Why attend a career expo?

Employers are descending on campus over March to take part in Business, Law and ICT & Engineering career expos. Other employers are coming to do presentations and participate in panels. These employer events will continue throughout the year, including more career expos for other faculties. So why bother to attend?

Employers take time out of busy schedules to come to career expos to meet and interact with you because they want to let you know what they do and that they’re looking for future graduate employees.
New Zealand organisations take on graduates and internships at different stages throughout the year depending on their needs. Some are coming to our career expos looking for applicants for internships and graduate roles for 2024 and want to talk to individuals about those opportunities.  Other employers attend career expos to talk more generally about options, roles and what they do.

Xero Team Lead Lauren Ruxton attends AUT career expos to promote and recruit for Student CX roles.
“We are looking for AUT students interested in finding out more about working for Xero and the opportunities we have for students. Please come along and say hi, we love to meet potential Xeros.”

PwC Early Careers Talent Advisor Dominque Herewini says attending career expos is a favourite part of her job. Why?
“It gives me a chance to meet you all and for you to meet us and get to ask all the important questions and get a better understanding of the culture of PwC.”

What does that mean for you, a student?

Career expos are an easy way for you to physically meet employers thatCF Bus law expo 2 may end up employing you. You have an opportunity to get your face and name in front of employers and – hopefully - impress them. Career expos are also a good place to learn about roles and opportunities in the workplace that are new and interesting.
"Students also often discover organisations they didn't know much about so expos and events can open up new career ideas and options," says AUT employability relationship manager Rachael Marsters, who organises some of the career expos.
"Coming to an expo is a great way to make a lasting impression so it is important to prepare. Employers tell us frequently that they remember students and graduates that know what their business does and ask questions – those students stand out."
That doesn't mean you have to super extroverted, but just be able to chat to them and show you know what they do. And employers do remember!

After all, who would you rather employ?

Would you want to employ someone who is proactive, interested in your company and what you do? Or someone who expects a job because they have a degree but have no idea what your organisation does or values?

Want to know more about making the most of a career expo?

The Employability Lab team run specific preparation workshops before each career expo. These events help you learn how to research employers before the expo, then professionally introduce yourself and network appropriately at the events.

The team also run regular workshops on CVs, networking, LinkedIn profiles and elevator pitches on campus and online. Get along to some of these and see what tips you can pick up. These run on the city campus at the Employability Lab and online.

Book into workshops through Elab Online to ensure you are well prepared and ready for whatever happens on the day.

Not sure how to sign up to Elab Online?

It's easy. Just choose 'Current student' and enter your student ID number and password.

Elab Online is home to all our events, workshops and appointments through the year, and has many resources including our job boards.

elab screen

Written by Angela McCarthy, AUT Employability and Career Services writer