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Employer Insight Employer Q&A Employers Graduate recruitment Uncategorised

NI Grad Fair – Employer Advice

The NI Grad Fair allowed final year students the opportunity to discover immediate graduate and training opportunities. The Fair provided a platform for employers to share their opportunities for 2023 and connect with a talented and diverse pool of students, and it gave students the chance to speak to representatives from an abundance of local and national employers, all in one place offering graduate opportunities for 2023.

We spoke with some employers at the grad fair about what opportunities they have available and who is their ideal graduate


Áine works for Wilson Nesbitt Solicitors which has established itself as one of Northern Ireland’s top law firms. Their success can be attributed to working with a strong set of principles at our core and a determined focus to get the best result for their clients.

“The opportunities were have available are traineeship roles. A three-year training contract where we’ll provide support. We have Paralegal roles which are open to any degree background. The skills we look for in individuals are life skills, working with people, communication skills, an eye for detail, working with others, working on your own initiative and a commercial awareness.”

Baker McKenzie

Next up is Jamie and Ciarán who work for Shoosmiths, a law firm clients choose for excellent service, incisive thinking and above all for our ability to focus on what matters.

“The opportunities we have to offer are paralegal roles, a trainee solicitor opportunities or anything else like that. The skills we look for are commercial awareness, teamwork, adaptability and just showing that you have a real interest in law.”


Ryan Young works for Delap & Waller, who believe that every client should be a repeat client and focus on providing excellent customer service, open communication and responsiveness.

“The opportunities we offer are graduate trainee program for the Chartered Accountancy exams. We look for students with a broad range of skills, people who have maybe an aptitude for Maths and Science, Data Analytics. Many of the non-traditional degrees bring a range of skills that are useful.”

FinTru

Jonathan works for Hill Vellacott, Chartered Accountants who are leading provider of professional services to organisations in the SME sector, our market-leading team of over 40 professionals serves a wide portfolio of clients right across Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and the UK.

“We’re recruiting for Mechanical, Electrical, BIM and Sustainability Engineers. We look for someone with a construction background or an understanding of Engineering, a good work ethic, ambition to learn and be a sponge.”


Madison and Megan work for Arthur Cox whose reputation is founded upon proven professional skills, a thorough understanding of their clients’ requirements and practical commercial approach.

“Our training contract applications will open in the summertime and we look for someone who can work well in a team, has good communication skills and some commercial awareness as well.”

Gateley

Caitlin Sweeney works within Lakeland Dairies, a farmer-owned dairy processing co-operative with a heritage of excellence spanning over 100 years. They process over 1.8 Billion litres of farm-produced milk into a wide range of dairy foodservice products, consumer foods and dairy food ingredients which service over 80 countries across the globe. 

“We’re looking for a Systems Solutions Analyst. So a Business Analyst type role or Marketing graduates, Human Resources graduates. When your CVs come through, layout is a very big thing for us. We want to be able to get your key points right there in front of us and a cover letter always helps”

Grant Thorton

Missed this event? Check out upcoming events here

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Business Employer Panels Employer Q&A Employers STEM Uncategorised

Student Testimonials: Women in Business: Women in Tech

Northern Ireland’s leading tech companies & organisations came together for the 6th Women in tech Conference.

This empowering event, sponsored by MCS Group gathered role models who innovate, challenge, and embrace technology. From inspirational women who have achieved great success within the sector, to influential entrepreneurs who shared their journey throughout the world of tech from both local and global perspectives.

The day was be filled with feature speakers and panellists, providing attendees with industry-focused learning and face to face access to a high calibre of education and development experts on the conference theme of The Climate of Change.

Hear from Folasewa

I was privileged to meet and listen to some accomplished and inspiring women at the Women in Business Tech conference at the Titanic Belfast. The journey started when I heard about and enrolled in a networking and career development event organized by my prestigious university; Queen’s University, Belfast.

This was a three-day event, and my key learnings for those three days were; organizations need you as much as you need them, putting yourself out there, how to pitch yourself within a short time, and finally, keeping the right network and always staying in touch with them. The conference exceeded my expectations as I enjoyed every part of it, most especially the session anchored by Dr. Niamh Shaw my major takeaway from her speech was nothing just happens, you have to put energy into the things you like.

overall, my striking takeaway is to Deliberately create my Brand.  not to forget to mention that I attended this conference with some great minds, with who I would love to stay connected. finally, special gratitude to my university and the organizer Deirdre, whom I was privileged to share a table with. she has a very bold and eloquent charisma, worthy to emulate, and also Nikky for this highly impactful opportunity.

Hear from Chimwemwe

Why you took part in the Women in the Business programme?

It is always exciting to be in a room full of women with similar interests, encouraging each other to be better. I was hoping to understand and get an insight into how easy or difficult it is for women to enter the industry, especially in Northern Ireland. To network and learn from the guest speakers on their experiences as I am about to start applying for jobs to kick start my career.

What you enjoyed most?

Hearing all the different experiences and lessons from the ladies,  I made new connections and friends, and Niamh Shaw talking about her dream of becoming an astronaut.

What key piece of advice you will take with you?

Be the woman you want to become!

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Employer Quick Guide to the MyFuture Virtual Careers Fair (VCF): During the Fair

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR REPRESENTATIVES OFFERING ONE-ON-ONE CHAT:

  1. Each representative who has been set up in the employer virtual booth for 1 on 1 chat will see a red “View Chats” box icon appearing in their MyFuture account against the relevant fair one hour before the fair goes live. Click on this to enter your unique 1 on 1 chat area and familiarise yourself with items explained her n this and other guidance.
  2. Remember that you will be using the MyFuture built in video chat to meet students for 1 on 1 chats only, so make sure to accept this option when you go live and do not use Teams, Zoom or other conference meeting software alongside this.
  3. When you are ready to meet students, switch your chat Online, if you need to take a break, switch to Busy (do not switch to Offline until you are permanently leaving the event.
  4. Once the VCF goes live at the start time (not before), students will begin to join 1 on 1 chat queues These will show in the “Upcoming” tab in your chat view. You will see the “Start Chat” option is red for the student at the top of the queue (click on that and follow join instructions).
  • While you are talking to a student, you will also see Icons to open text chat and share screen under the incoming video. You will also note a meeting time countdown. When this reaches 0 the meeting is automatically closed. However, employer reps (not students) will also see an option to extend chat by a further 2 minutes when the 2-minute point is reached.
  • When chat is completed, click “End Chat,” make any notes (students do not see these) and start chat with the next student at the top of the queue.
    • Note re: student behaviours at VCFs: Some will join 1 on 1 chat immediately, others elect to go to group or other 1 on 1 chats first. Should you invite a student into a 1 on 1 chat, and they do not accept within 2 minutes, you can click “End Chat” and move to the next student (you will see the meeting timer starts to countdown just before they join you to let you know that they are about to come on screen.)

AFTER THE FAIR:

· Switch your status to “Offline.” You will still be able to view your “Completed” chats and notes. Employers also receive an emailed CV pack and 1 on 1 notes relating to students who elected to share their CV and/or the notes from completed 1 on 1 chats.

For more tips and advice ahead of the fair, visit our Employer Resources here

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employability Employer Engagement Employer events Employer Insight Employer Q&A MyFuture MyFuture App

Employer Quick Guide to the MyFuture Virtual Careers Fair (VCF): Prepare for the Virtual Fair

PREPARE FOR THE VIRTUAL ELEMENT OF THE SPRING FAIR:

SET UP YOUR VIRTUAL BOOTH AT LEAST TEN DAYS IN ADVANCE OF THE FAIR:

  • One representative sets up the virtual booth by logging into their MyFuture account and going to “Events & Fairs”>Virtual Event at Career Spring Fair>”+ Register”.
  • Complete the fields to set up your Standard booth. We advise that 5 minutes is suitable chat time for 1 on 1 (there is also option to extend time during a live chat).
    • Note that 1 on 1 video chat is built into the MyFuture VCF
  • You can add more than employer representative for 1 on 1 chat to help to move students through the busiest employer queues more quickly. Those who do not already have a MyFuture employer account will receive an auto-email with access to a limited account to enable them to join the live fair – ask them to look out for this.
  • Set up your Group Chat instructions by using the HTML text formatting tools to advertise a time schedule of short talks (max 20 minutes) with hyperlinks to Teams/Zoom or other connected virtual meeting that a colleague, who is not simultaneously involved in 1 on 1 chats will deliver. This chat type is very popular with students and can be repeated at scheduled intervals during the event.
  • Once you have set up your booth, click Review and Confirm, followed by Confirm to save and submit for approval by Queen’s CES. Should you wish to adjust your virtual booth later, go back into “registration,” scroll to the bottom on the page and click “Modify,” before reviewing and confirming again.
  • You and your colleagues (please communicate/share invite and guidance to them) will also be invited to a 30-minute training event (will be recorded). The following 2-minute video also provides a useful overview for participating employer representatives on how the 1 on 1 video chat works.

For more tips and advice ahead of the fair, visit our Employer Resources here

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Career planning employability Employer events Employer Insight Employer Q&A Employers Graduate recruitment Graduate Recruitment and Placement Fair MyFuture MyFuture App Uncategorised

Student Quick Guide to MyFuture Virtual Careers Fair

PREPARE FOR THE FAIR:

CLICK ON “MEET THE EMPLOYERS”, CHECK & EDIT YOUR PROFILE:

Browse the employer booths to check on who is coming, star your favourites and set up your profile (Tip: Upload your CV via your profile to share it with relevant employers).

AT THE LIVE FAIR:

CHAT WITH EMPLOYERS VIA LIVE VIDEO CHATS – YOU HAVE TWO OPTIONS:

  1. GROUP CHATS: Just click on Group Chat for the relevant employer in the list to view instructions/click on meeting links.
  2. ONE-ON-ONE CHATS: Some employers are offering both 1 on 1 and Group chats. You can join up to three 1 on 1 chats at a time. Make sure to check your progress/wait time through 1 on 1 queue(s).

TIPS FOR MANAGING YOUR PROGRESS IN ONE-ON-ONE QUEUE(S)

  1. JOIN QUEUES WITH DIFFERENT WAIT TIMES. MyFuture will keep your place in each of these for you. When you see your wait time is down to 5 minutes – you are next and could be called in at any moment! You can check on your progress up through 1 on 1 queues via the tab beside “Meet the Employer Exhibitors”.
  2. STAY ALERT TO A QUEUE WHERE THE WAIT TIME IS DOWN TO 5 MINUTES OR LESS. When the employer is ready, you will see a “come in and meet me” invite from them on your screen in their queue. Just click it and follow the join instructions to take you into the 1 on 1 virtual meeting room.
  3. WARNING: If you do not accept/click on the invite within two minutes, the employer will move on to the next student in the queue.
  4. YOU CAN ALSO MANAGE YOUR TIME BY ATTENDING A GROUP CHAT IF YOU ARE WAITING FOR A 1 ON 1 QUEUE WITH A WAIT TIME OF MORE THAN 20 MINUTES

OTHER TIPS:

YOU CAN ALSO BROWSE THE EMPLOYERS JOB ADVERTS AND PROFILE VIA THEIR VIRTUAL BOOTH (including during the days before the fair goes live)

NEED SOME TECHNICAL HELP DURING THE 3.30PM TO 6PM ONLINE ELEMENT OF THE SPRING FAIR?

  1. Technical help will be available to students for the duration of the online element of the Fair via the Careers Service booth Group Chat.
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employability Employer Engagement Employer events Employer Insight Employer Panels Employer Q&A Employers Graduate recruitment Graduate success

Autumn Fair: Employer Q&A

“What do employers look for in students and graduates for employment?”

“Its very much understanding what each individual has done with their life, not just their academic life. So, its understanding where they have worked in teams, being able to work with different people, how they have been able to manage projects” – Mark Shimmings, Deloitte

“It’s really important for students to try their best to speak to as many employers, putting themselves out there and see if they can do volunteer days, work placement opportunities different things like that because it really gives you a great idea of the industry that you want to go into and the different people you can meet and also helps to build your confidence with talking to different people and professionals” – Eilish Crickard, ESO

“A lot of our interviews as about your collaboration, your teamwork, your communication skills” – Claire Brennan, FinTrU

“We look for people who can put into practice what they’ve learned and can take a practical approach and a very personable approach to what we do” – Brian Moss, Worthingtons solicitors

“You see a lot of amazing CVs but its not really just about what you’ve studied and what you’ve done its about being able to apply those skills, being able to communicate with people… its really important to try different things  and put yourself out there and just try build your CV because lots of people have a degree nowadays so its trying to find that niche that will make you more attractable to employers” – Eilish Crickard, ESO

“Obviously, a degree is important in a lot of the roles but not all of them but yes additional to that, its how they utilise what they’ve done through their life as well as their degree and can align the skills that they’ve learnt in order to use those in their roles moving forward.” – Emma McCourt, NIE Networks

“We don’t expect people to have working experience but there are so many transferable skills from the clubs, societies.” – Niamh Heaney , FinTrU

“Extracurricular activities such as the, you can see everywhere here about the clubs and the societies that’s very important for us at Baker McKenzie as well, we have so many clubs and committees, so if they have any information like that on their CV, again just makes them stand out a little bit more.” – Sarah Fowler, Baker McKenzie


“Why do employers come to QUB campus for recruitment?”

“Queen’s produce some really excellent graduates and it’s the range of graduates that come out of Queens within Deloitte we are looking for a wide range of skills and Queen’s equips the students with those range of skills, not just academic but softer skills that we are looking for” – Mark Shimmings, Deloitte

“The reputation the university, the quality of the teaching is all huge positives for coming specifically to Belfast, and to Queen’s.” – John Paul Cooney, Bank of America

“There is a number of Queen’s students that are already working for us and that their dedication, enthusiasm and desire to work for our business is just amazing and we love having them on the team, they’re great fun and absolutely know their subject” – Helen Sayers, Cooneen Group

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Graduate success story: Eoin Deeney, Baker McKenzie

Eoin Deeney

My name is Eoin Deeney, I’m a Data Privacy Specialist at Baker McKenzie and I studied Law at undergraduate at Queen’s and a postgraduate degree in Law and Governance as well at Queen’s.

Describe your current role.

As part of my current role, I help with the firm’s compliance efforts in the space of data privacy, so that involves working with colleagues across the globe and understanding the data privacy laws and regulations across the world and how the firm can comply with those laws and regulations. I suppose my favourite part of my role is working within the firm itself and the people that I work with across the globe, that they’re globally-minded and like-minded as well and also that it allows me to work in the office with like-minded people but also the ability to work from home and work in a hybrid fashion as well.

How did you get your current role?

After graduating from Queen’s I spent a couple of years in Industry getting experience, which then gave me the opportunity to join Baker McKenzie as a legal professional. Shortly thereafter I became a Team Lead within the Legal Professional team and then I also went to another organisation after that to gain experience in the field of Data Privacy which then prompted the opportunity to return to the firm in my current capacity as a Data Privacy Specialist.

What interview tips do you have for students/ graduates?

The advice I would give to students and graduates when it comes to interviews would be to be themselves, to be authentic and don’t feel that you have to be a certain version or acertain caricature of someone that the employer wants to see because ultimately, if successful in that role, we’re going to be working with you and that’s what we want to see in the interview process: the person that we’re going to be working with, not a caricature of the person you think you ought to be.

What soft skills are most important in your role?

The soft skill that’s most important in my role would be an openness and willingness to learn and I suppose really without that I wouldn’t be in the role that I am currently in because this field wasn’t as prevalent as it is now when I was at university so I would encourage students and graduates to be open and take advantage of opportunities that present themselves by being open-minded and willing to learn.

What training did you get when you started the role?

When I first joined Baker McKenzie I was presented with a suite of classroom trainings which were invaluable in getting to know the organisation and the types of work that we were engaging in but I suppose the most important training that I’ve had has been on the job and learning from more experienced peers and colleagues that have experience of the business and of their subject matter.

How have the people in your organisation inspired you?

What I think about the people that I work with and the organisation and what inspires me about them; I suppose it’s their agility of mind and their ability to apply themselves to a variety of different problems and come up with a variety of innovative solutions. You know, those problems will vary on a day-by-day basis but they’re always agile and thinking of innovative solutions to those problems.

Why would you recommend students and graduates apply to your firm?

I would recommend Baker McKenzie to any student or graduate for two reasons, really. One, it’s a fantastic place to start and develop your career, especially if you’re not entirely sure where you would like your career to go. There’s a number of opportunities that will be available to you. Personally, my career has ended up going in the direction that I didn’t know it would go in but I’m in a job that I love and absolutely enjoy every day. I suppose the second reason I would recommend it is really the people and the people make the organisation. There’s a real culture of friendship; there’s any number of clubs and societies that you can get involved in and explore interests that you may have or may be wanting to develop. So, I suppose the people and the opportunities available would be the reasons I’d recommend the firm to any student or graduate.

Baker McKenzie are proud sponsors of our Autumn Fair

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Workplace Insight: Holly Emerson, Baker McKenzie

Holly Emerson

My name is Holly Emerson and I’m a Legal Professional at Baker McKenzie.

What are the values of your organisation?

Baker McKenzie asked people at the firm how they would describe the firm and they come up with brave, brilliant and kind and I think those values really some up what the firm stands for. People are brave. They are not afraid to challenge convention. They aren’t afraid to innovate. People are brilliant. They are always striving to progress at the firm and people at the firm are kind. They aren’t just kind in the work that they do for charities, but they’re also kind in that they treat their colleagues with respect.

How inclusive an environment is your organisation?

Inclusion and diversity is integral at Baker McKenzie. We have 77 offices which means that you could be working with people from New York or Singapore and it truly shows that inclusion and diversity is a major part of daily life at Baker McKenzie.

What social events bond you as a team?

Baker Mackenzie has plenty of social events every month. There are drinks on the terrace, we have summer BBQs, Christmas parties and as well as that there are clubs and committees like LGBTQ committee and the charity committee who also hold events as well.

How easy is it to progress and carve out a career in your organisation?

In the year that I have been at Baker McKenzie, I started by taking comprehensive training which has allowed me to be seconded to the Data Privacy team at Baker McKenzie which I really enjoy and this opportunity is available across multiple functions. The opportunities are here just as long as you are willing to take them.

What personal attributes are you looking for in recruits?

The sort of person who would fit in at Baker Mackenzie is somebody who has a positive attitude, who is willing to learn, is a team player. We work with many different teams at Baker McKenzie so somebody who works well at collaborating in teams would fit in really well at Baker McKenzie.

Baker McKenzie are proud sponsors of our Autumn Fair

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Graduate Success story: Luca StClair,Baker McKenzie

Luca StClair

Hi, I’m Luca and I’m a Legal Professional at Baker McKenzie.

Why are you excited to come to the Autumn Fair?

As a Queen’s alumni myself, it was at the Autumn Fair that I met the team at Baker McKenzie and what eventually led me to eventually apply to the firm so we’re excited to show you what’s on offer and who we really are as a team.

What opportunities will you be showcasing at the Fair?

We don’t just have legal roles on offer at Baker McKenzie, there are opportunities for students to get jobs across a range of departments here, such as marketing, finance and IT and many more.

What is the best thing about working at your organisation?

Aside from the opportunity of working for a global law firm, the best thing about working at Baker McKenzie is the people. Everyone is so supportive and welcoming and is really committed and driven to seeing you succeed in your career. There’s also lots of opportunities for you to personally and professionally develop yourself through the various training and development programmes on offer and as well as this the firm is very social and it’s really fun place to work.

Why should students visit your stall?

I think students should visit our stall to hear more about the opportunities on offer at Baker McKenzie. As well as this, it would be a great opportunity for you to meet the team and learn a bit more about our culture.

How would a student impress you at the Fair?

Students can impress us at the Autumn Fair by knowing who we are and what we stand for. Aside from this, we want you to be your true authentic self and a tip from me would be to have any questions ready about the work we do or the opportunities on offer.

Baker McKenzie are proud sponsors of our Autumn Fair

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Employer Engagement Employer events Employer Insight Employer Panels Employer Q&A student success Student success stories

Graduate Success Story, Louise Dooley,Andor

Louise Dooley

Hello everyone, my name is Louise Dooley

I am Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist with Andor Technology, part of the Oxford Instruments Group. I joined Andor in April 2021, I’m based in Belfast and I recruit for positions for our Belfast site and across the EMEA region. I completed my undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at Queen’s University Belfast and I’ve worked in various sectors and in a number of different roles in recruitment for the last 20-years.

Why are you excited to come to the Autumn Fair?

Andor is a spinner? company from Queen’s University Belfast so we’ve always had a very very close relationship with the university and have continued to develop that to work with several of the schools on their employer engagement events and we are absolutely delighted to be one of the key sponsors for the Careers Fair this autumn. Queen’s has an excellent range of degree pathways and a very diverse student population which is important to us. We find that not only are Queen’s students academically strong, but they’re also well supported on their journey into the workplace by the Careers service.

What opportunities will you be showcasing at the Fair?

Andor offer a range of entry-level positions to join our business. In July 2022 we doubled our 12-month placement opportunities for students and we plan to increased that again in summer 2023. Our placement opportunities cover the areas of Manufacturing Engineering, Software Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electronics, FPGA and front-end web development. This year we’re also expanding that to include sales, operations and supply chain positions. Our graduate roles are similar to those I’ve already mentioned but also include Optical Engineering and we offer some potential summer internships as well for students who are at the earlier stages in their degree.

What is the best thing about working at your organisation?

That’s certainly a big question to answer. It’s great to be part of a global leading company which was founded right here in Belfast and it’s really making a huge difference in the world. Some of our products are being used to develop cures for cancer, explore deeper into space and examine clean energy sources. I don’t think there’s too many companies in Northern Ireland who could say NASA is one of their customers. Also everyone’s input is very much valued, regardless of whether you’re writing code, designing a PCB board, testing equipment or paying an invoice, the company doesn’t function without every single person’s input. We’re very innovative in Andor and hard-working and we’ve access to a huge number of employee assistance programs, mental health provisions but we’re also a very fun place to work and have lots of social activities for example dog walks, fitness bootcamps and quizzes.

Why should students visit your virtual and or online stall?

At Andor we are very much looking forward to attending the virtual and in-person Careers Fairs this year at Queen’s University Belfast. We have various levels of staff who will be available on the day to speak to you about your career paths and they can give you advice on where they came from and how they reached the positions they’re in today. We have some Senior Engineers, we have some graduates and some of our current placement students will also be available (on the) day. So they can really give you a good insight into their experience with us.

How would a student impress you at the Fair?

We are very much looking to hear from students from within Engineering, Physics and the Business Disciplines. Engineering, that really includes the Mechanical, Manufacturing, Electronics and Software Engineering Disciplines, Physics, that’s right across whether it’s the MSci or also PhD students as well and the broad spectrum of Business degrees as well as they can support our supply chain and wider operations functions as well.

Andor are proud sponsors of our Autumn Fair