A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
I am starting a little series on career orientation to gather a few ideas on how to approach this fuzzy topic. The first part is about career fairs and I am planning one on “In-house days” and on the hunt for internships. But here the first part on the science career fair:
The betabanenmarkt (betabanenmarkt.nl) is organized once a year to bring companies and students together. There are workshops, speed dating sessions with HR representatives and stalls from companies looking to hire science graduates.
The idea is simple: go and find out what you like.
Well, if it were that easy.
I was absolutely overwhelmed by the number of companies and people present. The new faculty building was filled with chatter of what felt 500 students and if 40 company stalls seem not that many, wait until you tried going through them one by one.
I also have to admit that I was absolutely clueless and showed up without an agenda what so ever. If you are planning on attending a career fair soon and have as little an idea as I did, here are my two tips for first-time-career-fair-goers:
Preparing a few easy questions might also help you approach the representatives at the different stalls. Just walking up to people and chatting might be a daunting thought at first, but with a little practice (and with your two pre-formulated questions) you will get used to it.
Next week, I am visiting a career fair in Germany to explore the job market back home (and to practice with asking the right questions). For the next academic year, I am planning to join some of the In-house Days that are offered by most of the companies as well as the events that the Young Statisticians (youngstatisticians.nl) are offering.