So last Saturday Green&White participated in PASHA’s Career Expo in Lahore, and it was great to meet some of our readers and friends there (especially Salman Munir).
Here I will describe what I felt were the highs and lows of the events. This is not a definitive review or comment on the event just what I saw and felt, also I might be wrong in a few locations. I would be grateful if any one can correct me. Please keep in mind I was not wandering around the event all day and was in the Green & White hall for the major portion of the day.
Here it goes.
The High points
1. The support team, i.e the group of students of UCP under Zaeem’s supervision did a tremendous job of handling us, the exhibitors, and the visitors.
They were all there on time and all you had to do was tell them what you wanted and they scrambled to get you your requirement in a matter of minutes.
Through students, their handling of the crowd and professionals on the booth was excellent. So i give them a an A+ for finding these young energetic people who were professional in their dealing, and after talking to them for a couple of minutes you would feel energized your self.
You made me — an old UCP student — proud. Kudos to the team and Zaeem for all this
2. P@SHA people were also very up beat and forth coming. It was my first encounter with Jehan Ara but it was a pleasent one. They came to us during the breaks, monitored us and Asrhaf Sb not only stood in one of our seminars but added very valuable words to it.
It is really heartwarming to see such busy people coming out just for the sole benefit of the industry and its betterment. They wull motivate you to stick through tough times a little more.
3. Workshops, were a huge success specially the one on interviewing techniques which was given by TRG (Sorry i don’t know the name of the presenter) — it was great.
The presenter was very positvie really involved the audience and the contents of his presentation were great. He really captivated the audience (I feel a little jealous).
Even our seminars and workshops were well attended, (except our Donald Trump session — I guess no one likes looking at arrogant billionaires when they are looking for jobs?) In any case, this means people out there are interested in good advice coming from the right people.
4. Visitors. Those who came were looking for answers. They had questions, and it was good they were not just there for a visit but actually looking for guidance.
I had a visitor who — after seeking advice for himself went back and brought his brother back to me to give advice to him, and that was wonderful. Its good to learn that if you are giving advice people are actually ready to listen.
Also even the professionals on booths were good they were ready to talk and talk with a purpose.
1. There was a problem in expectations. It seems that the exhibitors were expecting a greater crowd. I talked to a few companies at 2 pm and they were disappointed by the turn out. Although compaies like Si3 and Wateen had huge crowds, but on the average all the companies did not get the attention and they came expecting a little bigger of crowd. they had their gripes about P@SHA not advertising properly. The companies hit the hardest were startups here unfortunately.
[Editor’s Note: I asked Jehan and PASHA’s initial estimates are 3000 people attended]
2. There were some empty booths with company names on them — a few of them I remember were Rozee.pk, Xavor and Trisoft. Keeping in view that Rozee was P@SHA’s partner for the Lahore event it made it look worse for both PASHA but mainly for Rozee who started looking very unprofessional.
Xavor itself is a big company and its absence creates a lot of questions. Why would a company who has alread paid not show up, may be people from P@SHA or Xavor will be able to answer that.
3. Crowd, maybe I am wrong but the visitors were not many and I did not find many from FAST, LUMS, UET and PUCIT few of the major resource providers for IT in Lahore. Out of the 17 filled forms that I distributed 5 are accounts and finance graduates. Similarly for the counseling session I did, I got nearly 30 % people from non IT related qualifications. Although I do not have any issues of people of all discipline attending the event, but i expected greater IT and CS crowd, as this was a IT concentrated event. This was echoed by some exhibitors too.
4. Companies as usual put in software engineers in their booths. I have a great respect for these as they would have probably volunteered for this event but still there were not too many HR related persons. It would have been great if there were proper relevant people to give out the info, because it really doesn’t do well for the company presenting (HR staff not taking active interest in the event tells candidates that the company is not interested in attending).
Some Final Thoughts
1- Maybe the turnout was because universities are off in the summer-time. Maybe we can move the event to spring so greater number of candidates can attend, as spring is the time most students are finishing with thier degrees it might get more relevant crowd.2- Would Companies have participated differently had they been notified that this event was looking at a small but relevant crowd? This could become a huge way for the company to attract people and do inter-personal branding but companies did not participate as actively.
Over all it was a great effort. I really appreciate the team of P@SHA and the volunteers coming out to shake up the industry.
We need to work together to make this an even better event for graduates and professionals alike.