Industry professionals will be present at Capilano to recruit students
For Eileen Wang, manager of Capilano University’s Career Services department, the lack of drive and direction from students has been disheartening. She described how students would come to her during drop-in hours with no formative career goals and no competitive edge, and it inspired her to take action.
“We want [students] to have great education [and] well-developed life skills, career skills and really be ready for global community challenges,” she said. Aside from the usual drop-in hours on Mondays and Thursdays from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm, the service organized a series of developmental workshops for students to learn about networking, creating LinkedIn profiles and resumés and preparing for job interviews, which will all be useful skills on at the upcoming career fair, Jobs for Caps, on Wednesday, Mar. 29.
Jobs for Caps will run from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm in the Birch cafeteria. It will be the first time CapU has a career fair with 30 to 40 employers present on campus, and instead of telling students about the opportunities available to them after graduation, they will be seeking students to fill roles within their organizations.
“It’s all employers on campus, not just to talk about their business, but to bring jobs to campus,” said Wang. All five faculties are involved, and currently she has confirmed the attendance of professionals from the sectors of Health Care and Tourism, to Business and Film.
From the Communications sector, recruiters from the City of Burnaby and the City of Surrey, as well as the North Vancouver and West Vancouver District School Boards, have confirmed their attendance.
“For our students who are looking for summer jobs, for our students who are graduating [and] looking for professional work, I think that’s actual connections and actual jobs that will help our students directly connect with jobs instead of just information,” she said.
Over the course of several semesters, Wang has consulted with students from all five faculties in a series of focus groups to learn more about students’ career-driven aspirations. The decrease in competitiveness and passion she saw prompted her to begin consulting with students. “So, through all those research groups and my own team experience we did evaluation assessment[s] to see what our students’ needs are and then come down to, you know, lack of career development awareness,” she said.
Last semester, Career Services hosted Career Awareness Week, but without the resources needed they’ve had to shorten this semester’s version from four days to one – Career Awareness Day on Thursday, Mar. 16 from 11:30 am to 1 pm. In last semester’s event, few students took the time to explore the venues and listen to speakers, and the number of attendees thinned throughout the week.
This time, Wang is positive that Career Awareness Day will be more successful because the session will be intensive and include an Industry Leader Panel in Birch 126, where students may pose questions to four industry professionals. The panel will consist of General Manager of Maison Senior Living, Kelvin Monteiro; Program Leader of BC Public Service Agency, Odette Dantzer; Manager of Change Management at Vancouver Coastal Health, Jen Olson Lund; and RBC’s Senior Recruiter, Andrea Lyndsay.
Wang hopes that the two events can help better prepare students for their post-university career. “I’m very optimistic, very excited that this will be the first job fair that every employer will have a job to offer, you know, [will] bring positions,” said Wang, who has gone about finding potential employers through her personal connections and those suggested by faculty members.
With intimate class settings, instructors get to know their students well and know what kinds of jobs they want to pursue. Wang hopes to see the hiring fair become an annual tradition that will encourage students to develop and pursue career goals.
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