Behind the scenes of the Forum EPFL, the largest european recruitment fair entirely led by students

The Forum EPFL is the campus’s recruitment fair organized by an association composed entirely of EPFL student volunteers.

  • April 23, 2024
  • 3 Min. reading time
  • Sponsored by:   Forum EPFL

Meet Théodore, one of the Vice Presidents to discover how they manage the organization of this large-scale event.

Hi Théodore ! Could you briefly introduce yourself and what is your role in the Forum EPFL ?

I'm a student in my 3rd year of the Bachelor Microengineering program at EPFL and I'm also Vice President & IT Manager at the Forum EPFL. I'm responsible for the Start-Up Relations (2 people), Communications (2 people) and Editorial & Content (1 person) departments.

As IT Manager, I'm in charge of the platform, website, intranet and Pocket Campus presence. I make sure that everything is ready on time for the next edition, and that our companies, Start-Ups, NGOs/IGOs and students have the best possible experience.

What do you like to do in your free time ?

One of my favorite hobbies is going skiing with my friends on weekends in Verbier. It only takes 1 hour from Lausanne and allows you to enjoy one of Switzerland's most beautiful ski resorts.

What exactly is the Forum EPFL ?

The Forum EPFL is the largest student recruitment fair in Europe. In 2023, it gathered 212 companies, 135 Start-Ups and more than 22 000 visitors.

The 42nd edition of the Forum EPFL will be held from the 7th to the 11th of October 2024 at the SwissTech Convention Center. The goal of this event is to facilitate the professional integration of EPFL students and graduates.

Our aim as an association is to encourage students to enter the job market, by giving them the opportunity to establish close contact with their future employers - from start-ups and regional companies to the world's largest corporations and universities. We also prepare students for this major event, offering them conferences and workshops on recruitment processes throughout the year.

Can you quickly walk us through the process of organizing this big event ?

The EPFL Forum management team, of which I am a member, is made up of 4 people and is renewed every year. Our role is to set up the organization of the next edition as early as December, so as to welcome the new committee in February under the best possible conditions. This requires a great deal of upstream planning, and good alignment with the other 3 members of the management team.

The total committee is made up of 20 people in different areas like Corporate Relations, Student Relations, Logistics, Catering and Events ... Everyone plays an essential role in the preparation of this event.

What are the main challenges you face in organizing such a large-scale event, especially as students ?

Our biggest challenges are to be professional, organized and attentive. We're in constant contact with the business world, so we have to be beyond reproach.

How do you manage coordinating the organization of the Forum while keeping up with your courses ?

It’s indeed difficult especially when you have complete semesters with 30 credits to pass. You have to be super well organized to manage successfully the EPFL Forum, your courses and also your personal activities. Organizing the Forum can sometimes take up to 40 hours a week.

What have you learned from your experience as an organizer of the Forum EPFL ?

I organized the Forum EPFL 2023 last year as Start-Up Relations Manager, and I think the week of the Forum will remain engraved in my memory as an exceptional moment of encounter and exchange.

This year, as a member of the management team, I'd say we're mainly learning "soft skills" like managing a team of 20 people, planning and anticipating a lot. Also the particularity of a four-person management team is that you have to make joint decisions.

I'd certainly recommend joining the EPFL Forum, which for me is the best association for connecting with the professional world.