Students talking to employers at careers fair

February 8, 2024, by pcylr7

Why should you attend the Bright Network Festival?

By Lucy Rayner-Thomas, Chemistry student

Like many people, I do not know what I want to do after I graduate and during the summer holidays I started to think about what I could do to explore my career options and to see what opportunities were available to me. As a start, I decided to attend the Bright Network Festival, which I luckily stumbled across online. 

What is it?

It’s a free careers festival in London for graduates and undergraduates. It’s an opportunity to learn about internships/graduate opportunities and network with industry professionals. There will be a chance to listen to skill talks and panel discussions from a range of companies, including PwC, KPMG, Vodafone and many more (not to mention you can get freebies).

To take part, you need to apply and you can choose whether to attend virtually or in-person. My advice would be to attend in-person, you can network and gain a greater appreciation for what different careers involve from first-hand experiences. I cannot recommend it enough, there is a broad range of people to talk to at each stall, many of whom are on graduate schemes and everyone there is incredibly informative and willing to help.

How to prepare?

  • Improve or at least create a LinkedIn profile so you have a way of contacting the people you have met.
  • Plan which company stalls you want to go to and prepare some questions you would like to ask. The event is very busy so make sure you know where the stalls you want to visit are and which companies are in the same area, so you can be efficient.
  • Bring a notebook and pen.
  • You must apply to go, don’t be put off by the fact that you have to do an application. This is very quick and easy, it just asks a few questions about why you want to go. The deadline is early September (last year was 10th of September).
  • When the event information is released plan your day (the talks are recorded so my advice would be to prioritise talking to people at the stalls).
  • Plan a smart casual outfit to wear as this is the dress code.
  • Bring quick snacks like breakfast bars and water.

What I gained from the experience?

  • Started to build my network by gaining LinkedIn connections.
  • A greater appreciation for different careers and opportunities available to me.
  • Tips and advice on how to be a successful candidate for internships/graduate roles.
  • What to expect with different application processes.
  • A greater idea of what I may want to do.
  • Made me more confident about applying for Internships. After speaking to people who had gone through the long application processes and been successful it made me realise that these are achievable.
  • On the day they also give you a special name tag that sends you emails about opportunities from the companies whose stalls you visited.

The Careers and Employability Service have several events that provide opportunities to meet employers, visit the website today to discover upcoming careers fairs.

Posted in Applying For JobsCareers fairsChoosing Your Career