On the night of 1 March, Voronezh State University became the centre of attraction for many employers and students from leading Voronezh universities. The Joint Students' Board in cooperation with Career Development and Business Partnership Department organised an unusual event, the Night University.
“We borrowed the idea of Night University from another project, which was carried out some time ago within VSU by Dmitry Kouda. The earlier version of Night University specialised solely in science and was held during the Scientific Film Days. The variety of topics have now been extended. Students from all Voronezh universities had a chance to spend that Saturday night in an unusual environment. We created a platform where they could meet new people, communicate, and learn more about the largest companies in the region. We were pleasantly surprised to discover so many people registered to participate in the meeting. By the day of the event, 800 applications had been submitted, although we hadn’t expected more than 500. As a result, all the participants had a chance to find an activity to their liking and have a lot of fun. We are very glad that the Night University was welcomed by the audience. This is really inspiring. We are ready to proceed and develop student’s life in the region further and to make VSU the venue for such events,” said Alina Semenko, the chair of the VSU Joint Students' Board.
“The event consisted of several platforms where you could meet a huge number of interesting people. People didn’t want to leave! An extra bonus was VSU Career Night which was held within the Night University and which helped participants spend quality time,” said Ludmila Karpova, the Head of the UKNOW mediacentre.
This night, the students learnt more about various companies interested in cooperation with young specialists. Among businesses represented at the event were the largest software developer and IT consultancy, DataArt; a large digital agency, Red collar; mobile banking and trading service developer, Surf; Russian commerce bank; subsidiary bank of the Austrian banking group Raiffeisen Bank International, Raiffeisenbank; international hospitality company, Marriott hotel; international network of audit, taxation, and consulting companies, KPMG; management company of PAO Rostelecom’s centre of excellence in the area of the development of services and the infrastructure of data storage and processing centres, import independent cloud platforms, and traffic exchange services and CDN, Rostelecom Data Processing Centre; PwC; GK Efko; Pochta Bank; AIESEC; the largest Russian provider of digital services and solutions, PAO Rostelecom; “Teacher in Russia”; and PepsiCo.
“Honestly, I did not expect to see so many participants. I thought since people go to university every day and they also have to work and complete their internships, why should they want to come to VSU again on a Saturday night? Yet, what we witnessed was the student’s drive and energy. It was really cool to see them interacting with our posts on social networks and to read their comments on their pages. We would like to thank the organisers of the event who responded very quickly to any request. Thank you for the invitation! It is cool that there are people who invent such events, those who organise them and provide support, and those who come to have fun. It ended up being a perfect mixture of boardgames, meetings with new people, singing songs accompanied by a guitar, cinema, looking for a job or an internship, cyber competitions, and friendly communication,” said Nata Korsakova, the Head of PR and HR Department at the digital agency, Red Collar.
“Career Night is a great event which, hopefully, will become a tradition. For businesses, it is a wonderful opportunity to search employees and for the participants, it is a good chance to meet the employers in person and get an internship. It was pleasing to see so many interested students from various faculties and years. It was obvious that they find the event interesting and that they are eager to develop themselves. It does not matter for us if the candidate has no experience. We are inclined to invite students and teach them, and help them become a part of the team,” said Anna Tvildiani, PR manager at Surf.
EFKO organised a business game “Get into EFKO without effort” which allowed the students to learn more about the company, to get a job in game-mode in the Finance Department of the largest company in the Russian Federation, and to climb the first steps of the career ladder. The representatives of Voronezh Marriott Hotel held a master class for students and guests called “Entering the labour market” where they talked about the trends in the field, how to make a good CV, and how to get ready for an interview.
“I agree that it is an unusual event. I have some doubts about its efficiency, though: I suppose some students could not come because they had planned to do something else on Saturday night. Nevertheless, the students were more active and at their ease than during the study time. And I liked that. Our game went well. We did not have many participants but they were active and consulted with and complimented each other. Nearly all of them requested contacts they could use to enquire for information about internships and left their resumes. I am happy with the result,” said Anastasia Mikhaleva, the Head of the Employment and Training Department of the oil and fats division of GK EFKO.
That night, there were a lot of photo zones and entertaining activities which could be found all around the university building. Representatives of clubs within the Joint Students' Board organised film viewings and a zone for board and video games. On the first floor, the volunteers could take part in a themed quiz and various contests. The most active participants had a chance to win prizes provided by sponsors. The rooms were overflowing with people eager to join in.
“The atmosphere is absolutely fantastic!” The scope of the Night University is really impressive, as well as the diverse opportunities for communication between employers and students. We had a chance to have an open and honest conversation with students who will soon start their career in the project office of the shared service centre of PAO Rostelecom. We would like to thank the organisers for a unique communication platform where employers can take an active part in the life of the student’s community,” said Alexandra Shamilova, HR business partner of the shared service centre of PAO Rostelecom.
“I am overwhelmed with emotions. The feeling that you can do something for the community and for students provides drive for new ideas. It’s wonderful to prepare an event which is aimed at uniting students from different universities. We had high hopes for Night University and all the efforts we had put into it resulted into a magnificent event which is worth remembering. Every second we spent on the event resulted in smiles on the faces of participants and that is exactly what made it worthwhile,” said Maxim Naumov, one of the organisers of the event.