NUS Career Fest 2018 Features

Success Stories

NUS Career fest attendees share their positive experiences

Explore and learn

Miss Lim Yan Er gears up for her future career by gaining some insight to potential employers

Speaking to company executives at career fairs can be helpful, says Miss Lim.

Arulnathan John

Miss Lim Yan Er, 23, wants to learn practical skills that will be useful to her when she embarks on her career after graduating in May. The National University of Singapore (NUS) real estate undergraduate plans to be involved in real estate consultancy or marketing.

She says: “I took on several different internships. They helped expose me to the real working world and allowed me to broaden my expertise beyond what I learnt in the classroom.

“They also gave me a sense of what it feels like to work full-time.”

Since then, Miss Lim has updated her resumé and applied to several companies. She says: “The most difficult part about job hunting is reviewing the resumé and crafting a suitable cover letter for each job opening. I have to look at the job descriptions and craft a customised cover letter for each different application.”

Career fairs like the NUS Career Fair are good platforms for students. She elaborates: “At these fairs, it is very helpful to ask questions about things such as workplace culture and specific aspects about job openings. These are difficult to find out from company websites.

“It is also more personal to talk to people from different companies. I can gauge how suitable I am for the company and pick which companies I want to apply to.”

But Miss Lim felt that more improvements can be made. She says: “Career fairs specific to different faculties could be held in future. For instance, engineering companies may look more into technical skills, whereas a business consultancy firm may look at presentation or negotiation skills.

“There should also be direction guides so job-seekers can find out where different companies are located, especially in a large exhibition space.”

She recommends that her peers and other job-seekers attend such fairs, as they helped her become more effective and comfortable when conversing with different industry professionals and potential employers.

She says: “Career fairs are also a good platform to get used to speaking to executives and other professionals about their working experiences and insights about the industry or specifics about the company.

“The most important thing I have learnt about the job-seeking process is that one must be open to explore and willing to learn.”

Stepping up to the challenge

Miss Regina Tan learns to seize opportunities at career fairs to build her career network

Miss Tan got useful feedback from her Career Advisor. photos: chong jun liang

Nur Syahiidah Zainal

Life Sciences undergraduate Regina Tan hopes to pursue a career in either the healthcare or biotechnology industries when she graduates in May.

To facilitate that, she has already started her job hunt.

“I have been on the lookout for companies that I’m interested in and researching them. I am also trying to speak to more people about their experiences in the workplace,” says Miss Tan.

Keeping track of available openings has been challenging, she says, as there are numerous companies and even more job roles that may be unfamiliar to fresh graduates like her.

Thus, it would be ideal to start early when researching companies that one wants to join, and their company culture, development opportunities and career paths, she adds.

Miss Tan appreciates that she is able to seek career guidance from her Career Advisor at the Centre for Future-ready Graduates (CFG).

“I approached my Career Advisor for a resumé critique and mock interviews, and received timely and professional feedback,” she says.

That was not the only CFG resource she tapped on. Miss Tan had also previously attended the annual NUS Career Fair to get contact details of key participants and learn more about their companies and their hiring process.

At first, she found the formal atmosphere of the event daunting, especially when she saw how confident her peers were in their interaction with the company representatives there.

She came to realise later that it is actually not difficult to make the best of the event. In fact, she found it was an opportunity to hone her networking skills and improve how she presented herself professionally.

Miss Tan finds the career fair a helpful resource for job-seeking undergraduates as it brings together many companies at one location.

“It is convenient when they are all gathered in one place and usually organised according to industries. You can get a sense of which the growing companies are and what their programmes offer,” she says.

When representatives share information about their companies and interact with visitors, it adds a personal touch to the job-seeking process at the fair.

“The fair provides a good opportunity to network with their human resource staff or join their mailing list for future job openings. You can also conveniently deposit your resumé with all the companies that you are interested in at the event,” Miss Tan adds.

The most useful job-seeking tip she has received so far is to start the process early and be brave to step out of her comfort zone and try new things.

She says: “People are often worried whether they meet the criteria for the job they are keen on, or can find a job at all. But there’s no harm in applying.

“Even if you don’t get it, it is a learning experience.”