October Event of the Month: Strathclyde Bright Futures' Annual STEM Networking Event
We have an outstanding network of students who make up our Committee Member network, running our fantastic Bright Futures Societies.
And to show off about these just a bit more, we are introducing a feature each month on our Blog, from where we have been particularly impressed by their achievements (and this is going to be difficult for us as they are all so great).
Kicking this off is our ‘Event of the Month’ for October – drum roll please. And it’s straight from the Committee themselves, so you get to hear it all first-hand.
Strathclyde Annual STEM Networking Event
What was it?
“The Strathclyde Bright Future’s STEM Networking Event 2018 brings the return of our formerly annual event. The event itself aims to provide an informative insight for younger students as to the opportunities that are available to them during their studies, in addition to a networking and professional opportunity for penultimate and graduating students – providing the ability to network with their recruiters in upcoming internship/graduate applications.
It is a Careers Fair style event, whereby nine STEM companies were invited and provided with a stall to showcase their company and professional opportunities to students. In turn, students were encouraged to approach the stalls of their choice, while Bright Futures supplied food and refreshments during the event.”
Where are when?
The event was held on the University of Strathclyde campus within the largest available STEM subject building on October 15th, 18:30 – 20:30.
Planning/ organisation for the event began during August 2018. Event orientated organisation such as funding were arranged through working with the Strathclyde Student Union. Here, the union assisted in booking the location as well as supplying on site security and funding for refreshments.
Nine STEM companies attended the event, including: Siemens, AFRC, ORE, Atkins, ExxonMobil, FirstGroup, FDM, Rolls Royce & ETC.
These contacts were approached by the responsible Committee Members with a brief event proposal. Upon interest and company availability, ongoing event progress was forwarded to ensure employer interest was maintained.
135 students are virtually registered as attended via the Strathclyde Bright Futures Connectr. However, present at the event were over 200 students from 7 different academic Schools, 36% of which were female!
Initial preparations for the event began in August, whereby the event proposal and a range of target companies were highlighted.
After engaging an interest and determining company availability for the proposed event, a draft event proposal was sent out, detailing the date, location, event purpose, targeted student audience, expected turnout and invited companies.
Once our target number of companies (five) was exceeded and room details were finalised, the marketing campaign of the event began and targeted students across a variety of platforms.
Since our introduction this summer, the Careers Service has been extremely enthusiastic towards event promotion. For this specific event, the Careers Service supported in terms of marketing the event through their own channels.
The student union providing the funding for the event, this funding was secured through Bright Future’s independent efforts whereby we provided event details, evidence of costs (catering) and highlighted the benefits we aimed to provide to the Strathclyde Student body. In addition to funding, the student union provided security for the day and organised the booking of the event location.
Ella McKay, President of Strathclyde Bright Futures:
“During my time as President, the Annual STEM Networking event has been our largest event focused in a non-Business themed context. Given that the majority of our committee possess a finance background, the event has provided an incredible opportunity to collaborate with a wide variety of inspiring companies as well as providing an insight as to how we can continue to cater to the vast range of talent that Strathclyde has to offer. The event has set the bar for the year ahead and we are looking forward to continuing on this high and continue providing Bright Futures to the Strathclyde student body.”
Strathclyde’s advice to our other Societies:
Running an event of this size requires dedicated and ongoing effort, which in our case extended to two months before the event. Although it may sound daunting, you’ll quickly find that running an event of this calibre is not ‘hard’, however it does require a team of committed individuals who are willing to put maximum effort in throughout the period.
Here are a few top tips we have highlighted that are key for networking events:
- Begin planning around 2 months before the day of event (companies take time to get back to you!)
- Begin marketing the event at least 2 weeks prior (an event this size needs a large audience! Use all tools available to you to market)
- Work with your Careers Service THEY ARE THERE TO HELP!
- Use personal contacts wherever possible, generic emails to the companies will probably be ignored. (If you don’t know anybody yet, use LinkedIn!)
- Make feedback cards that students and companies can fill out – this will be very useful for planning future events as you can reflect on comments and suggestions and implement them into your next event.
A lot of time and effort goes into running a successful event, but it is an extremely rewarding experience and you are able to develop many skills that will enhance your CV! We had great feedback from this event and would like to run more networking events like this for other disciplines i.e. business. We would HIGHLY RECOMMEND hosting events like these! Our event solidified both Bright Futures’ and MyKindaFuture’s excellent reputation to both companies and students, due to this success we now have several companies who have agreed to attend future events!
……BOOM! Well done, Strathclyde Bright Futures! We are incredibly impressed and cannot wait for the other amazing events to come over the course of this year.
Do you attend Strathclyde University and want to get involved with your Bright Futures Society and be first to hear about upcoming events and opportunities? Sign up and become a member now! Click here to register.