The October edition of the EFMD Global Fairs by Highered has come to a successful close. The event which was created initially in the virtual space, went hybrid and was hosted by EAE Business School Barcelona (Spain), from October 18-20. In the words of EFMD Global’s Manager of the Virtual Career Fair Series, Jean-Alexis Spitz, “…part of the success of this event is that it is not a simple partnership between Highered and EFMD. It really is a co-creation between these 2 close partners together with the schools’ career services in EFMD’s membership, the participating companies, the talent and – with regard to all the hybrid components – with EAE Business School that hosted the Fairs on its Barcelona campus”.
The energy and buzz on campus was accentuated by the fact that the EAE Welcome 22 event was taking place, whereby new students were welcomed to campus by a wide array of corporate partners who are able to make their transition to life in Barcelona more favorable. Dean Enric Ordeix-Rigo kicked off the event with a welcome address, while the “Talent for Impact” directors and staff, under the leadership of Anna Boixader and Ursula Molina, were fully engaged to ensure the event went smoothly. Highered had a stand at EAE Welcome 22, and together with Oslo-based colleagues, Genesis Masangcay and Alex Schulz, we had the opportunity to speak to hundreds of aspiring talent across numerous programs.
The hybrid element came into play by the fact that while EAE Business School students were able to follow the Keynote Speaker Session and CV Clinics in dedicated spaces on campus, while we were simultaneously broadcasting live to registered students and alumni from 105+ EFMD Global schools.
On Day 1, participants experienced an engaging keynote from Frédéric Clément, Global Head of Human Resources at AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM), who inspired the talent with his belief that “an open and inclusive culture can benefit everyone and that AXA IM, is truly a great environment for students and graduates to grow their potential”. He very articulately answered the audience’s insightful questions, around inclusion and diversity, how to begin a career in the asset management industry, and how to stay connected in the age of remote working.
Day 2’s Keynote Speaker Session was marked by true words of career wisdom from Åshild Hanne Larsen, Head of Subsurface Excellence & Digital at Equinor, an award-winning technology executive widely recognized as a thought leader and speaker within the IT/technology area. She shared stories which reflect how Equinor’s leadership principles helped her to transition into the CIO role along her career journey, one which earned her recognition as CIO of the Year Europe (2019). While initially considered an untraditional choice for the CIO role when selected, her approach was that the only way from there was up. For Ms. Larsen, “the three Equinor leadership principles were a great place to start… “Shape our future”, “Empower your people” and “Deliver results”… pretty much summed up exactly what it was I hoped to achieve as a new CIO.
This edition of the EFMD Global Fairs by Highered had a special element in that Day 2 included the myGwork WorkFair 2022 pavilion, featuring nearly 70 LGBTQ+ inclusive global organizations ready to hire. Highered is proud to be able to work closely with myGwork due to the importance of the business community they have created for LGBTQ+ professionals, students, inclusive employers and anyone who believes in workplace equality. We are thrilled that they chose Highered as their partner for the largest global virtual career fair for the LGBTQ+ community.
On Day 3 our audience, both live and virtual, continued to enjoy the conference series, this time with Lara Laila Gärber, Diversity & Inclusion Manager Europe, at AB InBev. Under the title of “How AB InBev creates a future with more diversity, inclusion & cheers”, Ms. Gärber discussed building and implementing a strategy that includes training, recruitment, employer branding and engagement to attract, recruit and develop the best talent while fostering an inclusive environment. Her driving force for what she does on a daily basis? Laila shared with the audience that she comes from multicultural background having an Egyptian/Palestinian mother and a German/Austrian father. “This background allowed me to grow up surrounded by diverse and often opposing views and opinions. In hindsight, this helped me question my own beliefs and open my mind to new ways of thinking. And that is exactly why I care deeply for diversity in the workforce: a multitude of opinions not only allows us to share our own, unique views but perhaps more importantly learn from others while doing so.”
Hundreds of participants joined the live CV Clinics each day of the EFMD Global Fairs, and a selection of lucky candidates’ CVs were featured and reviewed live by my fellow CV Clinic co-hosts: Nicola Hollands and Christina Gkiortou (AXA IM), Maria Moragianis (Highered), Alfredo Castro (Diageo) and Michelle Raymond (myGwork). These simple yet impactful Clinics continue to be one of the most acclaimed elements of the EFMD Global Fairs, and are not without mention of the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) software that more than 75% of recruiters are using in their selection processes. It’s all about being considered a relevant, top candidate, and getting past the ATS to stay in the game.
Last but not least, the community of Highered Ambassadors were key in rallying and boosting engagement around the fairs. They were certainly on a mission to empower their own classmates and fellow alumni to connect, network and thrive in this hybrid careers space made possible by the EFMD Global Fairs by Highered. We are actively evaluating the feedback from the stakeholder participants in the 2022 EFMD Global Fairs – talent, schools and employers – and already planning for a hybrid future! We extend our most sincere appreciation to AXA Investment Managers (AXA IM), Main Sponsor of the EFMD Global Fairs by Highered, and to Gold Sponsors, Equinor, AB InBev and BBVA, without whom the event would not have been possible.