In 1977 a group of students at Cambridge University started a Society that would give them the opportunity to explore other careers from the obvious choices graduates from such a University would be encouraged to go into, so that ultimately they can make more informed career choices – and the Student Industrial Society was born (now The Bright Futures Society).
Move forward 35 years to yesterday & I am talking to an undergraduate from one of our Societies who has just surveyed 100 students on what they want to do as a career – 60% have a fair idea and 40% have no idea but they all want to meet & talk to a range of employers across a variety of sectors (many untraditional sectors for graduates too) so that can find out for themselves what is right for them. Oh and they also know they need to develop their job hunting and work based skills!
Yes the recession has changed students in that they are understandably panicing and making more applications (and quality is suffering as a result) but what has not changed is students still want to meet employers and find out for themselves what is right for them AND use the Society to do it. So has anything meaningful changed? From what we see the answer is ‘yes’ because more students than ever are wanting to engage with employers – we have 5 new Societies start up this year already & our membership grew 33% in November alone – and that is one good thing that has come from the recession!