Standing out from the pack: the real story behind career fairs

millennial work

“Career fair” a term most university students are familiar with.

I myself, have attended them frequently through my two university degrees and recently I stepped into the role of an exhibitor and it suddenly opened my eyes to a whole new world. So I thought I’d put down some of the lessons I have learnt each step of the way.

A Freshie.
Yes, a long time ago, but I was once a career fair virgin. I remember walking through the crowd, overwhelmed by the choices around me. So many companies, so much competition. It suddenly dawned on me, that I was one of thousands of students. Underprepared, I left with crushed confidence.

Seasoned career fair professional
After my disastrous first career fair, I decided to attend subsequent career fairs armed with questions. Cursed with a natural curiosity, I wanted to find out the story behind each company. I began to piece together a map of the marketplace.

An exhibitor
Honestly this was my first project as an intern at Accelus. I remember a few short weeks prior, sitting with the team sharing them my ambitions of working within HR and giving advice to students launching their careers.

This was my moment!

What changed my perspective was the real stories. You see, my job at the fair was to talk to students find out their stories and share a little about mine.

And I suddenly realised, that so many people are lost. They spend years studying degrees and yet are completely lost to what to do once they graduate. It’s so daunting the thought of committing to an entire future based on what degree I elected to study, 3 no 5 years ago.

I thought it was just me. You see, my first degree was an engineering degree. One that I knew my heart wasn’t in but I was trying to be a good daughter, plus my parents were paying. After graduating I worked in the field and I knew it wasn’t right for me.

Now what?

As you can imagine, I went on a journey of self discovery and realised my heart and passion lies with people. I decided to study psychology in order to bridge into the world of HR. You can imagine the battle I had with my family and yes, I did pay for the second degree myself. Needless to say, its been one of the best choices of my life.

I have realised that most of us are trying to fit into a box of experience that companies are demanding of us instead of looking at what is IN us that makes us unique. My degrees in engineering and psychology, my experience working in the field, my passion for people and my life experiences make me completely unique. It’s with this that I’ll be able to make my mark in this world and I’m excited to create my future.


Written by Eve Ha