A year in London: what happens during a careers seminar

Japanese student Reona Matsumoto outlines what a careers seminar at a London university looks like 

May 9 2018
Job skills key on PC keyboard

Since the end of April, I have finished all my assessments for the year. What freedom, what joy. Added to the recent warm weather in London, life is pretty good right now.

However, the anxiety of job hunting is still nagging me.

I recently attended my first careers seminar. It was fairly small forum, with around 15 companies. Armed with a CV completed just days before, I strolled into the event venue. Clad in black and hair tied back, I did my best to look professional and put together. 


Read more from Reona’s blog

A year in London: ‘One of the best decisions I ever made’
A year in London: a bittersweet departure
A year in London: expectation vs reality
A year in London: an international student’s perspective on the strikes
A year in London: figuring out this whole job hunting thing


I walked in to find out that the venue was separated into three sections. The first section was a rest place for students, with a table for refreshments and printers. The second was full of booths representing different companies. It was just like the booths you see at university fairs. People from HR departments at various companies and NGOs stood at the booths and gave out presentations as well as questionnaires. 

You could try walking up to a company booth and handing in your CV, but you would probably be more successful if you had been selected for an interview, which were held in a series of smaller booths in the third section of the venue. To get an interview, one had to apply online first and go through numerous processes such as Skype calls and online tests. I was more interested in the events held by a few government ministries that participated in the forum, so I had not applied to any of the companies beforehand. 

Despite attending this event I still feel like there is a wall between me and the reality of job hunting. 

Considering that the most memorable part of the day was the bagel I had for lunch, you can tell that the career seminar had little impact on me. This might be because some of the sectors I am interested in were not represented. But at least I was able to gain some experience in the job hunting world. 

Read more: How to secure a place on a graduate scheme

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