NUS Career Fest offers roadmap for uncertain times

Be brave to try out all sorts of things -- this would probably need to be our battle cry if we want to get anywhere in a future fraught with uncertainties. Indeed, this was the advice given by Makino Asia's CEO Mr Neo Eng Chong, speaking to some 3,000 students at the NUS Career Fest 2021 during a virtual discussion.

The NUS Career Fest is the biggest annual career fair on the University's calendar. Spearheaded by the NUS Centre for Future-ready Graduates (CFG), the event helps students navigate the ever-changing work landscape, preparing and matching them with job opportunities.

Virtual industry networking sessions were a hit as students and employers engaged in one-to-one or group chats using NUS TalentConnect, the tailored careers platform for NUS students and registered alumni. Held over three days, these sessions saw more than two thousand group chats and close to three thousand one-to-one employer-student chats. The outcome? Close to a thousand job and internship opportunities were offered by 243 participating companies.

"I had the opportunity to engage with recruiters in a more personal and conducive setting virtually. The conversations were productive as they addressed my questions on job specifics and offered insights of the opportunities available in the organisation," said Samuel Tan Wen Xiang, Year 4 student with the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Year 4 School of Computing student Yogusvi Tewari was happy with the one-to-one conversations with hiring managers. "This allowed me to better understand the application processes and the roles available. I even managed to secure a couple of interviews!" she shared.

Said Ms Pan Wen from the National Healthcare Group, "My team had a good experience interacting with many students at the NUS Career Fest 2021. The event planning team has also been very helpful and provided very timely assistance to our queries."

Picking up invaluable skills

Students were heartened to know that despite the gloomy job market, opportunities abound -- and that their chances could be enhanced by learning more skills. Workshops conducted by CFG's Career Advisors provided targeted support for students to springboard their careers. For example, students learnt how to craft a compelling resume, network and build relationships as well as to conduct research on a company.

Mr Edwin Tan and Mr Hu Jiatao from SkillsFuture Singapore also shared top skills needed for jobs of the future at the webinar,"Navigating 2021 and Beyond". And at the panel discussion on "How to Pivot and Future-Proof your Career" featuring Dr Betty Tsai from Google, Mr Chew Ming Fai from NEA and Mr Neo from Makino Asia, students had the opportunity to learn how to capitalise on unexpected opportunities.

Students also got the chance to glean insights and be inspired by the experiences of the "human books" at the virtual People Library which featured Mr Ang Swee Heng from The Coffee Roaster, Mr Martin Chok from Care Corner, Mr Ankit Garg from Standard Chartered Bank, Ms Nur Shuhadah, a National Rugby Sevens player who is working on her Masters at NUS, and Mr Dion Bennett from Facebook.

"This was my first-ever people library, and I did not know what to expect. But I really enjoyed the session and got to hear many inspirational stories as well as advice from my two 'books' Ms Nur Shuhadah and Mr Dion Bennett. (This was) an eye-opening and amazing experience," said Year 4 Faculty of Science student Matthias Chua Seng En.

Visit nus.edu.sg/cfg/ for more news and resources on preparing for the future.


By the NUS Centre for Future-ready Graduates