Following Dr Heather Semper’s blog where she discusses taking some of our Final Year Psychology students to the Graduate Recruitment Exhibition in Birmingham (read more here), two of our current BSc (Hons) Psychology students (Aman and Elliott) blog about their experiences attending this event:
Experiences before the Exhibition
With an event such as this it was hard to know what to expect. On one hand, these are professionals working for big companies which in of itself can feel rather daunting and overwhelming and so you feel a bit of pressure to come across as best you can. On the other hand, it can be somewhat exciting to see what kind of opportunities are available after university.
Experiences after the Exhibition
Thankfully our prior nerves were put to rest. The event itself was very organised and it was easy to navigate around all the different stands. All the people at the stands were approachable, easy to talk to and offered good advice regardless of your degree. In one particular case we were lured into the UK DOMAIN stand by the man working there turning Woolworths vouchers into 20 pound notes. There were several interesting talks throughout the day by different companies about a range of different things from national defence to starting your own business. While other companies such as The Write Stuff were holding CV clinics where you could pay to have your CV appraised or book consultations with the company to have your CV created with professional staff.
Opportunities / talks
As psychology students, we thought that a career within healthcare or applied psychology would be the most likely route after our degree. However, at the event we discovered a plethora of opportunities we hadn’t thought of which are outside of psychology but still use the skills we gain from the degree, such as data analytics, management and marketing to name a few. The opportunities didn’t stop with just looking ahead as there were various opportunities at the event itself such as the aforementioned CV clinic, practice psychometric tests and mock interviews to prepare you for the process of applying for jobs.
There were several talks running during the day the most memorable of which was a talk by DSTL. They presented their currents projects within anti-hacking “honeypot project” and how they as a company are looking for people to who can help with that work as well as a range of other positions within the company. As they are the branch of the government involved with security they couldn’t divulge too much information as it was classified. They went on to talk about what a career within the company would actually be like for a graduate discussing things like pay, on-site resources available to employees, such as gyms and hairdressers and a wide range of other benefits. Finally they discussed the various placement opportunities they had available, such as the summer placement and internships.
We found the event extremely useful and we would highly recommend other people attend it. A huge reason for attending an event like this is that it can show you a range of careers outside of your field you may not have previously considered. The event also allows you to meet with employers and ask questions which you may find difficult to answer from their website as well as the opportunity to find out what skills they specifically look for to allow you to tailor your application to their business. If none of that convinces you there are also plenty of cool freebies available on the day.
By Aman Mankoo & Elliott Phillips, Level 6 BSc Psychology Students.
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