Friday, October 6, 2017

Future Female Engineers Project manager, Justine, shares her advice on how to succeed at the event

How to get the most out of the event
My top 5 tips for gaining the most from the day are:

Research, then research some more: This step is absolutely crucial if you want to get the most out of the event. You have the opportunity to meet and spend time with recruiters from some of the most sought-after companies by graduates, so you’ll want to stand out! Make sure you research grad schemes and internships that most interest you and read up on what the company values are, and be ready to talk about current projects they are working on! Prepare questions that are not generic or questions where you could easily find the answer to on company websites. 

Submitting a brilliant question to the panel discussion is a great way to draw attention to yourself at the event. The panel consists of female senior managers and partners from each of the companies, so you may wish to ask questions on their experience, work/ life balance and advice for people at your stage of their careers. 

Network, network, network!: Employers will never know who you are and what you can offer them if you don’t speak to them when you have the chance! As well as questions about their own experiences, this is your chance to spotlight why you want to work for them and get any tips/advice about the application processes. Make sure you speak to as many companies as you can, there may be a company there, who you haven’t previously considered, with the perfect opportunity for you! This is your chance to get a real insight from the people in the know.

 If you’re anything like me, you’ll like to talk… a lot. This is great but make sure to also consider what other people have to say, share experiences, but also learn from what other people have to say. If you spot someone who’s looking a bit shy or overwhelmed, help them out! Introduce yourself and ask them questions and make sure that they feel included. Need more advice about networking? Our colleagues at TARGETjobs have got you covered! Click here to see what they have to say.

Get Involved: Make sure you interact and participate in all the sessions. This event is designed to mimic the assessment process you will encounter when applying for a job, so use this as practice! Not to mention that the companies who are attending will be actively looking for talented female students like yourselves to apply for their various roles, so why not get a head of the game and beat the boys?

Don’t be late: Although a given rule, you’ll be surprised how many people will turn up late and blame the traffic, make sure you have planned your journey and give yourself plenty of time to allow for traffic related issues you may encounter. Arrive dressed in smart office wear and remember to bring a pen and notepad, turning up late in your pyjamas without a pen is not the look you want to go for when impressing potential employers! If you would like more advice on these formalities then check out this handy article from TARGETjobs.

Have fun: Possibly the most important point. This is a unique opportunity, make the most of it, be yourself and enjoy!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

My top 5 tips on how to get the most out of attending our IT’s not just for the boys event!

Beverley Bradford, Project Manager for IT's not just for the boys! gives her advice on making the most out of attending and what you can do to stand out on the day. 

Research: This is vital! The event is your chance to meet and talk to many representatives from fantastic companies who all want to meet YOU! It may seem silly or obvious but doing your homework on ALL the companies (yes all) is one way to make sure you stand out, as it’s your chance to showcase your knowledge and impress them with what you know. Don’t just go onto the first page though, delve deep and look at where they’re based, their core values, company culture, current projects or news etc. All this shows you’ve gone above and beyond and demonstrates your passion for the sector.

Prepare: In addition to carrying out some research on the companies you will need to prepare those all important questions! Make sure you have a variety that are appropriate for all as remember, you’ll be meeting all different types of people across the business and at different levels. Ensuring that these are on a range of topics (showing your research) but also to ensure you are getting the information you came for – this could be on applications, a specific role of interest you name it! The worlds your oyster and remember there is no such thing as a silly questions (let’s try to keep it professional though).  It’s also important to note your travel as punctuality is key, you could be meeting your potential employer so leave plenty of time for travel in case of delays and your morning coffee! Making the right first impression is important so ensure you look the part too, dress smart no jeans or trainers (lets be sensible now). And don’t forget to bring a notepad and pen!!  Turning up empty handed is not a good look; be organised and manage your time.

Network Network Network! I can’t stress enough how important this is, it’s not every day you have recruiters, graduates and senior females all in the same room at one event from a variety of leading companies! So make sure you speak to anyone and everyone, connect with them on LinkedIn, exchange email address, this is your chance to interact and engage with them to gain a real insight into what it is really like working in the sector and hopefully you will leave feeling a sense of achievement and a know-how of what’s the next steps! Employers will never know what you have to offer them unless you speak to them when you have a chance so make the most of it whilst you can. After the event your CV’s will be sent to the companies but do not rely on this being enough, make sure to follow up on each and every contact you make and add the event to your CV!

Participation: Everyone’s favourite word I know but make sure you interact with everyone and take part in the sessions. However remember to strike the balance right between speaking and listening, it is just as important to listen to others opinions as it is speaking, because it allows for effective communication, which means a cohesive work force.  If you see someone in your group who may be shy, make them feel a part of the team and encourage them by asking their views or getting them involved!

And finally have FUN! This may be the most important tip! This is a unique opportunity that you were selected for so enjoy your day with us and one another. Be yourself; an employer wants to know the real you, so it is still important to show traits of your personality as this is just as appealing as your academic qualities. And of course the number one rule enjoy! Leave the event feeling empowered and confident and be inspired by everyone you met, opening yourself to a world of new opportunities!

Beverley Bradford- Project Manager, TARGETjobs Events 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Learn from Nakai as she shares her experience and gives advice for attending IT's not just for the boys!

I started researching career events in my last year of university and came across TARGETjobs IT’s not just for the boys! event. This was indeed a lucky find!

In order to attend the event it was necessary to submit an application. I was nervous, as it was more detailed than I had initially anticipated. Looking back, the information that I used in this application really helped me with subsequent applications. It’s also a great opportunity to get down ‘on paper’ what excites you about the technology sector.

There was a telephone interview prior to the event. This was a great opportunity to practice all the skills required for future internship, placement and graduate job telephone interviews.
Before the interviews and the event I was quite nervous so browsing the IT’s not just for the boys! website and seeing how lively and engaging past events looked, was really helpful. I also used this as an opportunity to research and highlight companies that I was interested in. This was invaluable as there were so many companies I had never even considered, especially as I didn’t come from a stereotypical computer engineering background. It really proved to me that there were opportunities in the technology field for someone like me.

Just before the event I was extremely nervous as I had only been to a few on-campus networking events and nothing of this size. I made sure I picked an outfit that was clean, presentable, professional and comfortable. This meant I could really engage with the speakers and activities and not worry about anything as the day went on.

The day itself was amazing and went by so quickly! The speakers, especially Anne-Marie Imafidon’s inspiring talk, really got me motivated for the rest of the day. Especially as it resonated so much with me and the other girls that were there. There were group activities later on and this gave you an opportunity to meet and speak to my peers, this was great as I didn’t know anyone prior to attending.

By the end of the evening it was difficult to leave – as I tried to say goodbye and thank you to everyone (plus attempting to jot down everyone’s names for LinkedIn and/or Facebook at a later date). However, this was great because I met quite a few other girls at subsequent interviews and assessment centre days (and I think seeing a friendly face at these future stages really put me at ease).

I thoroughly enjoyed the day and ended up attending several assessment centres and interviews for graduate schemes as a result. I am really pleased to say that I will be taking up a positon at Capgemini in September and I cannot wait to get started.

All made possible by the really unique and awesome day that is IT’s not just for the boys!, organised by the really supportive team at TARGETjobs (who have kept in touch since the event last year!) 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Jade Davis talks us through her day at IT's not just for the boys!

I was excited to attend the IT’s not just for the Boys! event hosted by J.P Morgan at their Glasgow office as I couldn’t wait to meet other like-minded females and experience a corporate office. Before attending the event I ensured I was prepared with formal attire and something to jot down notes during the day- any hints, inspirational messages or CV tips I gained during the day!

On arrival, I was greeted with many sociable women whom like myself were students in STEM. The day started with a welcome by a senior representative at J.P. Morgan, where she introduced J.P. Morgan and the opportunities they provide. While this was being explained I was frantically jotting down in my notepad (the current one I am using to reminisce and write this post).

Kate Taylor gave a motivational speech, which was one of the most memorable parts of the day. Being in a male dominated course it can be daunting having the confidence and courage to take opportunities. This speech encouraged us all to be brave and take opportunities when they arise, not just the safe option. Women need to break the stereotypes placed upon them and this talk helped encourage just that. The memorable final quote which was placed on the screen and was ingrained in my memory forever; "She believed she could so she did".

Networking over lunch allowed me to talk to current graduates and network with recruiters from all the companies. Socialising with graduates allowed me to get an insight into the companies that attended. This was my chance to ask any queries that I wanted answering and socialise with other women, retelling stories of our experience in higher education.

After lunch, we were all split into groups to experience the group sessions. Since I had yet to experience an assessment centre this was going to be very interesting. The group exercise involved creating an application for a healthy eating website, where we had to create an app that we had to pitch, keeping in mind our desired target audience. This was great to experience the group activities that could arise at future assessment centres. We then proceeded to be able to talk to the companies in groups and be able to find out more about the graduate opportunities available and the application process.

The day ended with networking and I ensured I connected with the inspirational women whom I had met on social media to keep in touch in the future. The event encouraged me to take opportunities and to apply to the graduate schemes of these amazing companies whom are helping promoting women in technology.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Katie Bennett secures a placement with Arup by attending Future Female Engineers!

I had been interested in Arup as a company since starting my second year at university and being encouraged to secure an industrial summer placement. My interest was spiked when seeing some of the hugely prestigious projects that Arup had been involved with. One of them being very close to home, the engineering building that I have studied in for 90% of my university career The Diamond, an £81m multidisciplinary engineering facility for the University of Sheffield.

Around the same sort of time my university was advertising the Future Females Engineers event, which was conveniently going to be hosted in Arups’s HQ in London! The application for the Future Female Engineers event was a straightforward example of what to expect from a placement application, this was really useful as an opportunity to practice for the real thing. The telephone interview was also very straightforward, there was no need to stress as long as you had prepared! I researched all the companies attending and concluded that I was most interested in Arup and Wates. This was asked about in my interview and I was put with these two companies on the day of the event.

At the event during the team building exercise I was put with Aman Gill, a recruitment officer who works for Arup in London, as my team’s mentor. She told us a lot about the recruitment process at Arup and what they value from their potential employees. I took Aman’s email address and contacted her subsequent to my application to the summer placement opportunity for Arup Sheffield. Aman was in contact with the Sheffield office supporting my application.

I was so pleased when I got the confirmation of an interview for the placement and was so grateful that I had been able to attend the event. I also mentioned attending the event to my interviewer at Arup and they seemed to be impressed with my efforts. What I took from the event was the importance of interest and passion with a company in helping to secure a placement. I was really interested in Arup as a company before the event and I made this clear in my application.

The placement itself has been really interesting! I’ve been working in the MEP building services team as an electrical engineer and have travelling around to Nottingham and Liverpool with my team to meetings and site visits. I’ve been working mostly on a high rise residential building in Liverpool developing the schematics for all the electrical systems inside the building, for example, working on the telecommunications schematic, fire alarm treatment drawings, doing lighting calculations and working on containment layouts. Arup was a fantastic company to secure a summer placement with, the support from everyone was great and the facilities are impeccable.

I was inspired by all of the female engineers that I met at the event whether they were just aspiring or qualified. I had never felt such a friendly and positive atmosphere at a networking event before. I was also pleased to see my team at Arup being very balanced in its representation of women which was so refreshing to see in such a big engineering consultancy.