Universitys Festival of Careers breaks records

Last week saw the fourth annual Festival of Careers run by the Career Development Service. Bigger than ever before, the festival saw 116 graduate employers visit the campus over 5 days with over 2000 students getting involved throughout the week - more than we have ever had before!

The Festival of Careers takes the idea of a traditional careers fair and builds it into a week-long extravaganza of workshops, activities, events and exhibitions that ensure that all Leicester students can access something relevant to their future ambition, including those that don’t yet know what they want to do. This year was a success with students and employers alike.

The Royal Air Force commented that Leicester students were "Quality students, properly educated and motivated" and in the words of one student “[the festival was]… a great opportunity to think about my future career."

From Tuesday to Friday the marquee in the heart of campus hosted 4 themed careers fairs. From global corporations to SMEs, local charities to voluntary organisations: the festival had it all.  In addition to the main fairs, we also hosted over 60 ‘Fringe’ events. These were shorter career or skills talks covering a diverse range of areas – from broadcast journalism to archaeology, PR to banking. Over five hundred students got involved in a mix of ‘fringe’ workshops and activities - hearing from employers, pitching their business ideas, or developing their job hunting skills.

Our ‘No-Prep, No-Entry’ rule for careers fairs continues to enable students to get the most from meeting employers. Students complete preparation prior to attending so they are able to ask the right questions to the right people and really capitalise on the opportunity. Employers continue to commend the University of Leicester for this innovative approach. Sky commented on ‘“Great conversations with students with evident prep”.

A new highlight was the involvement of student societies in the delivery of the event with performances from the Drama Society, some historic battles from the Re-enactment Society, liquid nitrogen ice cream from PhD students and top class radio journalism from LUSH who will be broadcasting interviews done during the festival over the coming weeks.

The Festival of Careers marks the start of a very exciting academic year for the Career Development Service; the second year using the award-winning Career Development Journey to develop Leicester students.

Kerry Hyde, Associate Director of the Career Development Service, explain: “The Festival is a great way to start the year and the figures demonstrate just how proactive and engaged Leicester students can be. Working collaboratively with all departments and services over the rest of the year we will continue to provide our students with opportunities to build the skills and experience they need to achieve a lifetime of career success. To keep our position as a top 25 target university for graduate employers, we all need to pull together to empower our students to get the roles they deserve.”