Career events: Why are they an important part of your undergraduate experience?

12 July 2021

As a university student you may be asking yourself, why would you want to attend a careers event when you can do research online? In this blog our WBS CareersPlus Team share their advice on the benefits that you can gain from attending careers events.

Career events come in all different sizes and formats, with many events now also taking place virtually as opposed to predominantly face-to-face. This is also likely to remain the case going forward and as a result, students will probably have access to even more events than ever before! As a university student, you will often find yourself having access to register on to the following types of events that essentially will allow you to prepare or engage with regards to any job applications that you are planning on making:

  • Employer led events which are hosted by the University: such as Careers fairs, skills sessions, employer presentations and coffee catch-ups/drop-ins (either on campus or virtually). These events are typically just open to students from your own University and will usually be organised by your Careers service. At Warwick, we (WBS CareersPlus) host our own events for WBS students, but as a WBS student you also get access to the University of Warwick’s career events.
  • Career development led events which are hosted by someone from your Careers department: e.g. a Careers Adviser or Coach, Employer Relations Manager or Officer or perhaps someone from your Placements and Internships team. These events are often information giving and could include the delivery of a workshop to help guide you through a particular stage of an application process or participating in a ‘mock assessment centre’. Information sessions on how to source spring weeks, placements and internships or applying to postgraduate study may also be available.
  • Employer led events which are organised and hosted directly by an organisation off campus: these could be similar to the events which employers attend at individual Universities, however could take place online, in the employer’s offices or somewhere else, like a conference centre. These events are often open to students from more than one University.

Here at WBS, you get access to all of the above!

Careers events at WBS and the University of Warwick

As mentioned previously, one of the main benefits that you receive as a WBS student is that you will have access to attend our WBS CareersPlus specific events, which are predominantly ‘business’ focussed and any events which are also hosted by the Warwick’s Student Opportunity service as well.

The WBS CareersPlus team regularly organise events, such as the following:

  • Sector insight events with employers – these provide you with a great opportunity to hear from a range of employers on what it’s like to work for a specific sector within the area of business.
  • Spring week, internship and placement information and employer sessions hosted by our dedicated undergraduate work experience team.
  • Various workshops and webinars on applying to all different stages of an application process and to assist with your career planning. This year, we are excited to be running our first ever Bootcamp for current WBS undergraduate students. In addition to running workshops on applying to jobs, we also host webinars and information sessions on what to consider when applying to postgraduate study.
  • Our first Virtual Careers Fair will be taking place at the beginning of July 2021 and we also be hosting one during the autumn term.

Where to search for career events

All of our events are often advertised under the Careers tab of my.wbs. We also advertise any employer led events which our organisational contacts inform us about here as well. So don’t forget when you are a WBS student to check your my.wbs notifications! It may also be worth checking out the recruitment and event pages of any companies that you are interested in working for to see if any careers events are being hosted directly by them as well. We also have a WBS CareersPlus Facebook page and LinkedIn page where we promote events that are coming up. You can also click here to view further details on the different type of events which are also organised by Warwick’s Student Opportunity service here on campus.

The benefits of attending career events

So, once you have found an event that you are interested in you may be wondering what you’ll get out of attending that particular event? Listed below are some of the key benefits:

  • Attending events will be an excellent opportunity to network and speak with employers or careers staff and gain instant responses.
  • Hearing from careers staff at university events will really help with your applications and career development throughout your entire degree, from applying to spring weeks and insight programme applications in your first year right up to applying for graduate roles or postgraduate study in your final year.
  • Speaking with a representative of an organisation can help to ensure that you gain a much better insight in to what it is like to work for that company and what their culture is like. You may have an idea of what it’s like to work for a specific company or sector, however a conversation or hearing from them directly could really change your perspective (or indeed open you up to considering other avenues that you may not have considered before).
  • You may learn some valuable intel from employers that you could mention in applications – this will demonstrate that you have gone ‘above and beyond’ simply reading about them on their company website. By mentioning specific event details or names of representatives that you have met (if they are happy to be mentioned) may really help you to stand out.
  • Additionally, it’s also a great opportunity for an employer to determine whether you would also be a suitable candidate for them in advance to any applications being made.

Prepare in advance

Don’t forget, before you attend any career events, it’s important to be well prepared. Don’t forget to consider undertaking the following actions:

  • Read through any instructions or registration details carefully and in advance – these might contain specific instructions for the day including timings, venue or log in details.
  • Be punctual! Employers or careers staff may see you logging in late to a virtual event or physically entering an on-campus event late. If there is a legit reason for this (maybe your internet has been playing up?), then apologise if possible.
  • Dress appropriately – if the event instructions request for you to dress in a specific way, then dress in that manner. If not, then smart/casual dress is often considered acceptable.
  • Prepare some good questions to ask in advance – this will help you to stand out in the crowd and may help to possibly answer something as part of your ongoing applications.
  • Enjoy yourself – employers and careers staff will want you to relax and get the most out of the event, when you attend on the day.

If you are a current WBS student and would like any further support in preparing to attend a careers event, then you can book in a 1-2-1 appointment with our team by clicking here. Good luck, happy networking and most of all, have fun!