Digital fair connects job-seeking students with global companies

One of the largest career fairs at Jönköping University (JU), Nextstep, took place online on Tuesday 2 March. Organised by students from Jönköping International Business School (JIBS) and the School of Engineering (JTH), the fair included live chats, presentations, and a new digital headhunting feature for participating multinational companies.

“We actually believe that this new format will result in more jobs for our students as Nextstep’s digital platform has made the job-hunting aspect more streamlined and focused,” says Emelie Ramsö, a JIBS student and one of the Nextstep Project Managers.

A laptop open with startpage of Nextstep digital career fair on the screen.

The start page of the Nextstep digital career fair, where 25 companies were present to virtually connect with JU students.

On entering the digital lobby of the Nextstep career fair on Tuesday morning, 2 March, JU students found 25 companies waiting to meet them. Clicking on a company’s ‘digital stall’, participants could not only join live chats and organise personal video calls with the company representatives, but also see specific jobs that the company had available.

Two students stand in front of a laptop, filming themselves in a room with a black backdrop.

Nextstep Project Managers Emelie Ramsö and Kalle Norrman, livestream from the Nextstep studio at JIBS.

“When I logged onto the fair, I could see which jobs matched my profile. This got me interested in careers that I hadn’t considered before, which was important for me,” said John Marthinson, a third year JIBS student. “It’s been stressful trying to find a job in the middle of a pandemic. I really needed this fair as it’s given me a chance to personally connect with companies.”

Companies able to reach wider audience

Throughout the day, there also were five live presentations from the accounting firm Mazars, Jönköping-based holding company Herenco, Science Park, Länsförsäkringar and the tech company Lime.

“The advantage of this digital platform is that the companies were able to reach all the fair-goers at the same time. For example, all of the students got a pop-up message when a live presentation started, and this meant that more students got to attend the talks. In a physical arena, it’s not possible to lead all the students to the stage area in the same way,” says Kalle Norrman, Nextstep Project Manager.

JU students could drop in to ‘visit’ companies' via their digital stall, such as this one belonging to Husqvarna Group.

Targeted headhunting

Nextstep used the Graduateland career portal for this year’s virtual event. Their system offers a ‘sourcing tab’ feature which allows companies to filter for graduates with a particular education or experience and could approach them via a video chat to talk about specific career opportunities.

“I’ve talked to many good candidates at Nextstep,” says Linda Petersson, Learning Coordinator at Husqvarna Group. “We wanted to promote our trainee program and were able to use the source tab to filter for students graduating in 2022. It’s very important for Husqvarna Group to have this career fair in Jönköping, and to be involved with the university like this. We will definitely participate next year, whether the fair is a virtual event or not.”