Virtual Job Fair
The job market in 2020 has taken a hard hit due to COVID-19. However, a joint effort by the Danish University network has established a virtual job fair to connect UCPH’s soon-to-be graduates with Danish companies despite social distancing and the uncertainties of the job market due to COVID-19 situation.
Coronavirus has pushed digital innovation forward in the international higher education field. Given the axiom that the COVID-19 pandemic should not get in the way of kick-starting careers, all UCPH students – international, graduates and soon-to-be graduates – were invited to participate in the first (and biggest) virtual Danish academic job fair while the University was in lockdown.
More than 2.500 students registered for the event and more than 70 companies attended the job fair. The rules were simple – the universities provided the bright minds and the companies should have a minimum of one job to offer to be allowed to participate.
Expectations and conversations
Iulia Popescu, a soon-to-be graduate from MSc Security Risk Management, participated in the fair and she explains:
“As an international student entering the final year of my Master’s, I’m actively seeking job opportunities in my field of study. I expected this event to be helpful for me on an informational level, but not a practical one in the sense that I would have conversations that could lead to concrete outcomes. I was pleasantly surprised that the conversations with company representatives were more structured, and I did not feel the same pressure you sometimes feel at a physical career fair when there are plenty of other people waiting for you to finish the conversation”.
Iulia also highlighted:
“I’m happy that I managed to chat with one of the companies I was interested in about a potential thesis collaboration! The representative has already sent my CV to the relevant person and now I just hope I will hear back and see if it can work out. I did not expect this to happen on the spot!”
Here to stay
According to Graduateland, a job search portal operating for UCPH, digital career fairs are here to stay. They say that in the future, digital career fairs will be the first step in a recruitment process, combined with physical meetings, interviews or workshop events, as the digital and physical interactions have different potentials.
With this and other online initiatives, UCPH seeks to raise employment among international students after graduation and all the initiatives are targeted at international students. Despite the lockdown, it seems that these new initiatives will change the landscape of offers for international students in Denmark.
By Aske Stick and Kathrine Bruun Funch
How the virtual job fair worked
Students who wanted to sign up for the event made a profile and CV containing relevant information about themselves. During the event, they could contact and chat with the companies participating. The companies, on the other hand, could look through the student profiles and reach out to candidates that matched their recruitment needs.