U of M’s Career Services co-hosted the UM Annual Career Fair last Tuesday and Wednesday in University Centre.
Organizations such as Canada Life, PCL Construction, Manitoba Legal Services, St. Amant and Richardson International were represented at the fair.
A number of organizations at the event were recruiting for summer, part-time or full-time jobs, as well as for volunteer opportunities.
Career Services lead co-ordinator Lisa MacPherson explained that the fair has two main purposes.
“Really it’s to put students in touch with opportunities and to learn about opportunities specifically, and then of course it’s to also learn about organizations, and to learn about the world of work and industry,” she said.
Registration for the career fair opens to employers in the fall and is primarily first-come, first-serve.
This year there was an excess of employers attempting to register, so the fair expanded to encompass both the first and second floor of University Centre. Career Services received so many applications that they also had to turn away some companies.
“We were mindful of representation, and because this is our large annual career fair for all students it’s a bit different from our other career fairs, like our ASE Career Fair in October, where it’s a bit more targeted to agriculture, science, engineering and environment,” MacPherson said.
“This one is wide open, and so we are mindful of wanting to have some diversity and a range of organizations that speak to a wide range of students.”
She noted that the fair is an alternative to typical job postings students encounter when looking for employment.
“The great thing about this career fair is it’s really an opportunity for employers and students to have dialogue, to have students not just using a job board to look for work,” she said.
Samantha Okoro, an HR generalist at Pollard Banknote Limited, said that as a family-owned business that welcomes diversity, attending the fair was an important way for Pollard to build connections with students as potential employees.
“Having a position at the career fair gave us the opportunity to meet with a lot of great students who are talented with different backgrounds, and could have the potential to join our team and really add value,” she said.
Okoro also said that Pollard has found employees from events like this in the past. She stated that most of the time, these employees started off as co-op placements and later transitioned into a part-time or full-time position.
Okoro encouraged students looking for employment to explore and learn about the opportunities available to them.
“Be patient and keep an open mind, [and] do your research for sure because that’s going to help you in the long run in terms of knowing and aligning with what you want to do for your future career,” she said.
Avery Edwards, a fourth-year mechanical engineering student, attended the career fair hoping to find a summer job.
Edwards explained that she would recommend the event to all students, as the organizations that attend cover a wide variety of interests.
Edwards said she believes that attending the event will make the job search easier due to the many opportunities at the fair. She also offered some advice to students who may be looking for a job.
“I think the key is just to be open to anything and not be hell-bent on something, and just chat with people and see where it goes,” she said.
For more information about job opportunities available with companies present at this year’s fair, visit the Career Services website.