Next week (18 and 19 October), we’re hosting the Big Careers Fair at Manchester Central Convention Centre. Maybe you know this already – you might have seen our shiny big banners around campus, spotted a poster, or one of your lecturers has mentioned that it’s a good idea to go. Maybe, though, you think that none of this is for you – you’re too busy, or you’ve never been to a careers fair before and don’t know what to do. You may know exactly where you want to go in the future, so see the fair as a waste of time. Maybe you think that employers are all on the look-out for specific people and that you don’t fit the bill.
As much as you may think that it’s not for you, let me give you a few reasons why there will be something for you at the Big Careers Fair.
Employers are interested in who you are, not what you studied
Employers want to hire the right person, not the CV. Maybe you think that studying an arts degree makes you ineligible for finance, or you can’t get that dream job in digital marketing because you’re about to graduate from psychology, but many graduate jobs and placements are open to students from any discipline. Employers will often focus on your own individual qualities and strengths, outside of what you’ve learnt in your degree.
Day One of the fair has loads of opportunities from marketing, HR, finance, business and more, so there really is something for everyone one. Day Two is focused on roles in engineering, technology and science, so the technical-based roles will be looking for students and graduates from certain backgrounds. Before you attend, download The Manchester Careers Fair app (available on iOS and Android by searching the App Store or Google Play) to see a full list of the employers attending, the roles that they are offering, and generally get an idea of what’s there for you.
Spend as much or as little time as you like
The fair is open from 10.30am – 4pm each day; although by no means do you have to be there for all of it! The fair is designed for you to take it at your own pace. Spend a good chunk of your day at the fair and attend some of the talks, or just pop in and speak to one or two employers that you’ve researched in advance. Again, download the app for the schedule of talks and list of employers – or visit the website.
All the gear, or no idea – you will get something out of it
Taylor Swift once said, ‘I try to prepare for everything beyond the extent of preparation’ and who could disagree with her? If you know exactly what you want to get out of the fair, and who to speak to, then turning up with a load of research under your belt and a stack of copies of your hot-off-the-press CV will stand you in good stead.
If you don’t quite know what you’re after, and you’re a bit tentative about knowing what to do and who to speak to, you can still prepare by having a look at who’s attending and what kinds of roles and opportunities are on offer. We’ll also have an ‘information point’ with Careers Service staff to help you get started.
Check out the employer list on the app – you might see something that you’re interested in, and come up with a question or two you’d like to ask on the day. Ultimately, you’ve got nothing to lose.
Who doesn’t like a bit of window shopping?
One of the best things about a careers fair is being to walk around and just take in all of the different companies on display – it’s a bit like window shopping, really. Just like there’s no pressure to buy anything, there’s no pressure to commit to deciding on the spot exactly what you’d want to do in the future! You can simply take a look around, and see if anything takes your fancy. You never know, something you thought would be a terrible fit for you actually suits you surprisingly well.
There are opportunities for everyone
To really hammer the point home, the one single thing that makes it a good idea to come along to next week’s Big Careers Fair is that there are opportunities open to everyone. No matter whether you’re a current student or a graduate, studying anything from accounting to zoology – with graduate jobs, internships and placement opportunities and a range of talks across the day, there’ll be something for you.
Still not sure?
If you’re still undecided, why not join the Facebook event for each day of the fair to see what we have planned and make an informed decision? If you’d like to attend, you can sign up in advance using the Eventbrite links or show up on the day. The choice is yours – hope to see you then!
Day 1 – 18 October – opportunities in management, business, marketing, finance, HR and much more.
Day 2 – 19 October – opportunities in science, technology and engineering.