Once again the University of Manitoba’s Annual Career Week has been a success drawing thousands of students and countless employers.
The event, which started Jan. 19 and continued through Jan. 16, is put on annually by Career Services in conjunction with the Asper school of business’s Career Development Centre. Career Week consist of workshops, meetings and speakers that help students with a range of employment issues. The main event, the Career Fair, brought over 90 employers to University Centre to connect with students and identify potential talent.
“[Employers want to] reach students, market themselves, raise their profile, promote opportunities, and build networks with students,” said Lindsey Hiebert, an employment advisor with Career Services. “The Career Fair is funded by both the fees from employer’s booths, and from their financial support.”
Clearly it isn’t only employers who are receiving benefits from Career Week and the Career Fair though.
“The Career Fair is an excellent opportunity to network with over 90 employers that are coming to the University of Manitoba campus to speak with students who are looking for part-time, full-time or summer employment,” explained Hiebert. “It’s also a unique chance to learn about different occupations if you are still deciding on a career path.”
Job fairs have always played an important role on campuses across Canada and the United States, but in recent years they have been even more crucial. With economies having slowed in the mid and late 2000s, companies across Canada have either implemented hiring freezes or reduced employment numbers. This directly affects students as companies are no longer looking to hire new talent, and if they are then only the best and brightest are able to make it.
“We have a diversified economy,” Hiebert stressed, “which can help in a time of economic downturn” but went on that the Career Centre, and Career Week is an important resource to help students career plan and network themselves with potential employers.”
“I think it’s important because there are so many options out there and it’s hard to get an idea about what some of them are.” said Keith Ramos, a second year student who is still deciding on his program. “It’s nice to be able to see a lot of different jobs all at once.”
Though most students seemed to have a good time, some didn’t agree with the motives of employers.
“I’ve been to a lot of these and they’re really pointless.” argued third year science student Avril Tyner. “Employers really only come for good [public relations]. I’ve never heard of anyone getting a job through a job fair.”
Tyner’s opinion is not supported by Career Services, though, who believe that Career Week and the Career Fair directly contribute to the success of students after undergraduate and graduate studies.
Career Week is the largest event put on by Career Services, but it is certainly not the only one. Year round Career Services has an up-to-date job portal called careerCONNECT that assists students in finding meaningful employment, and employers in finding qualified students. Additionally, Career Services offers year round resume and cover letter workshops, interview practice as well as countless other resources.
For more information on Career Services, Career Week and the Career Fair go to their website at umanitoba.ca/student/employment/.