Career fair a success

Posted on May 22, 2018

The Rautenbach Hall on the Hatfield Campus of the University of Pretoria (UP) was recently a hive of activity as hundreds of students from most faculties queued up to speak to companies that were exhibiting their career offerings in this year’s General Career Fair.

According to Marile Roos, Project Manager at UP’s Career Services (organisers of the event), 55 companies exhibited to students over two days. This included the Auditor-General South Africa, the Citrus Academy, Cummins, Mr Price and PwC.

She said: ‘The aim of the event was to link employers with students. We invited all students to this event. We want students to plan their careers from first year.’ This event forms part of a series of career days organised by the department as part of the university’s Work Readiness Programme. Previous career days held this year include the Accounting Career Day and the Law Career Day.

Exhibitor Zené Brink, Operations Manager of Global Teacher Recruitment, was recruiting graduates with a degree in any discipline to teach English in China, Hong Kong and Macau. ‘There is a big demand for English teachers in Asia. People in Asia view education as extremely important and push their children to learn English so that they can become successful businessmen and businesswomen all over the world,’ she said.

Global Teacher Recruitment recruits 850 to 1000 graduates annually, from the ages of 21 to 35 from all over the world to teach English in Asia, where they apparently love South Africans. ‘You get to travel, experience the world and make friends for life’, said Ms Brink.

Graduates are based at a Supplementary English Learning Centre and teach children aged 3 to 12 years old. 'Graduates need to have a passion for teaching and must be patient with children,’ she said, explaining that they get a 12-month teaching contract which can be extended.

’We help graduates with their work visas, which are fully sponsored while they pay for their own flights. They also need to acquire a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certificate.’

The Fruit Farm Group South Africa, one of the biggest suppliers of fresh produce to major supermarkets, employs people in finance, human resources, logistics, IT and sales and has vacation work and internships ranging from 12 months to 18 months.

Austell Laboratories, a pharmaceutical company which markets products such as Sinupret and Prospan, provides graduates with opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry as sales representatives. Students who have degrees with physiology and anatomy as subjects or any degree, provided they passed mathematics on Grade 12 level and are comfortable with travelling regularly to visit doctors and pharmacies, to market the company’s products, are encouraged to apply. The programme runs over three years and graduates can develop core competencies and climb the career ladder from day one of employment.

For Bongani Talana, a final year Chemical Engineering student, the General Career Fair was ‘really helpful’ and he might apply for vacation work this year at two companies and is interested in their graduate training programmes. ‘My CV is done,’ he said.

Other students said they found the event ‘informative’ and some had inquired about vacation work for this year.

Meanwhile, Ms Roos said Career Services also assists companies with arrangements to hold workshops that focus on CV-writing and interview preparation, and ‘if there is a company that wants to come in and do a presentation to our students, we would set this up’. The department runs CV-writing workshops and mock interviews for students, while Enterprises UP offers online courses in career planning, job preparation, workplace skills and personal development (free to UP students and at a nominal fee to non-students). Enterprises UP also offers a free entrepreneurship course to students and graduates.

The next event to be hosted by UP Career Services is the Actuarial Sciences Career Day on Friday, 25 May from 08.30 to 13:00 in the Rautenbach Hall. Companies that will be exhibiting include the Boston Consulting Group, FirstRand CA Training Programme, Outsurance, PSG and Deloitte.


- Author Primarashni Gower

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