On April 24, Fulbright launched its first-ever Career Day. Initiated by Career Development at Fulbright, the event was designed so that students could meet and learn from a diverse group of partners, while companies could recruit resourceful and creative talents through on-site CV assessment and individual interviews.
With a liberal education program like Fulbright, this kind of exposure allows students to not only make better decisions when it comes to choosing their majors, but also foster a supportive professional network for their future careers. The event welcomed over 100 representatives from 42 corporations across all industries, from consulting, financial technology, digital solutions, communications, to education, non-profit, and fashion. Among them are hugely sought-after enterprises such as GroupM – the global number one media investment management, Schneider Electric, Procter & Gamble, Jardine Matheson, plus many more.
Over 160 undergraduate students attended the fair, 20 of them are recipients of VietSeeds’ scholarships from universities across HCMC. Prior to Career Day, students had their resumes reviewed and received detailed advice on how to conduct themselves, including recommendations for attire and elaborate interview tips. Some even got personalized business cards. These were to make sure students showed up confident, well-prepared, and ready to impress potential employers. Such efforts paid off, as over 60 interviews were conducted or scheduled, with great feedbacks from interviewers.
“People often asked what they can do to stand out at events like this. The interesting thing with this event was that every student I spoke to stood out. They just got it right! Their natural curiosity and ability to engage and interact with us shone through. Too many times I have been at similar events across various countries where students haven’t taken advantage of the opportunity. The regular reaction is ‘I am going look down and grab freebies and hope I don’t have to interact’. Fulbright students, however, often made the first approach and were often engage in conversations with us for a significant time. The most spectacular thing about all this is most were first year, if not second year students. What a brilliant way to start the connections,” says Anna Champion, Head of Early Careers and Group Coaching at Jardine Matheson.
With 13 speakers from industry-leading companies, three panel discussions covered highly anticipated topics, particularly female empowerment in the workforce, the future of work for Generation Z, and how to bounce back and learn from failures. Having spearheaded the initiative, Mr. Vincent Pham, Fulbright’ Manager of Partnership Development remarks:
“Fulbright’s Career Day was built on two values: Transformative Connections and Immersive Experiences. If Fulbright’s Career Development can successfully facilitate partners and students to be in the same space and provide students with a basic framework of how to engage, students can develop transformative connections through interacting with diverse partners. The ideal outcome is that these transformative connections can lead to an immersive experience (e.g., internship) where students can dig-deep on an industry, develop a particular skillset, and/or meet impactful mentors.”
What made Career Day 2021 even more special was that Fulbright students played a significant role in organizing the event themselves. Lý Minh Tú, a student intern at the Career Development office recalls: “The best moment for me as an organizer was when after the Career Day, some partners pulled me aside and told me they had met so many amazing and high-performing Fulbright students. The connection between students and industry representatives that we tried to create via this event was over-achieved thanks to the dedication and well-preparedness of our students.”