Employers – Up Close and Personal

This autumn, we’ve organised over 90 employer presentations for you, most taking place on campus or in a local hotel, most early in the evening. This includes Morgan Stanley IT (their general recruitment presentation is tonight, so you’ve probably missed that one), L’Oreal, Clifford Chance, DTZMicrosoft, PA Consulting, NHS Management, PWC and many more. For many of these employers, this is the only time this year that they will be here and available to talk to you.

So, thought I’d share 5 reasons why going to an employer evening presentation could be good for you :

  • Because even if they’re advertising for “graduates” you can find out what they think of your postgraduate experience. You might be disappointed if you expect to talk to someone from your particular technical specialism, but they may be able to give you a name of someone to talk to or even apply to.
  • Because at some point you’ll have to answer the question “Why do you want to work for us?”. Using what you’ve learnt from talking to them directly makes you stand out, rather than just quoting their recruitment website (which all the other applicants will have read).
  • Because you’re more likely to get “quality time” talking to an employer at an evening presentation, rather than at a fair when you’ll be surrounded by 3000 undergraduates fighting to get the free yo-yos and mouse mats (though some employers only go to the fairs, so don’t miss them completely – and they don’t normally bring the freebies to the evening presentations)
  • Because they may bring recent recruits to talk to you. Obviously recent graduates won’t be able to tell you about your future with the organisation, but they can tell you how the employer treats new employees – what’s the training like, what sort of support do you get, how much responsibility can you expect straight away, what’s the “culture” of the organisation? Finding the “right fit” with an organisation is one of the most important aspects of enjoying your work – and hard to gauge unless you get beneath the hype of employer adverts.
  • Because if you’re completely at sea about what to do next, sometimes talking to someone, anyone, is better than just reading endless adverts and careers websites and fretting. If you think you might be asking stupid questions, just make sure it’s not to an employer you really want to work for – practice on someone else first (and you might find that your “practice” employer is actually more interesting than you realised – or not!)

And yes, the free food and drink doesn’t hurt when your funding’s run out and your flat mate’s emptied the fridge (but you wouldn’t be there for that, would you…)

If you’ve been to one of the presentations, and want to share your experience with others, I’m happy to hear your comments here.