Careers fair: Time for an eco-labelled Utnarm

4 november 2019

Hello there Petter Elgh, President of the Uppsala Union of Engineering and Science Students, which traditionally organises the Utnarm careers fair on 7 November. What is on the programme for this year?

“There is an opportunity to attend a breakfast lecture with ABB and a lunchtime lecture with Cisco to start with. Students who pre-register will also get direct contact with the companies, organisations or government agencies that have registered for this. Over a half-hour interview, both parties will be able to see if they click with each other. This option is also available to students who work with Utnarm. In the evening, there will be a session at the Västmanlands-Dala Nation (students’ association) for all those who have been involved in the fair. Over 100 exhibitors will be coming to this session, and it will provide opportunities to mingle and continue conversations from the day there.”

Has there been a lot of interest in exhibiting at Utnarm?

“Interest has grown really quite well. We have 126 exhibitors this year and that’s an increase of ten from last year. In fact, interest has grown for every year that has passed, which is very pleasing. The Utnarm Committee has started looking at a larger locale to have space for even more exhibitors, but the move will not happen until at least 2021.”

Does Utnarm include anything that is new for this year?

“Yes, for the first time, Utnarm is an eco-labelled event. It’s something that in fact we think ought to be obvious, and our white-water rafting fun event has been eco-labelled for many years. The eco-label for the fair itself is an initiative of the convener of the Utnarm management committee. What we have focused on most so far is reducing the number of giveaways. Many people just throw away these kinds of branded gadgets once they get home.  We have urged exhibitors to think about what they are actually giving to visitors, to reduce the number of plastic gadgets, etc. A few years ago, Skanska’s giveaway item was a spruce seedling to take home and grow, and visitors really appreciated that a lot.”

On the subject of what’s new, recently the Uppsala Union of Engineering and Science Students (UTN) decided to join the new Uppsala University association of student unions (UUFS). What will this mean for UTN and for students in general?

“What’s happened is that UTN’s highest decision-making body, the council, has made the decision to join the association, but UTN doesn’t actually become a member until 1 January 2020. Joining this association replaces the current cooperation agreement between all the student unions. Since 2010, when membership of a student union ceased being compulsory, the process of appointing student liaison officers centrally has been problematic, which affects the whole university. So for example, we have had many vacant positions. As a result of UTN joining UUFS, we hope that how these appointments are made will become a bit clearer so that the student voice can be stronger at the central level. Having an association at your back also means greater development potential than if we just have an agreement together.

“So if anyone wants a student representative and a group to influence the whole university, then they should contact UUFS. But if it's a matter of something that only affects the Faculty of Science and Technology, then they should contact UTN.”

The Utnarm careers fair will be held at the Information Technology Centre (ITC), inside and outside Building 5, on 7 November 09.00 - 16.00.