Résumés, business cards, and ties? Students at MacEwan University ditched their backpacks and sweatpants for a day to meet with some of Edmonton’s top employers.
On Jan. 20, MacEwan’s Career Services hosted its annual Get to Work Career Fair on the first two floors of the Robbins Health Learning Centre. Despite our current economic downtown, there were 68 employers in attendance, including the City of Edmonton and Government of Alberta, non-profits such as YMCA Calgary and The Mustard Seed, and more industry-specific companies, such as GoodLife Fitness and Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
This variety allowed students to speak with desired employers and explore lesser-known opportunities. “I got great feedback throughout the day from exhibitors about how well-prepared and engaged our students were. A lot of them said they found at least a handful of people they think would be a great fit for their organization and mentioned they would be setting up interviews,” said Nicole Blomme of MacEwan Student Affairs.
The event had a steady flow of students passing through, some looking curious, others on a mission, and a few seemingly nervous. Certain exhibitors, such as those representing Scotiabank, made the experience much easier by walking around the event, engaging students and encouraging them to visit their booth to learn more about their organization.
Student reactions to exhibitors varied. A few students were casually attending the event without specific employers in mind, while others claimed that there were few viable prospects and that they found it difficult to interact with certain employers because they simply directed students to their website.
Career Services strives to offer a wide range of exhibitors for all faculties of study.
“Something that we always stress is exploration,” Blomme said. “So even though there wasn’t the organization that [students] hoped to see there, we stress really exploring opportunities and other organizations because you never know unless you ask questions.”
Beyond scoring an array of free items from each booth, entering promotional contests, and walking away with a stack of business cards, the Get to Work Career Fair opened students up to developing basic professional skills; it was a chance for students to master the firm and confident handshake, get comfortable connecting with strangers, and continue building their networking skills.
If you’re interested in current employment opportunities, log onto MacEwan Works and check out postings from employers.
Photo by Madison Kerr.