Making the most of events

Attending careers and enterprise events here at QMUL is a fantastic way of making connections, as well as developing skills, knowledge and confidence.

There is a lot that you could gain from attending one of our careers events including:

• Network with graduate employers and create a good first impression
• Explore possible career paths and learn more about different industry sectors
• Discover internship and graduate opportunities
• Find out what organisations are looking for and how to make your application stand out
• Ask questions that you wouldn’t normally be able to ask
• Get some top tips on getting into various jobs, usually from the recruiters themselves
• Learn to make your job applications stand out via skills workshops run by graduate recruiters
• Listen to speakers sharing expertise and experience of their area
• Improve your employability

First Impressions
Research as much as you can about the companies you will meet. Impress them by knowing what they are about – who they are and what they do. First impressions count when meeting employers. They are looking for candidates who will represent the organisation professionally. Most of the time you won’t have to wear a suit, but make sure make sure you look smart (and that means getting the iron out)! Dressing smartly will make you feel more professional and confident.

Frequently asked questions at events
• What is your typical day at work like?
• Are there any opportunities to travel within the organisation?
• How many jobs are offered compared to applications received?
• What are the prospects for progression within the organisation?

How to network effectively
When attending a networking event, remember that everyone is there to network so nobody will think you are behaving oddly by walking up to complete strangers and starting a conversation with them. But it does help to prepare your introduction and practise beforehand. Introduce yourself in a clear and relevant manner, mention what your professional or academic interests are or why you are attending the event, an then ask an open-ended question to get the conversation going. Speak to as many people as you can. For postgraduate study, try to speak to current students and tutors from the course you are interested in. If you want to speak to an employer at a fair but suffer from nerves, save the companies you are really interested in for later when you’ve built up confidence.

Finally, remember to smile!

Questions to ask a potential employer, or alumni you meet at an event.
• Could you please tell me how you got started in your career?
• What does your organisation particularly look for in a student or graduate?
• How can I make my application stand out?
• What can I do now to prepare myself for your recruitment and selection process?
• What work experience do you expect your graduates to have when applying?
• Can you tell me more about what your graduate programme involves?
• What support and training would I receive?

After the event.
A day or two after the event, take the time to email those you spoke to. Thank them for taking the time to talk to you and include something that helps them to remember you (e.g., ‘I very much enjoyed our discussion on…’) and reiterate your interest in their organisation. Careers & Enterprise can give you feedback on your email if you would like help. This opens the door to your contact possibly being willing to help if you need some advice or information on applying to that company in the future. Remember that when you make an application or get invited to interview, you can refer to this contact as someone who has inspired you, further showing your interest in the organisation.

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