FHWS and Universität Würzburg GmbH join forces: FHWS is a partner for the “study&stay” job fair – even under the coronavirus conditions. But everyone involved has benefited.
Where do I find a suitable internship position or a working student placement? Just graduated and what now? These are questions that students ask. That's why Universität Würzburg GmbH for education and campus services launched the “study&stay” job fair in 2012.
This year, FHWS participated in the “study&stay” job fair together with the University of Würzburg as a partner. FHWS and the university both benefited from the job fair. Both students and companies have a wider selection of job offers or potential applicants. Ideally, the job fair would take place in two large marquees in Hubland but this, as so much, was not possible owing to the pandemic.
Virtual for the first time
In 2019, there were more than 3,000 visitors and 75 exhibitors were represented in a roughly 1,700 m2 exhibition space. At the time, no-one could have guessed that everything would change in 2020. In late summer 2020, Uni-Würzburg GmbH decided to run the job fair online owing to the worsened coronavirus situation, Monika Hahn from the Department of Public Affairs and Communications at FHWS recounts.
For this reason, the number of exhibitors also could not be compared with the numbers from the previous year. Around 43 exhibitors, including FHWS, the University of Würzburg and Universität Würzburg GmbH, were there.
FHWS itself had six employees available on the day of the job fair to answer questions and provide suggestions and tips. Student advisor Elmar Kemmer answered general questions on starting studies and choice of degree programme, in particular for master’s programmes. Vice president for research Prof. Dr. Jürgen Hartmann took questions on doctorates at FHWS. Laura Schnaus from the FHWS Career Service explained how to act professionally in various application situations and how to prepare for staff selection processes. Sandra Zitzow-Zwosta from the Campus for Professional Development and Language Proficiency was available to answer questions on foreign language learning or training courses. General questions about FHWS were answered by Monika Hahn from the Department of Public Affairs and Communications. Sonja Ehrenfels was able to provide answers to specific enquiries, particularly on the topic of women and doctorates, as assistant to the women’s affairs officer.
Positive feedback from the companies
The feedback from the companies has all been positive to date, says Thorsten Stegh, “study&stay” organiser from Universität Würzburg GmbH. “People were very satisfied, particularly with the organisation of the event, the stability and functionality of the platforms and the quality of the applicants.”
The organisers considered ways, especially for this format, to get exhibitors and students talking to each other. Thus, in addition to the possibility of chats, video calls and phone calls, there were also company presentations which were particularly well received in the virtual version. Organiser Stegh emphasises: “At the online job fair, the number of audience members always fluctuated between 50 and 80, which is extremely high for talks which are not mandatory.”
Online job fairs cannot be compared with in-person job fairs
So-called “match-making meetings” were also conducted. Here, applicants were put in touch with the right contacts from companies, according to their profile, in meeting boxes with the help of an applicant database. The goal was direct personal interaction. This was also used very heavily, according to Thorsten Stegh. He continues: “But it should be noted that an in-person job fair and an online job fair cannot be compared with each other.”
Laura Schnaus sees it similarly: “Overall, I look forward to hopefully being able to be at a job fair in person again soon. Personal contact on site is something different entirely, and the straightforward interaction between the exhibitors also could not be implemented at the virtual job fair.” As a result, her wish for future online job fairs would be a virtual break room in which the exhibitors could have conversations with one another.
Recipe for success
Nevertheless, FHWS and Uni-Würzburg GmbH expressed their satisfaction with the virtual job fair. “FHWS and the uni complement each other very well with regard to the range of subjects and focus. As a result, more companies can be approached. A wide range of industries are available to visitors to the job fair,” says Thorsten Stegh. Laura Schnaus is also sure that students could benefit from this job fair in the future: “The large and diverse selection of employers opens up even more possibilities for students at FHWS when it comes to their professional future!”
Interested parties can of course find information and prepare before the day of the job fair. The organisers also stand ready with tips for the day of the job fair itself and the subsequent follow-up phase.
(Screenshot from https://studyandstay.graduateland.com/de/virtual-event/4243/webinar/926)