In 2020, we hosted 10 virtual careers events aimed at female students and graduates studying STEM courses across the UK, Ireland, and Europe. We welcomed 133 exhibiting employers to virtually network with 3,421 women looking to start their careers in STEM industries.
Following our events, we wanted to catch up with some of our exhibiting employers to find out how they found the events and whether their expectations had been met.
VMWare is a regular client and exhibited at our venue based STEM Women events in 2018 and 2019. They booked onto the speaker package for our online London and Ireland events in 2020. For our London and Home Counties event, we welcomed 343 attendees, with a peak live presentations audience of 232. VMware had 105 stall visits and 40 live chats! Our Ireland event attracted 376 attendees, with a peak live presentation audience of 249. VMware had 230 stall visits and 49 live chats!
We caught up with Mairead O’Flynn, University Campus Manager at VMware to find out how they found the events.
Mairead O’Flynn, University Campus Manager, VMware
How did you find the STEM Women events overall?
“We really enjoyed the STEM Women events. Firstly, the platform is great, easy to set up and use, and we loved having the ability to move chats to other recruiters, ensuring we are connecting candidates with the correct team member based on their interest area.
I also love how you can proactively reach out to students. Often women, especially more junior profiles, do not realise their potential therefore having the ability to search through them and reach out directly with opportunities really helps them explore alternative career paths they might not have been aware existed.
Even though VMware is a technology company, we consider people from all types of backgrounds, so having the ability to connect with so many talented women at the same time, from different backgrounds and countries was amazing.
It was so nice to get to listen to all the interesting speakers and panellist from other companies throughout the day also.”
How did you find the speaker and panel sessions?
“Participating in the panel talk was an amazing experience. It gave VMware an opportunity to showcase some of the talented women from within our own company and provide a platform for them to share stories of their journeys and obstacles they have had to overcome to get to where they are. The speakers loved the Q&A and getting to engage with the attendees. Our speakers can relate to what it is like to be starting your career, especially as an underrepresented minority group in the technology world, so loved the opportunity to give back and share tips that might help others on their career journeys.”
Panel discussion, Ireland
How did you find chatting with the students on webchat, voice and video call?
“It was great to be able to interact with the students directly using video as well as live chat. I love the way that students can interact with our stall and browse our content and jobs, and then pick an area they would like to chat on. It made it very easy to match the best recruiter to the candidate’s needs.”
Did the STEM Women events enable VMWare to attract applications from students that you wouldn’t have found through other channels?
“Absolutely, students who might have found it daunting to approach a stall, could easily research your company and look at videos/ your jobs and see how it aligns with their values. VMware is a software company, but what makes us stand out is our culture and values. The virtual format allows us to share those stories through videos/ speakers/ global impact reports which resonate more with women.”
Did the events meet your company targets?
“It was better than expected. Even though the events we joined were targeted at UK and Ireland universities, we found amazing women from all over Europe suitable for our roles. The topics, the talent, the engagement, it all made for an amazing event.”
Did the online nature of our 2020 events provide a different experience compared to previous, in-venue events?
“It has been different moving to a virtual format in a lot of ways. You do miss talking to people and meeting them face to face, but I think the virtual format has created new opportunities also. Students who are a little more introvert could be more likely to come to a virtual booth and browse your media and find out a bit more about what the company is all about, before then deciding to look at your job postings or interact with a recruiter. Also, the fact you can use the tool to search for suitable students and proactively reach out to them with opportunities right for them is an added bonus. You would never be able to do that at an in-person event!”
Would you recommend STEM Women events to other companies?
“Absolutely, it is a great event and provides wonderful opportunities to network and meet students.”
How many hires did VMware make following the STEM Women events?
“We are still waiting for final data, but I can confirm we have hired at least 4 people through the events.”
We recently interviewed one of the candidates who secured a role on the graduate scheme at VMWare following a STEM Women event. Read more about how Sophia secured her dream role at VMware here.