Students flock to 'festival of work'

5 Dec 2017 - 07:45

Awareness of the UCT Careers Service increased in second semester 2017 by consolidating over 40 events into a “festival of work” over a period of 6 weeks. Attended by over 1300 company representatives from 193 companies and estimated to reach over 15 000 students across platforms.

Poster for the Careers Festival

Poster for Student Entrepreneurship Week

Each year, the UCT Careers Service develops a programme of events per semester which include expo’s, company presentations, workshops and talks co-led by the Employer Relations and Career Advisory units. Usually, these events are individually planned, produced and marketed.

The UCT Careers Service Expo Stand, a Peer Career Support team member chats with a student

The UCT Careers Service Expo Stand, a Peer Career Support team member chats with a student

Dovetailing the Main was was the new ‘kid on the block’ - the inaugural Student Entrepreneurship Week (#SEW2017) which ran from 4 – 8 September 2017 which brought together a partnership across UCT structures, UCT Careers, The Raymond Ackerman Academy, UCT GSB MTN Solution space, to celebrate and promote the development of the UCT student’s - and recent graduates - entrepreneurial mindset. The linked #SEW2017 events consisted of talks by exciting new entrepreneurs, the #SEW2017 marketplace and the #SEW2017 “Journey intro Entrepreneurship” bootcamp. This was also significant as a DHET supported initiative.

Festival Objectives and how they support our institution's mission
Goal: Develop Awareness of Careers Service to maximise reach
Objective 1 Focused, harmonised and united communications
Objective 2: Strive for more meaningful student engagement and interaction with service
Objective 3: Strengthen and support internal team – work to efficiencies
To develop one voice and to solidify our presence on campus.

Postcard with Floor plan on reverse handed out at expos or preceding the events at promo sites.

Postcard with Floor plan on reverse handed out at expos or preceding the events at promo sites.


UCT Careers strives to be the leading Careers Service in Africa recognised globally for innovation, quality and impact. We fit into the broader UCT goals to support the development of world-ready students equipped to make a difference in their communities and in the world.

We can only do this if we keep challenging ourselves. We are constantly checking in with student needs, and the possibilities of reaching to scale with a quality impact with students’ partnering in their development. The #ownyourfuture refreshed tagline provided a pivot for us to spring into some new territory organisationally.

  • Tagline update and IP registration – Feb 2017
  • UCT d- School Case Study – Feb 2017
  • Careers Festival Event planning – February 2017
  • Semester 1 core events with new logo and tag application – May 2017
  • Detailed project planning the first consolidated festival – June, July 2017
  • Implementation of plans – July and August 2017
  • Launch - 16 August
  • Closure of Main and Student Entrepreneurship Week -8 September
  • The week that was promo video – thanks and close off 20 September
  • Reporting - August to September 2017

As we are only able to quantify the physically “tagged” students who were recorded at only some of the events, the official total of students at events is 10 931.


SEW bootcamp

#SEW bootcamp. Watch the video below that captures the week's action:

Main Expo and #SEW2017 Staffing

The full team complement from the UCT Careers Service supported the activities including the Peer Career Support staff and additional student assistants.

Due to the scale of the marketing effort – there was a decision to print large quantities of the festival brochure and #SEW2017 postcard and deliver to all residences which immediately increased our reach to over 6679 students in residence, this was done with the partnership of the Residence facility officers managed out of the Student Housing and Resident Life Department.

Our colleagues provided essential support, including

  • Properties and Services   
  • Traffic Department  
  • Visitor Information Centre
  • UCT Libraries provided support in marketing and re-tweeting/posting
  • CMD (Communications and Marketing) provided support in marketing and re-tweeting/posting and the development of articles and promotional videos.
  • Faculties including Commerce, Engineering provided support in marketing and re-tweeting/posting

#SEW2017 partners:
The Raymond Ackerman Academy
UCT GSB MTN Solution

The entire Careers Service complement was involved, as it involves every role in the office. The employer relations team is responsible for the overall organisation, and liaising with employers, the operations team with the logistics of the event, the Communications team with advertising the event and celebrating its successes on social media, and the Advisory team staff the expo stand and do on the spot career consults for 6 hours a day over 6 events and host workshops. Brand ambassadors are key to ad atmosphere to the huge expanse of the venue Memorial Hall and ensure the exhibiting employers have what they need – from coffee to assisting with last minute set up.


Outside the Expo

Outside the Expo

2819 Students attended Company presentations and case workshops within a 6 week period.

This excludes the number of students who participated in the Company showcases which open area events and are not tallied. They run from 10am – 3pm in cafeteria-relaxation type spaces on the campus.

For the Main events, 10 041 students participated across the Main Expo events.

#SEW2017 talks were attended by 120 students, 197 RSVP-ed

#SEW2017 bootcamp was attended by 40 students while 101 RSVP-ed

#SEW2017 marketplace on the 7 September had 22 exhibitors and 730 students were tagged moving through the space over the day.

Overall 10 931 students physically linked to events.
This excludes consultations with career advisors and workshops as part of the fringe festival.

The fringe festival goals and results will be explored and reported shortly.

Facebook campaign:

One of the top performing social media posts for the Speaker Series.
One of the top performing social media posts for the Speaker Series.