The nation's top employers flocked to the University of Wollongong yesterday to search for their workers of the future.
BHP Billiton, Sydney Water, the Australian Defence Force, Commonwealth Bank and Ernst & Young were among more than 45 employers represented at the university's autumn careers fair, which attracted hundreds of eager students.
Asked what they were looking for in an employee, many of the employers focused on someone who was "well-rounded" - and that's exactly what they'd find in a Wollongong graduate, according to UOW Careers Central manager Martin Smith.
"University of Wollongong graduates are very highly regarded by employers across the country," he said.
"That's because we have high quality, relevant courses, a beautiful learning environment and a good support structure and range of activities available to students.
"All that adds up to highly employable graduates."
Mr Smith said the annual careers fair was part of the graduate recruitment drive and beneficial to both employers and students.
"We stage this event at this time of year to link in with the recruitment schedules of the biggest employers in Australia - many of whom are actively recruiting final year students for their 2014 graduate programs," Mr Smith said.
Careers in everything from mining to banking and the defence force were on show for students over the four-hour event.
Lieutenant Ben Robinson said representatives from the Australian Defence Force attended a variety of careers fairs to give graduates an idea of what life was like in the forces.
"We can help educate graduates about what kind of roles they can do in defence and how they can apply for those.
"We're looking for graduates who have also been involved in extra-curricular activities and have shown leadership potential and who are team players."
UOW student Mark Smith is in the final year of a civil and mining engineering degree, and still weighing up his options.
"The careers fair is a good opportunity to get some information about different companies and organisations - and a great chance to network too," he said.
Mechanical engineering student Adam Johnson also took advantage of the fair to meet some potential employers.
"It's good to get a feel for what industries are out there and learn more about the different graduate programs," he said.
Mr Smith said the latest figures from the Australian Graduate Survey showed UOW students were well ahead of the pack when it came to obtaining employment.
"The latest survey found that in April 2012 [four months after graduation] 85.5 per cent of Wollongong graduates were in full-time employment compared to the national average of about 76 per cent," he said.