Developing a toolkit for employability

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Bulletin speaks to Student Development Manager Katerina Chatziioannou-Faulds about next year’s Employability Skills Expo event, which aims to provide an opportunity for students to gain insights into a variety of career paths, and network with professionals.

Employers want more than graduates with degrees; they want graduates with a wide range of skills and attributes who can thrive in the world of work. There are a range of opportunities for students to develop their employability during their time at the University of Edinburgh such as the Employability Skills Expo event which will be held on 31 January 2024.

The event is organised collaboratively by the Student Development Team and the Events team at the Business School, and will consist of careers skills development workshops and advice, panel discussions and industry insights across a variety of sectors.

“I tell students that if they put a penny in a jar every time they hear me mention ‘networking’ they will be rich by the time they graduate,” says Katerina Chatziioannou-Faulds, a Student Development Manager at the University’s Business School. 

“For me, the expo is a fabulous opportunity for students, business and staff to network with each other. It means the students I work with can be connected with what’s going on in the business world.  

“I love that we get our academics and staff involved too. The value of bringing everyone together is what is important to me, personally.” 


Preparing for the future

The event will help students to develop their employability skills by giving them the opportunity to ask recruitment professionals questions, advance their knowledge and skills, seek out new opportunities, and sharpen their competitive edge. 

Participation in the event offers benefits for students of the Business School, such as it counting towards the Edinburgh Awards for Professional Development, Global Employability and Effective and Responsible Leadership.

Katerina says: “The event will help students to understand what is important when it comes to presenting themselves to employers and putting themselves out there on the job market. And they hear it from ‘the horse’s mouth’ as it were – the business professionals who are currently involved in hiring – whether that is directly or indirectly. 

“This is an opportunity for students to grow their professional network and meet professionals who are currently working in the roles and sectors they are interested in going into. For those students who aren’t sure what their next career move is, it gives them an opportunity to get inspired, and understand a little more of what is out there in terms of sectors, roles and companies.” 

Learning from success

Last year’s event attracted more than 500 students, from the Business School and the wider University. This resulted in more than 1,400 sign-ups to the workshops, masterclasses, and panel discussions, which involved more than 25 international, national, and local businesses and organisations including Google, Capco, Webhelp, NatWest and the UN. 

James Saville, the University’s Director of Human Resources said: “I thoroughly enjoyed being a small part of this event. There were excellent questions from a highly motivated group of students.” 

Sandra Dunn, Talent Development Manager at WebHelp, said: “What a fantastic event! The students we met were so engaged and enthusiastic, and really made the most of the opportunity to get some hands-on experience of a group exercise in the workshops we hosted.”  

Katerina says she wants this year’s Employability and Careers Expo to build on the success of last year’s event: “The feedback last year was fantastic from all angles. “Students, businesses and staff alike loved the energy and excitement of the 2023 expo. People met each other, spoke, listened, learned and really gained value from the event.”

Katerina says a lot of planning has gone into the event: “I think the greatest challenge in organising the expo has been coordinating all the people who are involved in planning and executing it. Our amazing events team at the Business School are instrumental in making this happen, as are our equally amazing comms team, and of course, the team I work in – Student Development.  

“The event is a super example of how we can collaborate, work together and make the magic happen here at the Business School.” 

Find out more

University of Edinburgh Business School