Sindhuja and Oluchi @ Armada once again!
Being in the final year of our masters programme we got the opportunity to experience Armada for the second time! Armada is the largest career fair in Scandinavia that happens at KTH Royal Institute of Technology every year and is organized by students themselves. This year more than 150 companies participated in the fair and exhibited their opportunities for students, which includes summer job, internships, trainee programmes, part-time jobs, bachelor and master thesis, and also full-time jobs. Diversity and sustainability form the core values of THS Armada.
To make lives easier for students, THS Armada has an app(or you can access this, through the webpage), which allows students access to basic information regarding the participating companies. For example, a short summary of what each company does and positions available for students. Also, students know exactly where these companies would be located during the fair.
The coolest part is the additional functionality that matches students with companies based on the students’ preferences! With this, students get to know the first four companies that share similar interests! Perfect match-making scheme with companies, you might say right? haha!
Companies were spread out between Nymble, KTH Entre and the KTH Library. Therefore, it could have been a great hassle locating specific companies and also, students could get “distracted” with some companies’ extra activities. However, the THS crew thought about this earlier and created the interactive map! Still accessible from the app or webpage, students can search for a certain company and know exactly where to find them at any of the three buildings.
Diversity, one of THS’ core values, is promoted during the fair, to the extent that, a section of Nymble was well decorated with purple. The carpets, balloons, wallpapers and a big signboard at the door, made the “DIVERSITY ROOM” very hard to miss. The interesting thing to note is, students are made aware that companies who are located in this section have made the most progress according to THS with inclusion and diversity in their working environments.
My Experience- Sindhuja
Every time there is an event at KTH, I feel so glad to have been part of this university and am so thankful for being here to have this opportunity. Armada, is a great platform to know many companies in Sweden. It really opens your mind to think about what one wants to do in life, it opens up new doors for thesis and job.
Last year I collected a ton of flyers and brochures from the companies, that only piled up in my home. I anyway eventually noted them all in my computer and threw away the brochures. So, this year I went sustainable. I said No To Pamphlets. Almost all of the information is always available up online, and are pretty generic when it comes to “how to apply”- You only need to hit their website! Some gave a weird look at me when I said that I will note it down in my phone instead of the brochure, but that’s okay, I guess 🙂
The most important thing to do when at Armada is to make contacts. Nothing works like LinkedIn to maintain your professional network. I would recommend everyone to have an updated LinkedIn profile at all times and don’t hesitate to ask to connect on LinkedIn. Sometimes, there are project leads and really amazing people that are at Armada to represent the company. When you have already had a chat and discussed some cool stuff, why not connect with them on LinkedIn? I always do that. So this year, I didn’t spend the time on freebies, or games or brochures. I just made contacts 😀
I actually met an amazing person from a company that I was interested in. In fact, I had the opportunity to visit their company this week following our Armada discussion. Isn’t that awesome? I honestly knew the person just from Armada, and now I know 10 people and got a tour around their office. I got to know a lot more about their team, had coffee and made a professional relationship for years to come. This is exactly what Armada provides, a platform to take off!
My Experience – OLUCHI
For me, I am glad that I got to experience Armada in two different ways. Last year, I was part of the logistics team. This year, I had a tighter schedule and could not volunteer and the opportunity to experience Armada through different eyes was something I was loooking forward to.
I would say that the most important thing that students can leave Armada with is CONTACTS!! Yes, Armada is really for networking with companies and obtaining contact cards. The contact card will come in handy if you plan on sending applications to that company. Speaking of companies, one big advantage of Armada is opening one’s eyes to see beyond the “popular”. Popular, in this case, refers to companies that even without a google search, you know they exist in Sweden. Thanks to Armada, I have met various companies which I previously did not know were located in Sweden and I am equally interested in.
Another thing Armada is well known for is the souvenirs and games!! I always try to engage myself in some of these, it is an interesting way to speak with the company representatives, destress also from a busy day and at the same time, an opportunity to win something cool;)
My experience would not be complete if I do not talk about the student lounge!! Unending Fika throughout the fair. I could have gained 2kg extra just for the two days at Armada! (haha). It was good to have this especially after walking around the fair. It was nice to know that there was a place to get a quick snack from to energise oneself:)
Finally, Armada was also a mini-reunion for me. I met friends that are on an exchange program to some other European universities but studied at KTH, the first year. They planned their trips to Sweden so as not to miss Armada, one of the ways of meeting their future employers. This reiterates the importance of Armada, yes or yes?