careers Festival. Discover a student's perspective of the week-long event, exclusive to students at Pearson Business School, aimed at developing their careers and providing unbeatable industry engagement. 

Pearson Business School has just introduced a brand new venture, called the Careers Fair, which is a week-long event, on top of the industry engagement that we already get involved with throughout the term.

It was a week's worth of interaction with industry professionals, tackling the main goal of making students highly employable, whilst also inspiring future entrepreneurs, through seminars and talks. There were representatives from different organisations, in multiple industries, from global companies like Sony to successful tech start-ups like Debut, we were even joined by the celebrity entrepreneur Levi Roots!

Day one consisted of a numeric and psychometric test, which are essential competencies that commonly appear in the interview process for roles within industry. Leading on from that, we went to seminars that were about career decisions hosted by Career Quest’s CEO and founder Jo Blisset. In this session we mainly discussed the importance of deciding the career paths we would like to enter. One key attribute, which echoed Unilever’s CEO, Paul Polman, was to “always choose an organisation that shares the same values as you do”. Jo Blisset illustrated that if you already have passion, you will be more effective to an organisation, as you resonate with the direction of their business.

The second session was conducted by the Founder of Debut, which is an innovative app that allows employers to scout out potential interns and employees, without the need of a CV or Personal Statement. You simply answer questions that will indicate which exact industry you are interested in and in return a company will scout you and offer you anything from a direct link, to an interview application. This was an exciting opportunity to hear about, and from downloading this app I have received two direct links to internships (12 months in duration). He also mentioned the importance of action, “If you have an idea, act on it”, you don't necessary need a massive business plan and all it takes at times is just an idea.

To end the day, there was a panel that focused on the digital age and future of work, this panel included representatives from Sony, Prospects and CBE Generating Genius. One thing that was constant throughout this discussion, is that though technology is advancing, social skills are competencies that are always going to be needed because as much as technology has advanced, it will never be able to express compassion and other characteristics unique to human interaction. Mike, CEO of Prospects, advised that primary schools should include coding as a compulsory curriculum because this will be amongst the most important subjects in the future.

The second day was purely based on equipping students with the right tools to stand out to future employers. It was made up of mock interviews, which then ended with constructive feedback and techniques on how to ‘WOW’ your future employer. As networking is at the heart of entrepreneurship, it was only right to have a session on how to improve your networking skills. This was later put to the test at the end of the day when we got the chance to attend a networking event with a number of global and start-up organisations.

The final day consisted of attending industry panels in the fields of law, investment banking and entrepreneurship. The law panels advised and discussed the journeys and experience of becoming a barrister, magistrate and working in-house within a legal role, with representatives from Santander, Pearson Plc and a retired judge. A surprisingly common factor, was the pertinence to "plan ahead and to always network", a common key statement advised in our Business course. It was an amazing experience especially for the LLM students to hear some of the challenges that each member of the panel faced, to achieve what they did in the law industry. The challenges faced by the speakers can be avoided and this is why this law panel was a great experience and lesson.

The second panel was focused on start-ups. We had two members of the panel, this included our very own in house start-up ‘Birdcage Gin’, a drinks company that sells premium gin. On top of having such a great breadth of industry professionals to give us advice, students were also inspired by Birdcage Gin who served as an example from their peers of what they could achieve. The panel gave detailed insight into how the enterprise project aided them in obtaining funding and expertise. To conclude, they placed particular importance in one message, seizing the opportunities around you.

The second panel also consisted of the founder of an external start-up which created an app concerning human resources which facilitates the process of recruitment between students and employers. The company aimed to bring a social feel to the process of recruitment, thus removing the intimidation and the additional effort a human resource team has to go through. They talked extensively about having to contact different companies and the fear of rejection that some people have when they start an app. They signaled that rejection can be very beneficial in perfecting ideas. As a result of their rejection they made a plan where companies can trial the product free of charge, a display of confidence in the quality of the product.