The annual University of Winnipeg (U of W) Career Fair will connect students with recruiters, companies and industry professionals. The event is a chance to both discover new career options and network with potential employers from government, health, law and non-for-profit organizations, as well as many other diverse industries.
Frank Leskovjan, the co-ordinator of U of W Career Services, says in addition to employers, ambassadors from grad studies programs at U of W, Ross University and Lakehead University will promote their programs.
According to Leskovjan, Career Services tries to plan the fair around students’ needs.
“In the past, we’ve reached out to student groups to ask if there were any potential exhibitors they would want to see at the Career Fair, or if there (was) anyone else they’ve already tried to liaise with,” Leskovjan says. “Some exhibitors from the past have attended based on those recommendations.”
Leskovjan also says because the Career Fair is held during classes, and the speakers for the event are on set schedules, students who are unable to attend may still be able to connect with certain organizations.
“We’ve reached out to the presenters to see if they would be willing to share their contact information and try and connect the students after the fact,” he says.
In addition to presentations and exhibitions, there will be a speed networking event held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Deanna England, a U of W academic and career advisor, explains that different networkers from various organizations, and all of the U of W faculties, will be there to speak individually with students for five to 10 minutes.
“It gives (students) a good opportunity to learn about an organization and find out what a company is looking for,” England says. “It’s a good training exercise, too. Maybe students have never had a professional interview before for a job beyond a part-time position that has nothing to do with their career goals.”
Both England and Leskovjan agree students who wish to get the most out of the Career Fair should prepare beforehand.
Students “can come in with resumes to give to exhibitors that might be recruiting,” England says. “They should review the exhibitors ahead of time and look at which ones they might be interested in and have some questions prepared to find out what the best pathway to get into that organization.”
Leskovjan also points out that January and February are the prime time to start contacting employers regarding summer employment.
“Start doing that outreach at the Career Fair for opportunities starting in May,” he says. “Go in with an open mind, but plan ahead.”
The Career Fair will be held in the Duckworth Gymnasium on Jan. 17 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For a list of Career Fair exhibitors, visit the U of W Career Services website.