Our 5th annual Stand Out in a Global Market event took place last week in Leeds, following a successful partner event in Birmingham in October. This unique event, highlighting the wealth of international experiences on offer, enabled young people to learn more about how to get ahead in an increasingly global labour market by gaining experience abroad.
The event was held at the St George’s Centre in Leeds and welcomed students from 7 schools and colleges across Yorkshire and the Humber, as well as a variety of organisations involved in promoting studying, working and volunteering abroad. The day included information sessions, interactive workshops, an employer talk and a marketplace where young people could network and learn more about each organisation in attendance. Leeds was the perfect location to host the event and showcase the range of international opportunities available, as it is one of the major financial hubs of the UK and a city in which many global companies have strong roots and ties.
The event was designed to be as interactive as possible, so that students could personalise their experience and take away specific advice relevant to their needs. After a group icebreaker, the day started with a World Café, where students spoke with a variety of people who had recently been abroad as well as organisations that offer international experiences. This fast-paced activity, where speakers moved tables every 10 minutes, introduced students to the range of international experiences on offer as well as allowing them to ask their own questions and learn about how these organisations can help improve their career prospects. It also acted as a preview for the workshops offered later on in the day, allowing students to sign up for the session that interested them the most, a feature praised by many. Both of these activities were very popular and helped to increase students’ overall confidence in pursuing international opportunities.
The day concluded with an inspiring and insightful view into the global mind-set required in business. This presentation was delivered by Johnny Pawlik, managing director of Mantra Media, a global marketing company. Johnny shared the key characteristics he looks for in candidates when recruiting, both in terms of skillset and outlook on life, as well as his own international experiences and the entrepreneurial mind-set that has driven his success. His message emphasised the importance of pursuing what you are really interested in, and how international experiences can help you grow as a person, which in turn can lead to the development of a successful career.
Feedback from the event was overwhelmingly positive. One student remarked that they had discovered that ‘working and studying abroad is a rewarding experience’ and stated ’I’m no longer afraid, I now feel more confident about pursuing my dreams of working abroad’.
The entire tone and message of the day can be summed up by the words of another young person in attendance: ‘if you want to do something, do it – get out of your comfort zone!’