I was at the career fair organized by the University of Mauritius yesterday.
Nirvan and I were at the LSL Digital stand since around 09h00 and we had a chat with a couple few students who showed up early.
We had a talk scheduled at 10h00, right after the tea break. It took some minutes for the students to show up. We had no fancy slides. The Director of LSL Digital greeted the students, gave an overview of the company, mentioned the job openings and wished them luck. He encouraged the students to visit our stand for further information on the company. He then called me on the floor to speak about the technical aspects of our job.
I had no fancy idea in the head either. I've been in career fair presentations before and I've listened to many fairy-tales and sweet talks of various companies. The reality is completely different from that.
My speech could have appeared blunt but that was intended. The perks of being an employee of LSL Digital are great but one has to go through the tough part first.
I did not want to give false hopes to anyone.
I asked the students whether they can differentiate between the nature of work of various people in a technical team. What does a backend developer do? What's the role of a front-end dev? How do developers and sysadmins communicate? What kind of information is relevant to management?
You have not yet convinced yourself if you do not know what does the job entail.
I talked about "bullying at the workplace", which is a truth but is often shadowed by the sweet talks.
One goes through pre-primary, primary, then secondary, to finally get into a university. That's 15 years of schooling plus 3 years spent at the university for the sake of education. 18 years in a human's life is a lot. If a person does not utilize that life experience & show the confidence required to undertake the challenges of "work life", then that education is partly wasted. Taking those years of education for granted and expecting a good job in return is wrong. A university degree does not account for a good job. Your skills set, which is fine tuned throughout those years of education, gets you a good job.
A company giving you a job is not a favour. A job is deserved and you should work hard for it.
Nirvan then shared his experience on the transition from student life to a full-time job. He recalled his days being at the University of Mauritius and the value that a first class degree would hold. He encouraged students to work hard but also urged them not to weigh too much expectation on just a degree. Skills and experience are important. A company will value those more than a degree. Being a student and expecting that experience will be earned after university is wrong. Nirvan advised the students to get internships and learn from seniors as much as they can.
At the stand the mood was completely different. More relaxed, more fun. We talked mostly about the perks of being at LSL Digital. The way we work and interact with team members. We also told students what to expect in the technical interviews for the posts of back-end and front-end developer.
The Cozmo robot on our table garnered much attention and playing with that is just part of our work life at LSL Digital. :-)