Having been invited to represent Geotechnics at the Plymouth University Geo Careers fair, last week I made the long journey down to Plymouth to set our stall out, and was very lucky to have help from Dan Reynolds, an Engineering Geologist from our Exeter office, and Plymouth alumnus. The journey was well worth it!
I regularly attend events across the UK, such as the careers fair at Manchester University and the annual careers day held at the British Geological Survey in Keyworth. I’m always struck by the enthusiasm of all the students I meet and always leave with a positive impression of our industry’s future generations.
The event at Plymouth University was no different in this regard. I was impressed by every student I met, all of which spoke with enthusiasm for earth sciences and with real excitement at the prospect of a career in the industry. All the students asked relevant questions and made the most of the event; Dan and I both almost lost our voice by the end of the day!
Many voiced an interest in gaining some practical site experience as early as possible in their career, something I personally found encouraging.
Another thing I found really encouraging was the sense of common approach and purpose in the room. Of course, many of the company representatives attending knew each other, but it seemed to me that each of us was encouraging the students to visit all of the companies present, even advising students who to talk to based on their interests. It was a nice surprise and refreshing to hear so many students comment enthusiastically on the sense of community within our industry!
We’ll be at Liverpool University next week, so if you’re coming along, here’s some ideas for you to consider:
- Please don’t worry about coming and chatting to us. None of us are that scary (hopefully!). And after all, we’re there specifically to meet you, and we were all in your shoes once.
- If you can, bring a copy of your CV (with cover letter). Ideally, follow up events with an email to those prospective employers you’re interested in, again with your CV.
- Ask about work experience/placements. Although not all of us can offer these all of the time due to Health & Safety or contractual reasons, the fact that you’re willing to seek out work experience in-between your studies is always seen as a positive.
- Do your research before the event. Research should include each of the companies attending the event before the day, if only so you can target those companies you’re most interested in, but should also include some wider industry research.
- Employment is a two-way process. You should be finding out what it would be like to work for that employer; it’s not just about the employer assessing whether you’re a good fit for their business. Ask questions! Find out what it’s like to work there. Some prospective employers may find it rude if you ask about salaries, but there’s nothing wrong in asking about contract hours, pension schemes (yes trust me even at your age you should be asking about that), benefits, and training schemes.
You can find out more about Plymouth University’s Geocareers Fair on social media at #GeoCareersFair2017 and by following the Earth Science department @EarthSciPlymUni.
If you’d like to follow the events of Liverpool University’s Earth, Ocean and Ecological Sciences Careers Fair being held on Wednesday 15th March please follow their Twitter account @livunicareers and keep informed leading up to the event and on the day.
You can also follow Geotechnics Limited on Twitter @geotechnics_ltd, Linkedin or by going to http://www.geotechnics.co.uk