London Career Fair 2018

Career Fair was exhausting to everyone who involved, from the organizer (UKEC and Graduan), to the recruiters, to the finalists, and to students in general. In the past, I thought job hunting is about submitting CVs, wait for interview call(s), go to the interview pretending that you have more reasons to find a job than to earn money, go back and pray hard. There, how ignorant!

Well, that's what I used to think. But real life isn't that straightforward.

Learning from the last year's career fair (that I attended for internship hunting), I tried to make the most of career fair even days before the career fair actually started. Because last year when I handed my CV to HR of this one company, I was asked why do I expect them to give me a job when I had never attended the networking session. But never mind that because the same person offered me a job anyway lol. So this year, I made sure to be extra alert of networking sessions when it was in the middle of submission week. The real deal was to actually squeeze these events into my schedule. Plus, this year I took some extra classes, on top of 6 subjects. Also to make things more interesting, my field requires stages of selection process :') My plate was not only full, it was flooded. To people who called me, texted me, or simply looked at me, and were ignored, I am truly sorry. That was not my optimal self. I am probably friendlier as a person, but not as a finalist during the submission week + career fair.

I really put effort on my CV. I went to university career service four times for CV checking, I asked for Dee's help to proofread, also I tailored each of my CV according to the company's job description. So if I applied for 6 companies, I did the same process over and over again, for 6 times. Yes, Graduan provided a website for the career fair and we could simply upload our application along with our CV there and thanks to them, they handle the rest. But some companies, especially the top GLCs, they have their own application process and we had to go a total different procedure for them.

The exhaustion paid off when I secured 7 interviews and actually got offers from 4 of them. I accepted the offer that I think will help my part-time postgraduate study, the salary, also my parents' advice. They prayed for their whole life that at least one of their kids will be in this particular sector, so I went for this one company. It is already an achievement for me to secure a job before a degree because truth to be told, I am not particularly proud of my undergraduate years. At least not what I have expected from myself before flying here. To be able to make my parents happy and to have some saving to pay for my own postgraduate study, I am really proud of myself.

The interview experiences vary. I can rank the company from the best to the worst. But better not to. Whoever attended the career fair must have heard the rumours and knowing my online audience is really divided, I know better not to cause myself harm in the future. But to all recruiters, remember that if a candidate isn't for your company, it means that s/he for other companies or probably for their own company. If you cannot be a decent recruiter, then at least be a kind person. And mind you, this experience I am talking about was not mine, but my friend who happened to be in the same group interview with me. To witness it was already blood boiling, what more to actually be in my friend's shoes.

To overweigh all the salt and bitterness, some companies really value human capital as the nation's asset. I made a lot of good connections. The encouraging words they gave to us to never give up (I already knew I was rejected because of this LOL), I really appreciate it. And especially to those who knew me from Twitter but didn't bother to bring up social media life into real life conversations, you guys are the keepers. Thank you so much hahahaha.

I hope I will come back for 2019 Career Fair as a part of recruiter team. And this post is a reminder for the future me to always treat graduates as our most valuable assets. Also to the last year, this year, and future UKEC team may God always bless you guys for making these career opportunities possible for us.


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