Monday 2 December

Usually the domain of universities, Careers Fairs are an effective way of bringing students and graduates together with potential employers. 

This year NZMA decided to host their own Careers Fair – and it was such an overwhelming success that it’s now set to be an annual event.

The October Fair drew more than 600 students and recent graduates from across all of NZMA’s campuses, as well as 27 employers from a range of industries, including Millennium Hotels, Accor Hotels, The Hilton, Heritage, Coca-Cola Amatil, Fisher & Paykel and Ice Professionals.  Numerous students landed jobs and interviews as a result of the day and employers had the chance to check out the talent first-hand.

Gareth Brown – team leader of NZMA’s employment service, NZMA Careers – says events like these are great opportunities for both students and employers.

“For our employer partners, it was a way of lifting their profile as future employers, while at the same time meeting a large number of NZMA students and graduates.  For the students, the Fair presented them with new job opportunities and was a great way for them to improve their interview skills and build confidence.  It also gave them an insight into who they might like to work for in the future,” said Gareth.

Thirty-two year old hospitality student Nicole Stevens agreed.

“Not only did the Careers Fair provide lots of opportunities, but the information I took away from the day has been extremely valuable for potential jobs I’ve been applying for.”

Nicole is studying Level 4 Hospitality at NZMA.  She already works as a supervisor at Alexandra Park – but with graduation looming, she’s on the hunt for a full-time role.

“Even the lead-up to the Fair was useful because I had to update my CV and think about interview questions and my strengths and weaknesses.  I gained two job interviews from the Fair - one resulted in a job offer and the other I’m waiting to hear back from.  It was amazing,” she said.

Held at NZMA’s Auckland Central Campus, the event included a mini culinary fare with barista, cocktail and table setting competitions.  This enabled employers to see the students in action and evaluate their skills first-hand.  Already, 60 percent of the employers have indicated they’ll be back next year.

One of those employers was Talent Sourcing Manager for Ice Professionals, Dean Govender.

“The Careers Fair was very worthwhile, I would highly recommend it,” he said.

“Our organisation saw it as an opportunity to engage with some excellent talent where they are most comfortable.  The candidates were able to relax and show us exactly what they could offer. We met some great students, and their tutors and staff were on hand to act as live references.  We hired some new staff as a result and definitely intend to return next year.”