Global businesses and expert speakers get students on the right career path
Release Date 06 November 2015
Last week, the University hosted its annual Careers and Placement Fair, attracting 93 local, national and international employers, and around 2,000 students. World-leading brands attended, including Apple, L'Oreal, Johnson & Johnson, PwC, Kellogg's, and Virgin Media.
The Careers and Placement Fair, which is the University's largest recruitment event for students from all years and subjects, provided an opportunity for students to explore the different career options available, search for placements or internships and engage with prospective employers.
A wide range of industries were represented, including food, agriculture, finance, engineering, computing, creative, leisure and charities. Students also had the opportunity to speak with the University's Careers Consultants who were on hand to offer information and advice, as well as explore postgraduate study options.
Alternative Careers Event
In addition to the Careers and Placement Fair, the University Careers Centre hosted an alternative careers event - ‘Beyond Profit' - to showcase different career options to students who don't want to take the typical graduate path. At the event held on Thursday 5 November, as part of the University's Enhancement Week activities, keynotes were featured from Mayor of Reading, Sarah Hacker, and Radio 1's Rhianna Dhillon. The Reading graduates shared how they got into their respective careers and took questions from students.
Mind the Gap
Also running this autumn term are ‘Mind the Gap' events - this series of weekly talks features expert speakers talking about the types of skills that employers are looking for beyond qualifications. For the first time this year, three high-profile speakers are also included in the programme.
The first of these talks was given by the inspirational Ben McBean. A former Royal Marine and double amputee, Ben is now a successful businessman and motivational speaker. He spoke about resilience in the workplace and about needing the ability to cope with stress and crisis, and then rebounding quickly.
Details of the remaining high-profile speaker talks are as follows:
- Thursday 12 November: Founder of Green & Black's chocolate, author of The Beauty Bible series, and journalist Jo Fairley will be talking about assertiveness in the workplace.
- Thursday 3 December: Leading body language and behaviour expert Judi James will be offering tips on presentation skills and how to make an impact. Judi is a regular face on TV, appearing on shows such as ‘Big Brother's Little Brother' and ‘It Takes Two'.
Details of the other talks in the series can be found on the Careers Centre events page.
Lorna Froud, Director of Careers and Employability Services at the University of Reading, said: "More than ever, students are thinking about life after graduation and the types of careers, or further study, they want to end up doing.
"Here at Reading, we recognise that employability and job prospects are high on the list of priorities for our students, which is why we have a packed programme of events and opportunities that take place throughout the year. As well as putting on the Careers and Placement Fair for all disciplines, we also host sector specific fairs, and events like the alternative careers event and the Mind the Gap series, designed to offer something a little different. We've already had great feedback from both employers and students on these events, particularly the alternative careers event, which is not something that many other universities offer.
"There are also numerous opportunities for students to get involved in work experience and volunteering placements through initiatives such as the Reading Internship Scheme and the Reading Experience and Development (RED) Award. These give students the chance to gain the types of skills that employers are looking for in today's highly competitive graduate job market."
University of Reading graduates have a long-standing record of getting good jobs, and Reading's record for graduate employability is well above the national average. Six months after graduating, 94% of Reading graduates describe themselves as being in employment, voluntary work or further study, and more than three-quarters (76%) of those in work are in professional or managerial jobs.
The University Careers Centre holds events and workshops, as well as support and advice, for students throughout the year. For more information, please click here.