Several components go into producing a worthwhile careers event; a comfortable venue, working audio visual, interesting and inspiring speakers, attentive and engaged students, a good host, an aware facilitator, a roving microphone and something to fuel the networking opportunity at the end.
Over the past few weeks, I have a sat with engaged students who have registered for a series of events organised by careers services. With pen to paper (an iPad or tablet as some preferred) and an attentive ear, students clearly knew the aim of the game and came to gather information to fuel their ambitions with the advice and words of wisdom from speakers who are successful in their occupations and prepared to offer up advice and their valuable time.
The presence of City alumni at these events is invaluable as I saw in the Careers with a Music degree session. Inspirational advice from Celeste Cronje-Doyle (City alumna and Principal of ForeSound School of Music and Performing Arts) and Jon Leong (City alumnus and Engineer at British Broadcasting Corporation) captivated the student audience at no end. The circulation of the mic was a clear indication of this, with many students armed with questions to get answers to help them with their first steps to determining their career paths in the industry.
Modest and with his feet to the ground, Michael Thackray (Independent Occupational Psychologist) speaking at Careers with a Psychology degree, certainly gave good wholesome words of advice to students about the importance of maintaining a good work life balance, and not pitching your downfalls and success against others, as everyone seeks fulfilment from different things.
Students raised their heads when Gloria Yirimambo (Compliance Officer at Willis Group) advised students at the Commercial Awareness in Law event that they should be on the ground and not in their ivory tower to gain and maintain good commercial awareness.
With a beverage in hand and some good finger food, students networked with the speakers quite comfortably. Conversations, debates and discussions could be heard, and in some instances, business cards are exchanged and some handed to those students who have made an impression and have made every effort to stay on till the end and develop their own commerciality.