Ara Institute of Canterbury ICT students had the chance to develop their soft skills, at a networking BBQ at the Christchurch City Campus yesterday. The annual event facilitates networking with industry, but also helps the students to work on their soft skills, which are becoming more important in the ICT industry.
“Technical skills are of course essential, but the 'soft skills' of communication and interaction are what really sets candidates apart. When we interview I am always looking for personality,” eStar Chief Operations Officer Kevin Rowland says.
The event is also good for Industry professionals to see what talent is around. Kevin Rowland says it was a successful evening.
“It was good to see so many students from different disciplines at Ara last night. Employers and recruitment agencies were there to answer questions from students, and the session went really well with lots of talking and food!”
The event was organised by IT Professionals NZ, a community of IT professionals, which Ara Institute of Canterbury is a partner of.
The BBQ is a unique opportunity for ICT students to interact with industry people informally. They have the chance to meet those who are already in the industry, learn about future employment opportunities and make important contacts with their future employers of choice.
About 60 people came to the event. For third year Bachelor of ICT student Simon Robinson it was his second time.
“I went in my first year at Ara (then CPIT). It was good to hear what they were looking for,” Simon says.
Connections with the industry is what initially drove Simon to Ara. “It is always good to make industry contacts and Ara has close ties with the industry.”
Last night there was more pressure, as he is graduating next year.
“It was a really good night. I spent all night talking to a company that was specialised in ICT networking, which is my specialisation here at Ara. I gave them my contact details and it was also really good to get knowledge of what’s out there.”
Interested studying ICT at Ara? Find more info here: http://www.ara.ac.nz/study-options/our-study-interest-areas/computing/information-and-communication-technologies-ict
To join the IT Professionals NZ, visit https://itp.nz/Why-Join/Students. They offer a discount membership to students.