Sunderland Futures Fair gives students an insight into careers

Sunderland Futures Fair at Sunderland University on Friday.
Sunderland Futures Fair at Sunderland University on Friday.
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Dozens of students got a glimpse of the shape of things to come as Sunderland University held its annual Futures Fair.

Almost 80 businesses were on hand to give soon-to-be graduates an insight into the range of opportunities available to them.

Sunderland Futures Fair at Sunderland University on Friday.

Sunderland Futures Fair at Sunderland University on Friday.

Tonia Scurr is business development manager with the university’s Careers & Employability Service: “We have got 67 companies here and the aim is to give our final year students a bit of an insight into what they should be doing to prepare for when they graduate,” she said.

“Now is the time they should be applying for jobs – all the companies have already begun their graduate recruitment processes.

“We have got a lot of companies that are looking for applications, as well as some that offer sandwich placements, so students can do a year’s work experience between their second and third years.”

One student already benefitting from a placement is Vicky Knott, from Cumbria.

We have got 67 companies here today and the aim is to give our final year students a bit of an insight into what they should be doing to prepare for when they graduate.

Tonia Scurr

The 20-year-old has taken time out from her computing degree course to spend time with Wearside software specialist Leighton.

“It is just getting experience of the workplace, preparing me for what it will be like when I graduate,” she said.

“I am working with the British Airways team, making their website more responsive.

“It is really helping with my confidence because I am having to deal with some pretty high-up people.

“It has really helped with my ability to push myself.”

Enterprise Rent-a-car is this year’s main sponsor and the firm has had first-hand experience of the benefits of the Futures Fair.

Katherine Barker, who is responsible for recruitment across the North East and Cumbria, was joined on the stand by Amii Stewart – who was hired from last year’s event.

A commitment to the city was key, said Katherine.

“I think the main aim for us is to recruit people who want to stay in the area,” she said.

“It is important for them to be committed , to want to stick with us and progress in their career.”

Psychology graduate Amii is loving her role with the firm: “It is a career I want for the rest of my life,” she said.

“I have always wanted to move into business and this gives me a chance to use the skills I have developed.”