If students don't want to come to the Job Fair, then the Fair must go to the students. That's the concept of Belgrade's Job Fair, held for the eleventh time in a row, not at any exhibition venue, but at the Belgrade Technical Faculties Building (the word "technical" here encompasses the faculties for Architecture, Construction Engineering and Electric engineering).
It's a 100+ year old institution with wide staircases, galleries and tall ornamental ceilings. During the two-day Fair the hallways and ceremonial halls become lined with booths of companies looking to woo students with promises of exciting careers.
As for students, the majority are curious about internship options – perhaps aware that their theoretical expertise needs to be augmented with hands-on experience - and that's exactly what we promoted, our Intern's Lab.
The benefit of our Intern's Lab is that it's not putting you in a rat-race environment. You are shielded from day-job stresses of tight deadlines and email floods. Instead, you get to work on a specific project, cooperate with both your other intern peers, but also with our senior engineers.
It's a way to discover yourself and get to know more where your interests gravitate, because even though students are in the same position when graduating, their careers can fork into countless directions. For the majority of people, it's the point in life when you have the largest array of options in front of you.
Richard Lowe, the head of our Firmware department, held a workshop titled "For Whom the LED blinks: solving real problems with Embedded systems". About 10 participants tried to come up with various solutions to automate a greenhouse. The students were highly engaged so the one-hour time slot had to be extended for 10 minutes, then 10 more — people from other workshops and passers-by were stopping to hear more – Richard got another ten minutes, until finally the organizers had to end it, to make room for the next session.
The Belgrade Job Fair, by the way, is completely organized by students. New generations take on the organizational responsiblities as previous organizers graduate. And it has been going like that since 2005. Even though the Fair has been advertised on bilboards throughout Belgrade, it would've gathered a large number of visitors based on its reputation alone.