By ANDREW OMRAN
Students out of school still have a fair shot at getting a job.
The downward spiral that the economy has taken over the last couple of years may have a lot of people thinking there aren’t jobs out there for post-secondary graduates but a career fair held on Sept. 28 provided a light at the end of the tunnel.
The annual career fair had students suiting up and printing off resumes in the hopes that their hard work would land them the career they have been hoping for.
Betty Wong, a graduate from the University of Waterloo, was one of the students at the event talking to employers.
“I think there are a lot of well-known companies attending this job fair and it really allows you to talk to H.R. and the engineers working at the company and to also see the company through their eye and learn about what you’re going to do,” she said.
The career fair was held at RIM Park and included representatives from more than 260 employer organizations who were exhibiting and talking to students about existing opportunities within their organizations.
“The market at this time for student recruitment is strong. We’re hearing signs of a potential downturn in the economy, but we’re clearly not seeing it here today,” said Jan Bass, director of co-operative education and career services at Wilfrid Laurier University.
Approximately 3,335 students and alumni attended the career fair, which is considered to be one of the biggest and most successful in North America.
But what the employers are looking for in job candidates varies depending on the company.
RIM representative, Andrea Howey, said, “It really depends on the position that we’re hiring for but definitely an innovative hard worker, to work in a very fast-paced environment; that’s the kind of culture we have over here.”
Howey also encourages students to consider working for RIM despite the company’s stock plummeting in recent weeks.
“It’s business as usual in terms of the co-ops that we’re bringing in. It’s based on the needs of the business, so if there’s a need for the co-ops then we’re definitely bringing them in to move forward.”
Conestoga students in the Police Foundations program also got some reassurance as Sgt. Ross Swainson, representative for the Waterloo Regional Police, shed some light on how post-graduates can get into the force.
“We’re looking for well-rounded candidates. One of our core values is education so we encourage people to have post-secondary education because learning is very important, adapting every day to new environments,” he said.