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Give Me a Job! And a Bag of Doritos! - Career Fair Attracts Hundreds

Friday, September 29, 2006

Written by Gonzalo Moreno

On September 27, RIM Park in Waterloo was converted into an employment bazaar as it hosted this semester’s Career Fair 2006. The Fair was co-sponsored by Conestoga College, the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier and U of G, and it was a golden opportunity for employers to attract interested graduated or graduating students, and for those same students to sample careers they might be keen on pursuing.

By the time Thecannon.ca got there, the proverbial party was in full swing. Employers were dishing out free products left, right and centre in packed aisles, trying to attract as many students as possible while simultaneously driving them away from the competition. It must be a tried and tested method that nothing gets a student’s attention better than a bag of Doritos and a bottle of chocolate milk. The amount of free stuff that was given away was so great that one stand provided free bags to carry around what everyone else was giving away.

Bill Pires, a representative from U of G’s Career Services at the event, estimates that “between 700 and 900” Guelph students would visit the fair. He adds that students would come from “right across the board” in terms of academic disciplines, although he admits that the employers present are “a reflection of the economy,” with the financial sector having a disproportionate presence and computing making a strong comeback.

Some of the Guelph students that visited the fair confirmed Pires’s observations. Dave McVittie, a 4th year Computing student, gave out “9 or 10 resumes” to interested companies and plans to put in a couple of additional applications online. “A lot of companies seemed interested in me,” he added. On the other hand, Shannon, a 4th year Nutrition student, wasn’t as satisfied, complaining that the fair was “not too targeted to our field.” In any case, both agree that the fair was helpful and seemed confident that something useful would come of it.

Pires is also optimistic about the prospects for U of G students. Citing feedback he gets from employers, he said that “[University of Guelph] students seem to be very well-rounded”, and added that gives them an edge over people with similar academic qualifications. Pires underscored the importance that Guelph’s leadership programs have in improving the possibilities of students.

Sadly, this reporter was not presented with serious job offers. One can only hope that the February 2007 Career Fair will do better in that respect, or, if that fails, at least gives out bigger bags of chips.

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