FUTURE: VFair provided USQ students the opportunity to engage with prospective employers in a virtual environment.
FUTURE: VFair provided USQ students the opportunity to engage with prospective employers in a virtual environment.

Opening world to dream job

ATTENDING career expos and networking events can go a long way toward landing a dream job, but now there's a new way for students to interact with employers anywhere in the world.

USQ recently hosted its Virtual Vacation and Volunteer Fair, also known as VFair, which was designed to connect USQ students with organisations to learn about volunteering opportunities and career prospects.

Single mother-of-two Lisa Bluhm, who is studying externally to become a teacher, was among almost 700 people to visit the VFair portal during its five-day pilot event.

While inside the virtual space, she checked out different organisations' virtual booths, accessed information about each company, viewed career information, watched videos and explored current job vacancies, internships, cadetships and vacation programs.

"I found the online portal had many great advantages, especially the fact I could view it in my own time, in my own house and take as long as I wanted without any distractions," Miss Bluhm said.

"I was very impressed by how well the portal was set-up and how easy it was to access each booth."

The virtual career fair attracted 35 organisations, including PwC, KPMG, Ernst & Young, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Suncorp Group and Volunteers Queensland.

Nick Gooding from ExxonMobil's Engineering Graduate Recruiting Team said it was great to see new technology in this space.

"I think there is a real potential once it gains more exposure. We have already received applications from your students to our vacation work program which is proof that it has been worthwhile," he said.

A major feature of the event was the Live Day, which allowed students to chat with employers in real-time.

USQ career development manager Tessa McCredie said it was exciting to see students engaging with the new technology.

"With more than 70% of our students studying online, it's vital we provide a virtual platform that offers the same benefits to students who don't have the opportunity to come on campus or travel to attend such an event," Ms McCredie said.

"While this was a pilot program, we were encouraged by the positive feedback received from employers, students and academics, and the quality of conversations between industry representatives and our students."

VFair was a joint initiative between USQ Student Services and the One University Experience Technology Demonstrator Project.

Go to www.usq.edu.au/vfair.