Our annual Stand Out in a Global Market event series has been taking place throughout the autumn, and last week was particularly exciting as after three successful years in West Yorkshire, it saw the event expand its reach to the Humber region.
Setting the scene for the day’s international theme, the event was hosted at a venue which welcomes audiences from across the globe every year, Hull’s KCOM Stadium. Over 60 students from various schools and colleges across the Humber attended the event for a day of information sessions, interactive workshops, networking activities and employer talks. The event opened with an exploration of Hull’s international roots, from its maritime heritage to its current position as UK City of Culture 2017; and this provided both students and staff with a great insight into how valuable global experiences are in helping to develop the transferable skills which are in demand in the local area.
“As the UK City of Culture 2017, there seemed no place more apt to host the event than in Hull”, explains Caroline Harrison, CEO of aspire-igen. “Hull’s expanding industries and cultural repositioning means that there is increasing demand locally for staff who have international experience”. The theme of ‘International Hull’ got students thinking about how their home city is a key player in the UK’s global economy and how gaining experience abroad would help give them an edge in today’s competitive labour market.
Throughout the day, delegates also heard from students recently back from their placements abroad and got chance to ask them lots of questions about their experiences and recommendations in the World Café. The social networking activity proved popular among delegates, with many stating that the event has given them increased confidence in pursuing an overseas placement either before or as part of their higher education studies.
A real highlight from the day’s activities was an inspiring talk led by the event’s keynote speaker, Dr Kirsty Clode, Chair of Women into Manufacturing and Engineering (WiME). Kirsty shared her international experiences of working for BP across America and Asia with the students, as well as explaining how important employability- and inter-cultural communication skills are fostered through undertaking experiences abroad. Kirsty also gave an inspiring insight into the world of women in manufacturing and engineering, an industry in which the male-to-female ratio is severely unbalanced.
Feedback from the event has been incredibly positive, with one student commenting, “I have learnt that there are many kinds of international opportunities available which can help me gain the skills and experience needed when applying for jobs.”
“The key message of students stepping out of their comfort zone through exploring their options abroad is one which is not only important at this moment in time, but one which will continue to be important as the UK’s relationship with the rest of Europe evolves in the coming years, and it’s events like Stand Out in a Global Market which help students not only realise their potential but also how they can go above and beyond it”, concludes Caroline.
Video footage of the event will soon be available on the aspire-international YouTube channel.