The Graduate Recruitment Program hosted over 20 companies to meet with students studying towards a degree in the STEM fields.

The Wits Graduate Recruitment Program (GRP) hosted a career fair for students studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics — STEM — at the Wits Science Stadium this week.  

Many companies had useful guidance to offer students such as encouraging them to not overlook interpersonal skills. “Don’t always worry about marks, sometimes having a good personality and a can-do attitude gets you in the door”, a team member from Huawei said to students who were asking about their academic performance.  

The fair is part of the work of the GRP of equipping students with useful information in different fields relating to their degree, while also encouraging all students to explore various career options. 

Recruitment agencies such as Afrizan People Intelligence, alongside big companies such as Huawei, Outsurance, and KPMG, were there, offering a range of different career choices and advice to students.  

Most of the companies focused on explaining to students what they offer if the students choose to work for them while also answering questions they might have about the field.  

Companies such as Steinmuller Africa were scouting aspiring engineers for employment while other companies such as Huawei were offering bursaries to students in computer science and information technology related fields. 

STEM Career Fair Sign on a chalkboard outside the CCDU centre next to the Wits Science Stadium, advertising the fair’s details. Photo: Georgia Cartwright

Despite the large turnout of different companies, some students were unhappy with the lack of employers in fields such as pharmaceutical and biomedical science. Zamokuhle Nhlangothi, a second-year biomedical science student told Wits Vuvuzela that he felt the event did not cater toward biomed students who are trying to get into the science industry. 

However, Ndlovu emphasizes the importance of using the event to brand yourself by speaking with the various companies and to get to know your options. 

Adding to Ndlovu’s point, GRP Officer, Bongi Ndlovu said the fair does not limit students by degree and that they must take advantage of all the opportunities provided to brand themselves because “networking is key.” 

When asked what students should do to get the most out of the fair, Sasha Riccardi, an Afrizan recruiter told Wits Vuvuzela, “Don’t be dismissive, always hear people out because you never know who holds the key to your next opportunity.” 

The fair also had a Best Company Award where students could vote for which firm they had found to be the most helpful and informative — and ABSA won the award. 

The GRP is planning three more career fairs this year that will cater to students in different fields. On May 3 and 4, for accounting students; July 21, for all degrees and on September 12 will be for students who are pursuing their postgraduate degrees.  

FEATURE IMAGE: First year Biomedical Students: Mikayla De Koker, Amel Du Preez, Sharon Manganya, Oratile Molawa, Nkateko Ntlhabyane, and Zamokuhle Nhlangothi stading and posing in front of Accenture’s stand, who were offering a multitude of careers from strategic management to consulting. Photo: Georgia Cartwright