As I’m sure many of you know the beginning of November, the 5th to the 8th, is the Leicester University ‘Festival of Careers’. Much hype surrounds this yearly event and after recently attending the mandatory induction session, I can understand why.
While there is no immediate need for first and second year undergraduate students to attend the festival, I would strongly recommend that they did; if not just for the practice then certainly for the experience as a whole. There is a wide range of potential employer representatives who attend over the four day festival, and I am led to believe that these employers –ranging from Coca Cola Enterprises to ASDA- are quite keen (unsurprisingly) on Leicester University students. Apparently the University of Leicester is the only UK educational institution to host this festival which insists upon prospective attendees’ initial attendance of the introductory prep session. As noted on the Festival of Careers web page ‘Preparation is essential, sessions will be running from 16th September through to 1st November. Prep sessions last around 40 minutes, and you must attend a prep session before you will be able to come to the Festival’.
Seems a ‘bit draconian’, as the prep session lecturer suggested; however, in the eyes of the representatives who attend, it makes all the difference. Some 87% of past exhibitors said that the general quality of discussion between their representatives and Leicester students was either good or excellent with 75% of students finding future employment through the festival.
The festival is split into four themed days which unfortunately doesn’t require attendants to wear any kind of themed fancy dress. On the contrary, students are encouraged to ‘dress smartly’ for the occasion.
Now, while a lot of the exhibitors might not appear relevant to those of us hoping to gain a degree in sociology, many of the companies are large corporations, meaning that there are in fact several opportunities for sociology graduates in HR or advertising departments in companies, who you wouldn’t necessarily, under initial consideration, even consider. So while the obvious gold mine day for the sociology undergraduate is November the 8th –volunteering, government and public sector day- there are indeed plenty of other opportunities on the preceding days. So sign up for a prep session, do some research and wear something nice.