Career Fest 2018, the latest edition of the annual NUS career fair, kicked off with an opening ceremony on 30 January. This year’s event is the largest to date, with more than 260 companies from 21 industries setting up booths and offering some 4,000 job opportunities.
At the opening ceremony, Professor Ho Teck Hua, NUS Senior Deputy President and Provost, announced a new career preparedness programme named Career Catalyst, a 12-week course developed by NUS Centre for Future Graduates (NUS CFG) that builds upon the earlier-launched foundational life skills programme Roots & Wings. Career Catalyst, meant for students in Year 2 and 3, focuses on career planning and aims to guide students in designing their personalised career roadmaps and equip them with essential skills to effectively market their own career success.
“The future of work in Singapore and around the world is changing rapidly. Our students need to be nimble to adapt to the changing landscape. Likewise, it is important for NUS, as a learning institution, to evolve in the way we impart knowledge, so that we can better prepare our students to be future-ready for the world,” said Prof Ho.
Prof Ho added that the programme, developed with input and perspectives from employers, will help students kickstart their career planning early. Workshops and e-seminars will cover topics such as the future of jobs, employability skills and personal branding, while industry events and networking opportunities will let students apply their learning in real-life scenarios.
Year 3 NUS Design and Environment student Ryan Leong is one of some 600 students currently enrolled in the Career Catalyst programme. “It gave me a starting point to begin crafting my professional image and building up my portfolio of skills so I can reach out to recruiters and secure opportunities such as internships and jobs in the future,” he shared. Part of the programme also included practical tips on how to effectively craft his resume and online profile, he added.
This year’s event was revitalised with the new name of Career Fest, as well as an expanded scope in activities to focus on self-development and exploration. Ms Joan Tay, Director of NUS CFG explained, “With global competition intensifying, our mandate is to deliver highly skilled graduates who are not only competent but have strong interpersonal qualities, who work well with people, who are resilient and have the adaptability to thrive in complex environments.”
Besides providing job avenues and opportunities to interact with employers, Career Fest 2018 also introduced fringe activities and games for a more interactive experience. This included C-Suite Coffee Talks where students could interact with industry CEOs in an intimate 15-person setting; Human Library where students speak to high-flying individuals from various walks of life to discuss topics such as resilience and student entrepreneurship; Dress for Success where students could find advice on dressing professionally through complimentary look and wardrobe consultations; as well as a professional photo booth for headshots to be used in their career profiles.
The fest proved to be an informative and enlightening one for many of the students who attended. “There is a wide variety of options. We found out a lot that we did not know beforehand and managed to find areas that were in our interests,” commented Faith Wong, a Year 4 NUS Science student who will be graduating in May. She added that she appreciated that the representatives were open and willing to share personal experiences and give advice.
Year 3 NUS Engineering student Amirah Hanis attended the fest to scope out possibilities for internships and learn more about careers available even though she is not graduating just yet. “I wanted to know more about the different profiles of the companies so I’ll be more prepared,” she said.
The two-day Career Fest will continue on 2 February. In all, some 10,000 NUS students and alumni are expected to attend.
See press release.