What can an international student gain from attending a careers fair?

Many universities across the UK will be gearing up for their annual careers event where current students can meet local and national companies they may like to work for. Some international students may feel daunted by the prospect of a large professional event but there are several ways to overcome these concerns, gain some vital careers information and make contacts for your future career!

What to expect

A careers fair is likely to take place in one of the larger event spaces at your institution so it may be in a building you’ve visited before. It’s going to be a busy day, so, take your time before the event to think about which companies you’re most interested in before attending. Most fairs will have an app where you can highlight key employers and see a layout of the rooms.

The UWE Bristol careers fair, Meet the Employers is taking place this month and will see over 3,500 students with over 180 stands for employers. This event is the largest one-day higher education careers fair in the UK and will connect thousands of students to employers they would not usually have access to.

Why should international students visit a careers fair?

For many students, networking can be difficult to put into everyday practice, so this is a great opportunity to meet new contacts who may be able to give you advice (or a job!). These events are free and set up by your university so are a good chance to start practising speaking to employers. Whether in your first or final year of study, you can gain something from meeting new employers. This is a rare opportunity to have a large amount of companies in one spot where you can think about exactly what questions you would like to ask before you arrive. From asking what your dream job entails day-to-day to the company culture, this is your chance to find out if the company you’ve seen online matches what you are looking for.

Attending a careers fair not only increases your chance of a graduate job but allows you to see what opportunities are available for jobs, internships and placements. Take your CV along with you in case you meet a role you would like to be considered for and dress comfortably but smart so you make a good first impression. When approaching an employer, think about the questions you would like to ask and sound interested when they are speaking. Fairs are also a good use of your time, you will have numerous employers available to you in one room. If you’re not sure how to present yourself, create an elevator pitch which will succinctly explain who you are and what you can do for a company.

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By Jen Garmston Published: Oct 18,2019