Graduate Fairs

The Graduate

I am interested in the views of students who have been to the Graduate Fairs.
There are two Graduate Fairs that will soon be held in London and Manchester. These traditionally have been a good ground for the matching of students and employers and the filling of internships. Clearly the exhibitors who will be present still see some value in these fairs but in today’s economic world and the current unemployment figures are these fairs offering a future to students that may be over optimistic?
I understand that the fairs will allow graduates to meet prospective employers and to gain a feeling of the industry they are offering, but is this of value if when the graduate is seeking employment there are no openings?
This is a quote from The London Graduate Fair: “Over 50% of the visitors at last year’s event were in possession of a 2.1 or 1st at degree level; another 21% were working towards this, an additional 8% had studied overseas”. Does this make the fair an exclusive set up where if you have a TuTu or a third then you are a misfit and you will therefor feel that your degree has less value?
I think that of students who have been to these fairs could regale us with their experiences and the benefits they have received it would be useful.


Oh I’ve had some brilliant moments at graduate fairs both attending them myself and al and therefore you so helping out in their organisation during my last few years at University! I really thought about it but I would say that the majority of people attending graduate fairs really care about their future careers and as such are not surprised that these individuals tend to be the ones who achieve the best possible academic results but I don’t think it’s down to the fact that the graduate fairs do not appeal to people who are not as likely to be successful academically I just think that these people are not necessarily as driven as others.
It may also be the case that people with better results are more likely to be pursuing graduate careers therefore are more likely to be attending these graduate fairs, but again I don’t think it’s down to the fact that these fairs aim to exclude any group of students, it’s simply the way it is.
Graduate fairs are a great example of human psychology, some of the efforts from some students are far fetched. A bit of enthusiasm is great but some students do take it a bit far and stand out in the crowd for all the wrong reasons!


I’ve been to a few of these graduate fairs with mixed feelings. Some of them are really useful and let you speak to some very interesting people others are just an opportunity to gather some more free pens!! A lot of it depends on the people that the companies send to the fairs and whilst it is great to talk to the recruiters and you may just make a suitably good impression to get yourself an interview, the real value I found was when I spoke to recent graduates and the tips they gave me were much more off the record.
Personally if there is a fair going on I would go as you have nothing much to lose but don’t think of it as something that will solve all your problems as it probably won’t. It does give you something to say in interview though and may suggest new things to you that you hadn’t’ thought about before.


“Personally if there is a fair going on I would go as you have nothing much to lose but don’t think of it as something that will solve all your problems as it probably won’t.” Sums it up nicely. The fairs are of varying quality and indeed will be of a different type depending on where they are being held. The whole point is to adopt a ‘nothing gained- nothing lost’ approach. This will allow you to meet others in the same boat as you, those who have graduated in the recent past, and those who are seeking to offer advice and employment or internships to those students who are there.
A fair is as good as you wish it to be. That is to say if you go with the right attitude, as Nia said, then you will come away better of. If you go believing that the fair is just another student exercise then you will gain nowt.
There is however in my mind a concern over Egghead’s post wherin he quotes the reaction to the level of degree held. If this is so, and the statistics seem to bear it out, then there would appear to be a leaning towards those with a 1st and a 2;1, which in my mind is unfair as all students are deserving of an equal chance. I really would like further opinions on that please.


Okay I may be biased as I hold a 2:1 but my interpretation of employers favouring those with 2:1s and 1st is mainly down to the fact that there are so many individuals coming through the system somehow employers have to differentiate and when they are faced with hundreds of CVs then they have to look towards the academic achievements as one of the ways that they can reduce the numbers in front of them. To a certain extent I agree with this and although there are obviously going to be some exceptions to the rule, on the whole employers are able to demand a specific level of academic achievement, so why shouldn’t they? Gone are the days when simply having a degree, puts you in the minority and therefore employers are having to look at other things such as where you studied, what you studied and the actual degree in order to get the best possible candidate.
Sadly, it’s an employers market in my opinion and although there are probably some brilliant candidates who have achieved a 2:2 they may not get the chance to prove themselves only have to look towards other avenues such as work experience in order to get a foot in the door.



I think that you have laid the employers’ position very well. The issue is that it does not reflect the true position. The percentage of students who do not achieve a 2:1 or above is falling so questions should be asked as to why this is happening. Is it the quality of tutoring, is it the students themselves or is it the external pressures of being a student today? My own view is that to judge a student purely on the basis of the level of degree earned and maybe attach that to the awarding university.
It is necessary to understand who the student is, why they have the level of degree they have and above all examine their aptitude for the career choice they are making.
Those who have a 2:1 or better may be academically gifted but can they apply that academic approach in the workplace? That for me is the real test.