NTU launches first virtual Career Fair to match employers with its students
iFair adds to NTU’s annual Career Fair -- the largest by any varsity here with 175 employers offering 4,500 jobs
This year, students from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) can hunt for a job and attend job interviews, without leaving the comfort of their home or hostel room. The NTU Career Fair 2011 goes one step further this year with the first Virtual Career Fair, called the NTU iFair.
Besides the NTU iFair, the physical Career Fair also marks the biggest number of employers taking part at a job fair in a Singapore university - with a record of 175 companies.
The first of its kind for varsity students, the NTU iFair allows NTU’s undergraduates and graduate students to walk around “virtually” such a fair, review job opportunities and drop-off their resumes. Students can even enter an employer’s booth and speak face-to-face with a recruiter as if in person, but from the comfort and convenience wherever they may be.
The fully interactive 3-D virtual fair opens up a new way for tech-savvy Generation-Y students to learn about internship and job opportunities, while giving employers a real-life experience of attending a career fair for a fraction of the cost. The NTU iFair was unveiled alongside the annual physical NTU Career Fair earlier today by Dr Amy Khor, Mayor of South West District and Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources.
NTU Career Fair 2011 – Singapore’s largest varsity career fair
This year, NTU has set a new record participation rate of 175 companies. This is a big jump from last year when NTU also organised the largest career fair which attracted 109 employers.
“The strong interest by employers each year in NTU’s Career Fair is proof of the relevance and value of an NTU education. NTU has set the record again this year, with 175 employers taking part in our Career Fair this year. The number of jobs has almost doubled to 4,500 jobs,” said Mr Loh Pui Wah, NTU’s Director of Career and Attachment Office.
About 15,000 students are expected to visit the two-day Career Fair, including this year’s graduating cohort of 5,000 students.
Mr Loh said, “The NTU Career Fair has traditionally been a two-day event for participating employers. However, as we had anticipated an increase in the number of employers wanting to take part in the fair, we have changed its format this year.
“Each employer participates in one day of the fair, allowing us to feature two different groups of employers over two days. This has resulted in 60 per cent more employers taking part, with 175 employers this year, compared to 109 employers in 2010. We have also extended the opening hours to 6.30pm, instead of 5.30pm, to give students more time to visit the fair.”
NTU’s iFair to run from 14 March 2011
NTU’s iFair is intended to complement the university’s physical Career Fair by reaching out beyond graduating students, to all NTU undergraduates and graduate students. The iFair will feature online live chats with participating employers at selected hours. These chats can be done via webcam, voice or text. Employers can even conduct video interviews with students from the office. After 18 March 2011, the iFair will continue to be accessible until 30 June 2011, except for the online chat features.
Explaining the value of NTU’s Virtual Career Fair, Mr Loh says, “This new iFair is a wonderful and convenient way for the entire student body at NTU to know more about the exciting internship and job opportunities beyond our conventional two-day Career Fair. Through the iFair, our students who are currently on overseas attachments or who might not have time to visit the physical Fair because of their classes, will still be able to meet with about 50 prospective employers. Employers also benefit, as they can customise their booths to suit their brand, and link up with their potential new hires without incurring high recruitment costs.”
“I also foresee a higher level of engagement at the iFair, compared to what one usually finds at a normal job fair. In most cases, people simply wander around and pick up literature from traditional exhibition booths, whereas through the iFair there will be genuine interaction between the visitors and those monitoring the booths. While nothing can quite replace the effectiveness of a real face-to-face interview, this makes for a different kind of close interaction,” Mr Loh says.
Students secure jobs 6 months before graduation
The iFair represents the latest addition to NTU’s already extensive slate of career services for students. Last year, NTU introduced its Talent Site that enables graduating students to submit their resumes online, including short introductory video-clips of themselves directly to employers. Another initiative, NTU Talent Quest, leverages on Talent Site, by enabling employers to profile themselves to students online, post job openings, receive applications and schedule interviews online.
Such initiatives are showing results with students from the Class of 2011 having already found their dream jobs even before their final exams and way before their graduation this July. One such student is Ms Sylvia Lim Wan Ying, 22, from the Nanyang Business School’s direct honours Bachelor of Business programme. In November 2010, she was hired as a Human Resource (HR) Analyst at Deutsche Bank and will command a salary of between $3,000 and $4,000 – making her a top-earner among her peers of fresh graduates. She is expected to start work in July.
Ms Lim says, “In Year 1, all students at Nanyang Business School had to do different foundation modules, and I found that I deeply enjoyed Organisational Management and Tourism & Hospitality Management. So at the end of my first year, I decided to specialise in both HR and tourism, after getting plenty of good advice from my professors.
“I believe I will learn a lot more at Deutsche Bank, as I will get to serve a few functions on a rotating basis within the HR department during my first two years there. This will give me more opportunities to learn on the job, instead of being limited to just one specialist function in another company. I am also looking forward to go on a month-long induction programme in London, and join my peers from the Bank’s international offices.”
Six major employers honoured
Six major employers of NTU students were also honoured by the University at the opening of the Career Fair this morning. They are:
• Agency for Science, Technology & Research
• DSO National Laboratories
• Keppel Offshore & Marine
• PSA Corporation Ltd
• Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
• ST Engineering Limited
These employers have recruited a total of 100 or more students from the graduating cohorts over a five-year period from 2005 to 2009. This is in addition to 15 employers that were honoured in last year’s Career Fair.
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Feisal Abdul Rahman
Senior Assistant Director (Publicity, Media & Account Relations)
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Tel: 6790 6687
About Nanyang Technological University