A group of students from Edge Hill University attended one of the UK’s largest graduate recruitment fair in London, thanks to the Student Opportunity Fund.

Eight second and third year students boosted their employability skills by attending the GradJobs Live! careers fair, which enhanced their knowledge and understanding of the sheer variety of graduate employers, and how they can start to think about which sector they would like to work in.

As well as visiting famous landmarks and seeing the cultural highlights on offer in the capital, students also met with former Edge Hill student Lydia Hobson who shared some tips about how to make the most of University and how to get a foot in the door of a chosen career.

Lydia, who graduated from Edge Hill in 2017 with a degree in Information Technology for Business and a Masters in Information Security and IT Management, now works for IBM in South Bank, London as a Technology Consultant. She also talked to students about her journey to IBM and the graduate opportunities available.

Third year student Charlotte Griffiths (25) from Wrexham, who is studying for a degree in Early Childhood Studies, found the experience invaluable.

Charlotte Griffiths

Charlotte Griffiths

“I really wanted to go on this trip to meet other people, broaden my options and scope out the opportunities available in London as it’s where I eventually want to work. I was given the chance to learn about teaching opportunities when I went to the careers fair, and I chatted with potential employers and even handed out my CV.”

Second year Educational Psychology student Neelam Master (19), from Preston, applied for a place on the trip to pave the way for her future career.

“I applied for a place on the trip to enable me to network with future employers and gain knowledge about the recruitment processes after university as well as developing confidence interacting with experts in the field.

“After attending the GradJobs fair and listening to Lydia, I learnt that gaining relevant experience is important, alongside keeping my options open. This will allow me to explore the range of opportunities there are post-university, whilst giving me the freedom to experience and gain new skills.”

Kelly Rigg, an Employment Adviser from the University’s Careers Team, was responsible for organising the trip and accompanied the students to London.

“I think opportunities such as this can be really transformational for students,” said Kelly. “This particular trip was designed to allow students to step outside of their comfort zone, mixing with new people and in an unfamiliar environment, so that they could build their confidence. They were also able to build on their transferable skills such as communication, team work, organisation, and dealing with pressure. The students came away feeling inspired and motivated, and those who may not have previously considered working in the city’s capital felt much more confident about the prospect.”

The students will now work with careers advisers and other members of the Careers Team, such as volunteering advisers and employment advisers, to begin working on an action plan, so that they can get from where they are now to where they want to be when they graduate.

The Student Opportunity Fund ensures that costs are not a barrier to students making the most of their experience at Edge Hill. It allows undergraduate students to apply for up to £2,000 which can help towards the cost of activities designed to prepare them for the future and enhance their employability skills. Find out more here.