On Wednesday 12th July, the Westminster Business School held the Employer Networking Event, where the school opened its doors to network and share knowledge and practices in the global job market. The evening was filled with insightful talks delivered by Westminster staff and guest speakers, working with the Business Experience Team on their employability programmes.

Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Westminster Business School, Professor Malcolm Kirkup opened the evening by welcoming everyone to the event and discussing what makes Westminster Business School stand out, from being voted the most diverse university in the UK to its exciting projects such as our new industry standard MBA boardroom being built right on campus.

Professor Malcolm Kirkup welcomes guests to the WBS Networking Event (right) Featuring Nuala O’Sullivan and Caroline Lloyd (left to right).

We were then joined by Caroline Lloyd, Director of Libraries and Curriculum Support and Nuala OSullivan, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Human Resources and Management, who is also the Senior Employability Coordinator. They both discussed the numerous services on offer at the university to help with employability and learning support.

Network tables.

After the introduction and welcome talks by staff, our guest speakers took to the podium. We were thrilled to be joined by Costanza Fazi, Events & Partnerships Manager at Magma Group, Young Film Academy and Careers Development Centre’s Employer of the Year; Dave Verma, Alumnus and Anti Fraud Manager at Brent Council and Liliya Grechinawho was once a WBS  student and is now a full time Insights Manager at OMD EMEAa company where she completed her internship as a Postgraduate student.

(From left to right) Liliya Grechina, Costanza Fazi & Dave Verma.

Costanza was the first to talk about her experience of working with Westminster Business School on the Undergraduate International Internship Programme, which she couldn’t speak more highly of. She discussed how her company benefited from the energy and support of the student interns. This was then followed by a talk from Dave Verma, who was once himself a student at the university and has stayed in touch with our amazing alumni team and network. He is now active as a Postgraduate Mentor and has been awarded a Mentor of the Year at the Westminster Distinctiveness AwardsThe guest talks were finished by Liliya Grechina who was an intern student herself working for the company that she now holds a permanent position at.

Liliya is the perfect example of how the internship program benefits students, allowing them hands on industry experience leading them to employability. Liliya is now an internship employer herself, offering the same opportunities she had as a student here: “It was exciting to be a speaker at the event of the business school where I took a Masters. I’m grateful for the experience of studying at the WBS and the opportunity I got there.” – Liliya Grechina.

Liliya Grechina talking about her experience from a Westminster placement student to an Insights Manager at OMD EMEA.

As talks drew to a close, the floor was opened to questions for the panel and a roundtable discussion lead by Nuala O’Sullivan, discussing qualities sought in student candidates, ideas on how the Westminster Business School could prepare its student population for working in the industry, as well as challenges of the global job market, including the role of universities and organisations in transitioning to the post-Brexit market. The evening was interactive, allowing everyone time to discuss and participate in discussions.

A guest asks the panel a question.

Current Mentor and Business Development Director at Amity Communications/Capita Translation and Interpreting, Michael Ellis summarized the evening;

“Another wonderful inspiring employer networking event, so good to see and hear from the Westminster team and fellow employers, mentors and students. This is why it works! A great feeling of togetherness, team spirit, awareness and a desire to be part of something special, thank you to everyone involved”

Guest participation.

The evening then finished with networking drinks. The room buzzed with conversation and excitement as they continued their discussions while enjoying refreshments.

Current internship employer and Director at Little Hands Design, Astrid Jacoby said;

“Attending the networking event was not only a great place to meet other businesses and network but also gave us the wider context and understanding of the importance of the internship scheme at The University of Westminster. Meeting the organisers and staff face to face is an invaluable part of building up long term relationships and we are now all the more committed to offer young people the opportunity to play a role in our company as part of their education!”

Networking drinks.

Iweta Baran, Internships Coordinator at the Business Experience Team, concluded the evening by encouraging attendees to network and emphasizing that the University recognizes and appreciates the value of partnerships we create to support student in their professional development.

Guests networking.

Thank you to the Business Experience Team and Nuala OSullivan for organising the event and thank you to Caroline Lloyd and the Dean, Malcolm Kirkup as well as our guest speakers and to all of the staff who helped create such a fantastic evening.

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