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What happens at a job show?

Emma Breheny
1 September 2016

The final quarter of the year is a busy one for physiotherapy students and employers, who are each rushing to cement plans for graduate positions commencing the following year.

Students are keen to find out where their first physiotherapy job will be, while employers want to firm up their team’s composition for the next 12 months. To assist with what can be a convoluted process for both sides, the APA organises a ‘meet and greet’ forum each October, known in Victoria as the APA Student Job Show.

Jessica Donsen, a recruiter at an aged care physiotherapy service, has attended the event for the past six years and describes it as an invaluable opportunity to talk directly to new graduates. Her business has filled at least two graduate positions each year they’ve attended the job show.

‘We try and make our booth more interactive, rather than simply handing out brochures. We like to have a chat and find out how graduates are feeling and what direction they’re heading in,’ she says.

Chair of the VIC Student Committee Sam Rice, APAM, says having the right conversations is vital.

‘I’d recommend that students go in with some specific questions for employers, rather than allowing them to make their standard pitch. That way you can make a genuine connection and learn more about their organisation at a deeper level,’ he says.

Jessica’s approach as a stallholder is to take the right staff with you on the day and put effort into creating an eye-catching booth.

‘We usually take a graduate and a more experienced physio, along with myself and another human resources staff member. The new graduate staff member can really relate to the student physiotherapists,’ she elaborates.

Sam advises students to do some prior research on the employers exhibiting and prioritise those of interest as they move around the show. Key areas to ask about include the types of patients their physiotherapists see and how their graduate roles are structured.

He also recommends staying relaxed and keeping the day fun in order to make the best impression on employers.

‘The opportunity to speak to 20 to 30 people at once is really a fantastic experience that you can’t get anywhere else.’

The Student Job Show is happening on 6 October at Monash University’s Caulfield campus. Attendance is open to APA members only. Find out more and register.


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