120 alumni, students and staff travelled from as far afield as London and Italy to take part in the second event of this kind, bringing together guests with a variety of University experiences for an informal dinner to talk about careers and employability as a new graduate.
12 dinner tables took place simultaneously, with the Colleges of Arts and Law, Medical and Dental Sciences, Engineering and Physical Sciences and Social Sciences, as well as Access to Birmingham scholarships, the HoneyPot scheme, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Birmingham Business School and Birmingham. For life, all represented on tables.
Sharing their experiences of the workplace, alumni were able to offer practical advice to current students through lively discussions. Michael Cox, 3rd year Medicine student, said that the event was a real “insight into the world of medicine after graduation” and Tosin Omilaju, 3rd year Law student, said she “was able to develop my networking skills and meet people from different disciplines and backgrounds”.
Students quizzed alumni on making the transition from University to the workplace and alumni enjoyed hearing about life at Birmingham today. David Smith (2009 Executive MBA) said it was a “great opportunity to give something back” to current students and David Shore (1984 MBChB Medicine) said that it was “great to establish contact with undergraduates and pass on contacts”.
Practical feedback on developing career provision for students and how key skills could be built into academic courses were areas of keen interest to academic and careers staff. Dr Michael Gammage, MBChB Programme Director, said that he had gained some “valuable ideas from alumni and students on course changes” and Abigail Hall, Enterprise Consultant at Entrepreneurship & Innovation said that the evening was an “excellent opportunity to gain cross-University ideas/views to further the enterprise debate”.
Following the event, a number of alumni have offered their time to volunteer as mentors and students have already followed up on contacts made on the evening and offers of work experience.
Thank you to everyone who took part in this insightful and interesting event, especially on such a cold and icy evening.
If you are interested in attending a future ‘Table for Ten’, please send your details in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. There are a number of other ways you can support our current students, from attending a networking event for them to practice their technique, to speaking at a careers afternoon. For details of all of the volunteering opportunities available to alumni, please visit http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/alumni/getinvolved/volunteering.aspx.
Alternatively, to network with fellow University of Birmingham alumni join our group on LinkedIn.