Students attend series of workshops and lectures to improve job-seeking skills
Students were given the chance to glimpse into the mind of a hiring committee last week. From Oct. 2 to 5, the annual Career Week took place to help students locate employment opportunities. The program is offered by Mt. A career services and is free to students. The theme of this year’s series was Standing Out in the Hiring Process.
The first event of the week was a resumé writing workshop. The workshop was led by Mt. A alumna Sabine Beisser, a professional in human resources. This seminar focused on what aspects of resumés appeal to hiring managers. For example, the workshop explained how to decide what job experiences and information students should choose to include or exclude on their resumes.
The next day there was a follow-up workshop, where students were given individual help creating their resumés. Alison Crinkley, careers services manager, said “[Students] are looking for a summer job, they’re looking for a job on campus, they’re looking for a part-time job – they really need a solid document and a solid background to think about what that document is going to be.”
The week also included a session on networking, led by class of ’09 Mt. A graduate Sally Ng. Now the founder of an innovation consulting firm, Ng taught students strategies to network online and in person with confidence. Students learned how to appropriately approach people in a professional setting, as well as how to use the professional networks that they establish. Students were also taught how to create an effective elevator pitch – an informative 30-second to two-minute presentation on their personal or professional background.
The week of workshops was centred around a job fair, which took place on Wednesday. At the fair, students used their new-found tools to network and present elevator pitches to various potential employers, including Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canadian Forces. The fair also hosted entrepreneurial agencies such as Opportunities NB and the Community Business Development Corporation. Grad school options were also present, with Saint Mary’s Sobey School of Business and Dalhousie’s Rowe School of Business. Lica Schinael Pacheco, a third-year commerce student, said, “I think it’s nice how there’s different types of booths around that you can go to no matter what you’re studying.”
The final event of the week was the business panel. The panel hosted a number of human resource professionals, who gave students tips about how to stand out in the hiring process. The panel included advice from human resource directors, certified career counsellors and consulting agents. The goal of the panel was to allow students an opportunity to ask questions regarding hiring processes that they were unsure of. “The panel in particular was really interesting. [The human resource professionals] offered a lot of insight,” Crinkley said.
Career Week also hosted an information session about the University’s Graduation Preparation Series (GPS). The GPS program teaches students tools similar to those learned during Career Week, such as resumé building, interview skills, personal finance and much more. Mt. A career services offers this program as an opportunity for students to expand on the themes covered at Career Week. This additional series is especially useful to students who were unable to attend all of the week’s other events. “Career Week is very focused and kind of intense with a lot of sessions. We recognize that students have classes and are very busy and can’t attend all these things,” said Crinkley. “There [are] also a lot of programs available to students throughout the year.”
The program was appreciated by many of the students who attended. Nigel Verrett, a second-year Mt. A student, said, “It’s very useful to those who took advantage of the series provided. It was interesting, there was a lot of fun things to take advantage of.”