Students love to interact with their peers. I had a chance to observe this in action during some events held here on campus. Career Services organized an event for students to share their experiences from their Experiential Education (Co-op or Internship) with students 1 or 2 years behind them. To facilitate the discussion, students described what they learned while out working. Afterwards, students displayed posters sharing their work experiences.
Giving students a chance to network with each other changes the entire dynamics of the conversation. The style of the questions was dramatically different than the typical Career Fair interaction. These conversations were more informal, more relaxed, and more conversational. Why the big difference? Students were talking to their peers? Students on both sides of the table were were excited to learn, excited to share, and willing to “tell the truth” from their experiences.
What was most amazing to me was that after 3 or 6 or 8 months working for a company, our students were able to articulate the work culture and environment at their company. They were just as passionate about the company they worked for as a seasoned member of the recruiting team.
This is an event that is easy to over-think or over-complicate. Essentially, we invited students to make posters and asked them to share with their colleagues. The rest of the interactions were unscripted and some of the most educational programming we have available to our students.
For pictures from the event, check out our Flickr page.