6 Ways Universities Can Connect Students and Businesses

Author: Kristina Proffitt

9th January 2018

We recently wrote about why universities need to connect students with businesses. Sharing why something is important is always worth doing, but what about the how? How do you connect students and businesses – their potential future employers? What avenues can you use to stand out from your competitors?

Networking events

Networking events are one of the best ways to meet new people, whatever industry you work in, and however old you are. By organizing networking events for students to meet potential employers, you’re not only educating students on what the industry is like, but also showing off some of your best talent.

Online networking/forum

Organizing a networking event is time-consuming. Building an online community still takes work, but you can reap the rewards for much longer. Once the groundwork has been set, the best communities run themselves.

Forums can be great places to for students to ask questions about the industry or course that they’re studying. Their questions can then be answered by fellow students, lecturers, or future employers. This helps them to network and could lead to future opportunities.

Guest lectures

Guest lectures not only help to build a business’s brand awareness, but they also build its employer brand. When a company is seen to care about the wider community and willing to share its knowledge, it makes it look good to future employees, current employees, the wider community, and investors.

Make sure that the guest speakers have a clear idea of what they want the students to take away from the presentation. It can be a great opportunity for businesses to promote innovative ways of working which will help them attract potential future employees.

If there’s a particular person/company you’d like to give a guest lecture but they’re unsure of ideas, work with them. Share some of the topics that students have been working on, as well as past presentations that have created interest and/or sparked meaningful debates. Sometimes it can also be useful to meet face-to-face. This allows you to further understand the would-be speaker’s expertise, and to help them define a topic that will resonate with students.

Sandwich years

Many courses offer sandwich years where a student does a year in their chosen industry. This gives students a feel for what it’s like in The Real World, and helps them to develop skills that the can then use in the final year of their university course.

Sandwich years also help students to form crucial contacts that they can take advantage of when they graduate. This could lead to a job offer as soon as they’ve graduated, or job offers further down the line.

Internship programs

Internship programs are another way to connect students and businesses. These can run alongside their studies, or start after graduation.

Much like sandwich years, internships help students to develop skills and meet contacts that can help with their future career growth, either by offering job opportunities or mentoring them during their journey.

University job site

More and more universities have their own job sites. These sites offer exclusive opportunities to students, giving them first refusal of exciting opportunities.

If a student is offered an interview, this can be managed from the job site itself. If the interview is calendar synced, they can generate a link to send to candidates which allows them to book their own interview, in their own time. This saves the interview panellists time and gives the student great first impressions of the company they’re interviewing for.

Visit our Real-Time Scheduling page to find out more about how you can add this to your job site.

Conclusion

There are lots of different ways to connect students and businesses. The more opportunities that you offer students to do so, the greater their chances of employment at the end of their course. This increase’s your university’s brand, as well as employment statistics, which helps to attract the best students each year.

Connecting businesses to students also saves businesses time and money. It saves them having the shortlist hundreds of candidates to find the most qualified, as the most qualified are already right in front of them. They can then use this to pick their new hire based on how we’ll they’ll fit into the company, their attitude, and their prospects.

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Kristina Proffitt

Date: 9th January 2018 | Category: Edtech