NZ Careers Expo

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AUCKLAND, Today: NZ’s Media Design School has joined forces with 40 higher education institutions – including all eight NZ universities – to organise the nation’s first ever virtual careers expo.

The Virtual Careers Expo will take place in one week – on Thursday 18 and Friday 19 June – and the promoters hope to attract thousands of students, parents and careers advisors from across the country.

Participating institutions include Media Design School, AUT, the University of Auckland, Otago University and Massey University, plus a host of top vocational providers, private tertiary colleges, polytechnics and wananga.

The intention is to offer an experience similar to what school leavers would encounter at the annual careers expos in their cities, as well as at the careers evenings that would normally be hosted by their schools. 

MDS country director Ruth Cooper said: “The guiding principle here is that this year’s school leavers will be experiencing a significant gap in information access because of cancellations and delays.

“The same concept was delivered in Australia last month by Torrens University, attracting 20,000 registrations from across the country.”

“Normally, the students would attend an expo and be presented with the majority of New Zealand’s higher education institutions exhibiting. The students would walk around, guided by their interests, engaging with providers and having constructive conversations about their futures,” she said.

“But now, we will have a platform that allows those interactions to take place online. Not just that, it will have a national focus, offering a more diverse range of options than they would perhaps encounter at a regional expo.”

The same concept was delivered in Australia last month by Media Design School’s partner institution, Torrens University, a privately owned Adelaide institution, which attracted more than 20,000 registrations from across the country.

This iteration, delivered by Media Design School (in partnership with Torrens University), will see attendees enter a virtual ‘exhibition hall’. They will be able to browse through the participating providers, visit their virtual stands and engage in live chats with representatives from each institution.

“Covid-19 has driven amazing innovation and agility.”

Ruth Cooper: “Just like at a real-life careers expo, they will have the opportunity to attend scheduled presentations. Each provider will host a 20-minute webinar session, where attendees can participate in a live Q&A.”

Cooper said students and their parents will have rich experiences exploring campuses online.

“They will be able to interact and view video content. They will get a real feel for the institutions and their programme offerings, just as they would be able to do in a physical expo. The ability to assess career options, moving seamlessly from institution to institution in a single space, cannot be underestimated.”

For a generation of school leavers who are considered to be ‘digital natives’, there’s a strong feeling among providers that this event will set a precedent for the future.

MDS/Torrens employability director Himanshu Khanna said: “This is the new normal.

“Covid-19 has been a major upheaval for educators, but it’s driven amazing innovation and agility too.

“Around the world, many students are engaging in virtual learning experiences for the very first time. It’s only fitting that the tools for making these crucial decisions be accessible online as well.”

  • View a list of participating institutions here

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