Back in November 2016. Norwich Business School once again hosted its annual Employability Week in conjunction with CareerCentral. Every year, in the autumn semester NBS suspends all teaching in order to offer all its students a full timetable of events focused on gaining insight and preparing them for seeking employment after graduation. Our 2016 edition was the most successful thus far, featuring talks, seminars and masterclasses amongst many others, from over 70 graduate employers both from the local area and nationally, engaging over 1,000 students over the course of the week. Our event helps to build student confidence and awareness of the amazing career opportunities that our NBS students can embark on once they graduate.
Our aim is to provide an exciting and varied programme of events, and last year we ran CV and interview masterclasses, talks on entrepreneurship and benefits of working for an SME and sessions specifically for our international students, to name but a few. Our showpiece events of each day were the lunchtime and evening, one hour, panel sessions focusing on working in a particular business discipline. At these sessions, students heard from 3-4 speakers talking about their careers and organisations, with sessions dedicated to HR, marketing, retail, digital or accountancy. After the talks were over, we allowed some all -important time for the students to network and ask any further questions they might have for the panel members in an informal setting over pizza and drinks.
A particular highlight of these sessions was our Accountancy Showcase on Thursday evening which saw the ‘Big 4’ (PwC, EY, KPMG and Deloitte) all presenting on the same evening to our intrigued students as potential employees of the future.
Amongst the directors and senior professionals representing organisations, we were also delighted to welcome back recent NBS alumni on the first day to share their experiences with our current cohort. Undoubtedly, hearing stories about their time at UEA and lives since graduating from people who were recently in exactly the same position was inspiring for the audience. Working for companies such as Concilium Search, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Thyngs and Anglia Capital, each alumni had a different story and path to where they are now, which gave our current students some very relatable inspiration.
Running parallel our programme of events were several prizes, such as the main ‘Employability Week Prize’ simulating a multiple stage graduate recruitment process, with a cash prize. 2016 winner was 2nd year Accounting and Finance student Josh Knight. Josh demonstrated a strong character in all 5 elements of the competition (application, psychometric tests, CV, assessment centre and interview) and managed to scoop this year’s prize over a lot more experienced 3rd year and Master’s students. Monetary prizes were also awarded to the top performers of our ‘Paperclip Challenge’. The idea behind this was is simple; every participant was issued with a free paperclip on Monday morning, which they then had to trade with anyone for an item of higher value. Trades continued throughout the week, with the ‘winners’ Jamie Fennell having made the biggest value increase through a single trade and having the most valuable item at the end of the week, and Charlotte Whiting having the most number of trades, the highest value trades.
Reflecting on the successes of our Employability Week, Dr. Graham Manville, Director of Employability and Innovation said “UEA has firmly established its position in the top 20 of the domestic league tables throughout the last four years, it is an exciting time for employers to be part of the Norwich Business School Employability Week. Our business graduates regularly take up positions in FTSE100 and Fortune 500 firms and this could be a great opportunity to talent spot for the future. In addition, employers have the added benefit of meeting our world class academics and strengthening relationships with UEA.”
We are currently seeking partners to participate in our 2017 programme, in order to build a schedule that meets a mix of different needs, and provides different kinds of insight and experience for students.
We’re always interested in new ideas and as well as being involved with particular sessions there may also be opportunities to help run or sponsor associated competitions and prizes.
For more detailed information our Norwich Business School Employability Week 2017 – employer overview is available to download