The Festival of Future You (FOFY)
The UTS:Careers Festival of Future You (FOFY), is a month long careers-festival that works as both:
- An awareness and an engagement initiative of UTS:Careers with students
- A platform to inspire students’ career passions, and equip them with the skills and knowledge needed to be career-ready!
The inaugural festival took place throughout the month of August 2016, and UTS:Careers engaged with over 6500 students, as a direct result of FOFY activities. Throughout FOFY, UTS:Careers held 23 unique sessions/events; they ran an 18 Day Online Careers Challenge; there were 3 separate Careers Fairs; and they held 5 different faculty-specific events.
FOFY Video Wrap Up
Demonstrated benefit to tertiary students, graduate employers and/or tertiary institutions
Benefit to Tertiary Students_
Students who engaged with the inaugural Festival of Future You, benefitted in a range of different ways, depending on which elements of FOFY that they took part in. Throughout the month students had the opportunity to:
- Prepare themselves for the Internship and Graduate Recruitment process, by participating in ‘Ready Set Grad!’ Ready, Set, Grad is a one-day event designed to help students prepare for the UTS: Internship Fair and the recruitment processes involved in securing an Internship or Graduate role. The event covers the various stages of preparing for and attending a Careers Fair, applying for internship or graduate roles and the recruitment processes involved.
- Familiarise themselves with new learning facilities, by undertaking the “UTS:Careers New Office Tour!” To find out more, YOU can take the virtual tour here:
UTS:Careers Virtual Office Tour
- Learn how they can utilise the online resources LinkedIn offers, to stand out from the crowd and maximise their networking success, by participating in the “LinkedIn Master Class” – an event which was run by Chris Jones and Michael Hosking, Customer Success Managers for LinkedIn.
- Connect with leading professionals and discover the plethora of opportunities that are available in the Engineering, IT and Construction Industries, by participating in the “Engineering, IT and Construction Careers Fair”.
- Network with organisations, and discover the raft of opportunities available to students who are looking to undertake an internship or volunteering opportunity, at the Internship and Volunteering Fair.
- Be inspired by Layne Beachley’s story of how she managed to overcome adversity in her career, to become the successful national icon she is today, by participating in “Conquering Career Challenges with Layne Beachley AO”. In this session, Layne Beachley AO, (7X World Championship surfer and founder of the Layne Beachley Foundation Aim for the Stars) came into UTS to give the students insight and advice, and eventually left them inspired and highly motivated to take action towards where they want to go.
- Gain insight into what life is like, working for a cause, and not just a company, by participating in the exclusive event for Global Studies Students: So You Want to Work for a Cause, Not Just a Company. This UTS:Careers event brought together an experienced group of people to share their insights on the different paths you can take to finding work that is meaningful to you and also makes a positive difference in the world. Representatives from Amnesty International Australia, Youth Food Movement, Oxfam, GetUp, and The World Bank attended and panelled the event.
- Greatly improve their networking skills, by participating in the Careers Networking Night, run by Julia Palmer, a highly regarded Networking Strategist, who specialises in teaching people how to take their networking skills to the next level.
- Develop greater Emotional Intelligence by participating in “Emotional Intelligence Intensive” – an hour long session run by the Australian Institute of Management, which aimed at helping participants understand human interpersonal interactions and how they can be aware of and able to control their own emotions and behaviours, as key skills to master for career success.
- Get their resume reviewed or drop in to see one of our Recruitment Advisors at various points around campus, with our pop-up drop-in services. The pop-up drop-in days are a great way to reach students who wouldn’t normally make the effort to travel to the particular building that UTS:Careers is usually located in. It’s also a great opportunity for UTS:Careers to gain exposure in front of a whole cohort of students that potentially don’t even know that UTS:Careers exists.
- Get some styling tips at “Dress for Success”. This session saw stylist and fashion mentor, Wendy Mak, come into the Uni and teach the students how to dress for success in all situations, industries and job settings.
- Explore their entrepreneurial intrigue at the first ever “Start Up Careers Fair”. Startups are quickly becoming one of the most popular types of companies to work for – offering new opportunities, experiences and environments not often seen in more traditional workplaces. Connecting with these companies can be difficult, and this Fair served as the perfect conversation-starter for students and employers alike.
- Learn how to couple their passions for the start-up world and doing work that is socially conscious, by participating in “Start-Up Socially” - a Business event that was aimed to help students understand the importance of businesses and entrepreneurs being socially conscious, especially in their early stage.
- Get exposed to the full spectrum of careers available with a law degree, by participating in Careers Beyond Corporate Law. This event featured leaders in the government and not for profit spaces, who engageed with students throughout a QandA discussion and networking.
- Discover various career paths that are available to them as a result of undertaking a ‘Higher Degree by Research’, at the the night time event: Utilising your PG Study to Advance your Career. - Gain valuable information in regards to Internships, and how to put their best foot forward towards attaining an internship, by attended the Festival Finale at the Flicks event, and also engaging with the 18 Day online Careers Challenge.
- Plus lots more.
Benefit to Graduate Employers_
This Festival provides Graduate Employers with much more opportunity to get in front of, and interact with UTS Students. Not only has the number of opportunities for employers to come on campus increased, but also developed, has been a range of new and innovative ways in which employers can interact with students. For example, Graduate Employers were invited to provide written and filmed content for students to consume throughout the FOFY 18 Day Online Careers Challenge.
Furthermore, due to the high levels of student engagement with FOFY, throughout August, Graduate Employers are working with UTS students that are more career-focussed and aware than other periods throughout the year.
As the Festival continues to grow each year, we anticipate that there will be even more opportunity for Graduate Employers to participate, which will be of great benefit to the Employer, the Student and the Institution.
Benefit for Tertiary Education_
The Festival of Future You has helped UTS:Careers reach and engage with more students than ever, throughout this time of year. Throughout August 2016 alone, UTS:Careers reached 11% more students than the whole of July – December 2015. As a result, the perceived benefit for UTS, is that with more students using the UTS:Careers service, there will be more students graduating from University, with a higher level of career-readiness than before.
Potentially or currently benefits the NAGCAS organisation, its members and the career development industry
The Festival of Future You is a project that could definitely benefit the NAGCAS organisation, its members and the career development industry, as it serves as a positive case study for improving student engagement with a University's Careers Service.
There are a number of other takeaways for NAGCAS stakeholders, and in particular, there's a lot to take-away from the range of innovative approaches UTS:Careers used when reaching and educating students.
- The Festival displayed the benefits of utilising a good mixture of digital and in-person delivery of content.
- The Festival displayed the benefits of partnering with external organisations and industry professionals, when producing content delivery
- The Festival displayed the benefits of incorporating well-known, influential figures into events and sessions
- The Festival showed that by grouping a number of activities together, and packaging these activities into the one common 'mission', greater student participation and greater word of mouth was generated.
A degree of innovation
A number of the sessions and events that were run throughout FOFY had been run sporadically throughout previous years.
The first degree of innovation was creating a platform (the Festival) that enabled UTS:Careers to run all of these activities in close proximity to each other. By doing this, it meant UTS:Careers could promote activities with an additional level of excitement and energy, as each activity was perceived to be a part of a larger mission (the Festival). This in turn, generated more word of mouth amongst the students for not only the individual events but also for the Festival as an individual talking point itself. Ultimately "The Festival" factor gave students more reason to talk, and spread the Careers-message.
- The second degree of innovation could be seen through the extensive use of digital resources in FOFY
- From the unique website created especially for the Festival, to the 18 Day Online Careers Challenge that enabled students to participate in the Festival from anywhere they were. At UTS:Careers, we understand that in order to reach and engage as many students as possible, and to keep pace with today's digital culture, there has to be a heavy digital presence, and we have to innovate and provide options that will appeal to today's busy and fast-paced students.
- The third degree of innovation, was that, more than ever, we invested in brining in high quality 'influencers' to present and participate as brand ambassadors for the Careers Service. Layne Beachley AO was a great example of this, when she presented a 1 hour keynote on Conquering Career Challenges. Her session was right near the start of the Festival, and by associating the FOFY 'Brand' with this already, highly respected 'influencer', people automatically felt positively towards the Festival and it set a great tone for the rest of the month.