What do you want to be when you grow up? What may seem like a simple question is difficult for many students to answer. If you are not training for a specific profession and can enter a different field after you graduate, how do you find out what your options are and what is right for you? The Beta Business Days (BBD) have been helping students answer these questions and more for over thirty years.
On Tuesday 7 and Wednesday 8 February, students from the Faculty of Science and Engineering of the University of Groningen were once again given the opportunity to visit the annual BBD at MartiniPlaza. Two whole days of activities that bring together students and potential employers.
One such activity was the business expo around the bar in the main foyer. Like at a market, visitors could wander around with a cup of coffee or a legendary broodje kroket and stop for a natter with various employers about placements, final-year projects or even potential jobs.
From here a corridor led to the smaller rooms where the other activities were taking place. Here students could find out about the participating businesses in presentations, an entertaining lunch or even a personal interview. There was also a focus on self-development in training sessions and workshops. For instance, visitors could find out what recruiters look for in a CV and cover letter, and what kind of questions to expect in a job interview.
In the job interview workshop, student volunteers role-played job interviews in front of the group, with the recruiter asking typical (‘What are your strengths?’) and less typical (‘If you were a pencil and were put in a blender, what would you look like afterwards?’) questions. This was followed by instant feedback from the professionals and students present. One of the students was told that she came across a lot better when she was waving her hands about than when she had them neatly folded in her lap, as she did at the start.
The target audience of the event was Master’s students who will soon graduate, giving them the opportunity to do some serious networking and discover their possibilities. But it was also interesting for Bachelor’s students – like the student who is doing a double Bachelor’s degree (Mathematics and Physics) and doesn’t know which Master’s programme to choose. He came to the BBD to discover which sector would best suit his interests. This should help him choose the right Master’s programme.
The BBD is a low-threshold event that gives students and employers the opportunity to get to know each other in an intimate and active setting. What better way to end the event than with a cold beer and a hot bitterbal? Both days ended with live music and drinks at the business expo. Here students could ask those last burning questions and exchange their contact details with recruiters. With goodie bags full of leaflets, business cards, chocolate bars and a free bottle opener, the students cycled off home with a better idea of what they want to do when they grow up.
Beta Business Days
Participating businesses 2017
Article: Natascha Koelewijn, Science LinX
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