Haven't been to a Career Expo? Not sure what to expect? Here's your essential 'To-Do' List to get you through booths, banners and bags of goodies!
So, you’re reaching the last few years of high school and whilst the dresses you’re picking out for formal or your ‘Schoolies’ destination may be on your mind, there’s a lot more future out there to think about. DON’T STRESS! You’ve got plenty of time to plan and explore all your options (and maybe even get mum off your back) so start getting creative. In the mean-time, why not try out a ‘career expo’.
Expo’s are filled with all kinds of employers, recruiters and tertiary education student advisors ready to hand out the right information to YOU, potential employees and students.
We’ve rounded up the 5 best additions to your ‘to-do’ list for the next time you head around to a career expo:
COME PREPARED WITH QUESTIONS
A list of questions and a big ass bag to collect all your brochures and fancy pens is the first thing your career expo ‘to-do’ list will need. Student advisors and recruiters alike are going to give you the basic run down on what the go is in their respective fields, so why not get to the nitty gritty to get a bigger picture?
If you’re talking directly to student advisors from tertiary education schools like universities, colleges or academy’s (wink-wink), you may need a slightly different set of questions to get the information you’re after:
- What is student life like on campus? The campus cultures?
- What have previous students done after graduating?
- What opportunities does the course have outside the degree?
- How long are the courses?
- Are there any scholarships that I can apply for?
- Is there financial assistance available?
Find out which student advisors are current or past students and get their real talk feedback about what their experience has been like. Speak with educators too – get their feedback on the variety of degrees available, you might have such a fascination with drawing and comics and not even realise there are a bunch of animation and design courses out there. The more questions you ask the more you’ll get out of an expo.
DON’T STOP THERE, HERE’S SOME MORE SUGGESTIONS
- What’s a typical day look like in this career?
- How long have you been in the industry? What’s made you stay?
- What educational background is required for this career path?
- Are graduate degrees important in this line of work or career?
- How would you describe the company culture that exists in your industry?
- How much commitment is required?
- What kind of entry level positions or internships are available?
- What skills are required or recommended for someone looking to this job?
Remember, don’t shy away from course or career booths because they don’t fit the mould of your typical ‘fresh-out-of-school’ experience, you’re the one that has to complete it so why not be really interested in it?
GATHER AS MUCH INFORMATION AS YOU CAN
At every booth there will be an array of brochures, pamphlets, posters…whatever promotional material you’re thinking of, it’s there. Take them! Whatever information you’re not gathering from questions you’ve asked during your time with the recruiter will be available amid the glossy pages you pick up. Bring a notebook with you, take some notes, get mum to come so she can recite everything back to you once your back home. Too much information at this stage of exploring for career options is nearly impossible. Don’t forget about that bag you came prepared with, its coming in handy now isn’t it?
In a single expo, you are bound to come across dozens of businesses, schools and employers, some whom you may have not even heard of. There’s no way you’ll be able to pay attention to all the options during your expo visit. In the event you start losing interest in a recruiter’s offerings or just not feeling a career choice, then politely move onto the next booth and soak up all that they have to offer.
ASK FOR FURTHER CONTACT INFORMATION
Networking is so important, and there is no harm in starting early. Getting the names and contact information of recruiters who took the time out to speak with you will benefit you in creating connections with industry people, meeting new mentors and attaining referrals. If you can’t get your hands on that, just try grabbing the company or schools’ socials, another great source of contact. Even if you’re still shopping around and aren’t committed to a single career choice just yet, asking for contacts just in case you have any further questions brings a positive end to your ‘career expo’ experience.
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