September 30, 2016, by Grace Pownall
How to Get More out of An Employer Presentation
By Grace Pownall, student blogger
Last year, I attended employer presentations by two engineering consultancies, Arup and Atkins. These presentations are designed to attract potential applicants for the company’s graduate schemes, however they are equally useful for someone searching for a summer placement or work experience, like I was.
Here are five reasons why employer presentations can be very useful – and definitely worth giving up a lunch break for!
1. Get insider tips
Employer presentations go into a lot of detail about a company; more than you might get from a conversation at a careers fair. You can focus on just one company instead of ten, and gain an understanding of what they are all about. Careers fairs are a great way to find out which organisations you click with, but once you know, an employer presentation is how you can explore them in more depth.
With much more time to talk about company values, structure, and what kind of person the employer is looking for to join their ranks, these presentations are a very informative experience. For instance, Arup recommend that applicants should read Ove Arup’s Key Speech, written by their founder, before they apply. These type of insider tips can really make a difference to the success of your application.
2. Hear real experiences
You get to find out what it is really like to work for a particular company. They are presented by members of the company’s recruitment team or recent graduates – sometimes alumni come back to show exactly where a degree from Nottingham can take you. Both know the application process back-to-front and inside-out so they’re great at giving advice on how to apply for jobs or internships. Most importantly, they can speak about their own personal experience of working at the company, and what they enjoy about their role.
3. See their scope
Not only will you get to hear about employers’ biggest and best projects, but you’ll also get to see the wide range of projects they have worked on. For example, Atkins talked about everything from the massive expansion of King Abdulaziz International Airport to the design of an environmentally-conscious ‘forest-school’ in Manchester. Innovation and creativity are applied to every project at every stage, showing students exactly the kind of unique work they could get involved in.
4. Do the facts and figures
Employers will tell you how many graduates or interns they take on each year, which can give you a clear idea of how competitive the scheme might be. They will also cover office locations, when and where opportunities are advertised, what the application process involves, and what support is given for continued professional development. For instance, both Atkins and Arup strongly encourage engineers to complete the steps to become a Chartered Engineer (CEng).
5. Ask questions and network
This is a valuable chance to ask questions to the people who help process applications, or the people who you could end up working with if you are successful. So, make a good impression, engage with the conversation and get answers. A general awareness of how a particular company operates and what their structure looks like is a very useful tool when you come to fill in their job application form.
I left these presentations with a more concrete idea of what each company valued, and what it is like to work for each one. This allowed me to make a more informed choice when deciding which summer placement schemes to apply for – in the end I got one with Arup! Read all about it here.
Bonus reason: sometimes there is free food! Pizza, soft drinks, and job opportunities. What more could any student want?
Employer presentations kick-off again on Monday 3 October. There are over 40 to choose from, by employers from a wide range of sectors. Find out more and book your place now.
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