Hundreds of students gathered at the 2013 annual Career Fair hosted by Trent University’s Career Centre. Throughout the day, interested students met face-to-face with potential employers from a variety of industries – a few of whom also happened to be Trent alumni.
“The Trent University Employment Fair allowed me to make that initial personal connection that is so important,” said alumnus Marshall Guest, who was in attendance as a representative of Scotiabank. Mr. Guest secured his current position as a personal banking advisor at Scotiabank as a result of the first contact he made at the Fair, upon completion of his Bachelor of Business Administration with a Minor in Economics.
The Career Centre’s Employment Fair is a great venue for students to network with employers who are hiring for a variety of opportunities, including post-graduation, summer, part-time, and volunteer positions. There was a range of 40 employers at the event.
Samir Hassan is also a recent Trent graduate, currently holding the position of area manager of the Toronto North Office with WIS International. Mr. Hassan graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration in 2009 and has returned for the last few years as a recruiter at the Employment Fair. Mr. Hassan also found the Fair to be a vital component to his job search as it enabled him to learn insightful information about his now current company and he was able to meet the head of Human Resources.
Both Mr. Guest and Mr. Hassan believe one of the greatest advantages of attending an Employment Fair is that students are able to meet and speak with different employers face-to-face, which adds value to their resume by having the opportunity to discuss their objectives in greater detail. “Not only this, but you also have an opportunity to gain insight into a company’s hiring process,” added Mr. Guest.
The importance of career education throughout university is vital to future success. Mr. Guest advises all students to “treat schooling as if it was your career, and the transition into your job will be much easier.” Mr. Hassan advises students to “get involved in extra-curricular activities to help identify strengths and interests and how they will relate to a potential career. Trent has a lot of great organizations, so I encourage students to join those and participate because it helps you develop skills such as leadership, time management etc.,” he said.
“Having the opportunity to meet personally with a potential employer will help keep students top-of-mind in a company’s hiring process, but attending the Employment Fair is only one small step in the job search process,” says Brittney Blake, employer services advisor with the Trent University Career Centre. “In order to put your best foot forward, you must have an up-to-date resume that highlights your skills from school and other activities. The Career Centre offers many services to help, including interview preparation, developing a professional on-line presence through LinkedIn, resume and cover-letter critiques, career counselling, and various workshops geared towards improving your networking and job search skills.
Students should make use of every tool available to them to expand their network within their field of study, to learn more about what interests them and about potential career paths. Trent alumni can be a valuable tool for this and many are willing to speak with students through the Trent-Alumni Mentoring Program.
For more information about career education, visit the Career Centre anytime in Champlain College 204, or call 705-748-1011 x6012 to make an appointment. Continue to watch www.trentu.ca/careers for upcoming events and workshops.