By: Charmaine Blose
Port Elizabeth- #Slay in Your Lane was a hashtag used to catch the attention of Nelson Mandela University Students’ 2018 Careers fair. The Accounting & Law Day was held on 02 August in Building 35, South Campus between 09h00am to 15h00pm.
The Nelson Mandela University had a chance to create a platform for students’ interaction with company representatives and get their contact details, get information on how to apply, make a good impression, learn about other accounting and law firms where their current skills sets were in demand and to compare companies, network and make contacts. There were many different companies at the Day who were hoping to talk to students about their firms. Companies participating on the Day included Auditor-General of South Africa, Bowman’s , Deloitte, Ernst Young, Incorporated, Fasken, Moore Stephens, SAIPA some of the few law and accounting firms of over 23.
What was even more interesting was a presentation by a company called Fasken which is an international Law firm, based in Canada but the company’s African office is based in Sandton, Johannesburg. Fasken Law firm has a Lundi Gadla bursary which was named after a partner who was a former Nelson Mandela University student who tragically passed away in a car crash. As a result, in his honour this bursary has been opened. Now the bursary is ONLY applicable to Nelson Mandela University students. The firm will also go to the school Lundi Gadla went to as a child, known as Masibambisane combined primary school where the firm will make donations to them. Faskin has various opportunities to law students from universities in South Africa such as bursaries, vacation work programmes, articles and so on.
An online dictionary describes a career fair as an event in which employers or company representatives recruiters give job related information to potential employees, and it usually takes place in universities. What to expect at career fairs from a careers fair Day?Career fairs are usually packed with information, these regular events attempt an exclusive opportunity to make connections with employers and bring your future to a focal point. PWC is a professional services firm and global leader, recruiting Nelson Mandela University graduates from both Accounting and Information Technology disciplines. PWC coaches and encourage their recruits to develop in Audit, Tax, and Advisory service lines. Required qualifications are BCom C3, BCom Honours Accounting.
Students should visit a Career Day to see what is being offered and how to network. Careers fair focus on an assortment of industries and many of the companies head hunt graduates/undergraduate studying a huge range of subjects. Most universities have their own career Day which is represented by employers. These companies hand out contact information, business cards, booklets and offer advice about their services. Also, what their firms are about in terms of employment.
A pre-recorded question and answer interview with Ronel Rizzo senior Manager at Graduate &Student Placement:
Q: How did the fair start and what the thinking behind it?
A: General career fair started in 2008 with 70 companies in attendance. The idea was to give both student and employers a platform. To engage face to face also allowing companies, to display their brand as an employer of choice.
Q:Who is it targeted at ?
A: All current and past students it encourages students to build their portfolios of evidence from early as first year
Q:What has changed over the years about the event
A: In 2009, in request of accounting and law firms. They hosted their first accounting and Law Day, similarly they also hosted the computers and IT fair a few years later.
Q:Is there a specific theme each year?
A: yes, it depends on current trends and this year its #Slay in your own lane
Q: What are you hoping to achieve with this
A: job opportunities for the students building and maintaining strong relationships with the stakeholders
Q: How do you measure success of each event ?
A:They survey the experience of the exhibitors and students plus changing strategies as and where needed
Q:What has been some of the highlights:
A:Witnessing the alumni as come back as employers of choice. Thus, setting an example to current students and making the experience more realistic. NMU awards 5 to 10 years certificates for consistent attendance
For students who have already determined on a career path, there is a myriad of specialist careers event Day specifically Accounting and Law from firms seeking lawyers, financial advisers, and accountants etc. The main advantage attending is the opportunity to meet and talk to recruiters. Companies usually assign a blend of representatives such as HR Reps, HR Clerks and trained members of staff and recent recruits. Bigger careers fairs often involve a CV clinic run by HR professionals. Getting involved can give you beneficial information and tips to help you get a head start in terms of graduate placements and internships including permanent employment.