The level of engagement from students attending the AUT ICT and Engineering Career last week was very high compared to other universities, says NZ Steel Talent Sourcing Advisor Selina Matehe.
“The students seemed to have done their research and asked really great questions. It was a very positive experience, everyone from the staff, volunteers and students themselves, seemed really engaged.”
This was the first year NZ Steel had participated in the AUT career fair, joining 44 other employers including Beca, Babcock, Powerco, Air New Zealand, MYOB, KiwiRail, Cisco etc.
Well run and well put together was how NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) learning and development consultant Zoe Freeman described the ICT and Engineering Career Fair.
“I’ve gone to every career fair run by tertiary institutions so far this year. AUT’s fair is free and yet the quality was up there with other career fairs elsewhere.”
She also enjoyed her engagement with students.
“Their approach felt genuine. They were confident about interacting with me and their approach didn’t feel forced.”
Organiser Dr Stephen Thorpe, Head of External Relations and Development for Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences was especially pleased to have Beca, AECOM and NZ Steel at the fair this year, attracted by AUT’s range of engineering and ICT options.
Just over 800 students attended the career fair which was held on Wednesday 3 May across multi levels through WZ, the new Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences building.
The ICT career fair has run now for eight years and Engineering has been included over the past three years, says Stephen. This year a new tool – the Career Connect web app – was introduced with huge success. It provided students with labels detailing their degree and major; something employers found very helpful.
“Students signed in on the app, then used it to find out more about companies or their internships and graduate programmes on the day, so it was extremely helpful for them too.”
External relations and development co-ordinator for Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences Leanne Bint says it was very satisfying having new organisations, alongside the “veterans”.
“It is evident our profile is developing by the conversations we are having with talent managers/Hr people who hadn’t previously been interested in connecting with AUT. Real progress is being made in raising our profile with these stakeholders.”
Employability relationship manager Rachael Marsters, who was also part of the organising team, says she loved the way the building came alive as the career fair progressed.
“It was great to see all the activity around the multi levels and how involved people were.”
The Employability and Careers team helped with registration and volunteers, as well as running preparatory workshops in the weeks before the day to help students update their CVS and LinkedIn profiles and prepare for interacting with employers.