In our first semester which lasted about 12 weeks, we were provided with a one-week break known as “Reading Week” or “Enrichment Week”. The purpose behind this is to allow you to pause and reflect on your learning, explore new skills, catch up on the reading, and experience the end of the autumnal weather before the crisp northern winter strikes.
Enrichment Week: Careers Conference
During this one-week period, a number of key events and workshops were organised by the university for us to make the most of the break. The annual, ‘Future Focus: Careers Conference’ was organised by the Business School careers team and the aim of this week-long conference is to help guide Business School students, in all aspects of their career plans and prepare them for their journey after university. The conference was structured and designed in such a way that it encompassed a wide range of industry sectors adhering to the employment preferences of the students. The sessions and activities were designed to showcase the options and opportunities available to students and allow them to explore their future career prospects.
My Experience of the Careers Conference
The Careers Conference consisted of industry talks each day, led by various alumni and industry experts working in different job roles across different sectors.
Personally, I emphasised on the Finance, Banking, and Consultancy sectors as they closely align with my career aspirations. Alongside giving us insights into the Financial Services and Banking industries, what really piqued my interest was that the alumni also shared real-world insights into the operational Monetary and Fiscal Policies and how it impacts our career opportunities. This was followed by a Government and Civil Service Insight panel which provided even further information and understanding for considering my career prospects.
In addition to the talks, a student networking evening was organised as part of the Careers Conference week. This gave us the opportunity to directly interact with Newcastle University Alumni who are working across different sectors. They highlighted their personal experiences which were very beneficial and allowed me to understand the opportunities and barriers in this sector. My key takeaway from this conference was that my skills and interests are aligned to a career in consultancy which would provide exposure to different business streams, organisations, and sectors and allow me to work in a dynamic environment. A career in Consultancy also allows you to travel all around the world and deliver different deliverables, which is a big bonus for me! This experience immensely helped me understand the key requirements for having a long-term career in consultancy alongside the dos and don’ts in the application process and specific industry insights for career progression.
We also had the opportunity to network with some of the industry professionals and recruiters who gave us an insight into what having a career in a particular industry or sector would be like. They addressed the concerns of international students, like me, about pursuing career opportunities in the UK or across borders. This Careers Conference gave me the chance to meet like-minded individuals who are applying to similar roles as myself. We were able to discuss our struggles and concerns, and to my surprise, some even offered to help.
Being a Master’s student, career opportunities like these are an eye-opener to real-world practices and the key skills required to excel in your career development. The Careers Conference, in my perspective, was the perfect opportunity for me to learn about my career interests and identify sectors and roles to which I am aligned to, or the skills required to land my dream job. There were also a few events which I was really keen to attend but was unable to due to personal commitments. Luckily, recordings of the sessions that took place that week were made available for us to watch afterwards.
I really enjoyed the entire conference week. It was informative and engaging at the same time. It was truly an enriching week. I would really like to thank Newcastle University Business School for such an opportunity and would definitely recommend the students to attend this annual conference in 2022.