Students to explore opportunities at job fair

The university will host 59 employers in the CAC on March 6

Tayla Scott, Community News Collective Intern Ω

The TRU job fair will take place on March 6. A pre-fair workshop will be held on March 5 to help students make the best impression on potential employers. Tayla Scott/The Omega

The TRU job fair will take place on March 6. A pre-fair workshop will be held on March 5 to help students make the best impression on potential employers. Tayla Scott/The Omega

There are only six weeks left in the semester and it’s that time of year again, when students begin their panicked search for summer jobs, internships or full-time positions for new graduates. Where do you even start?

A good place might be the annual TRU job fair. On March 6, TRU will be host to 59 employers from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Campus Activity Centre’s Grand Hall.

“A strong criteria for the employer when they’re coming to our job fair is that they do actually have jobs that they’re posting for other students or new graduates,” said Sarah Gibson, TRU’s international student employment coordinator. “For the most part, the employers that are at the job fair actually have real jobs that they’re seeking for summer or new grad employment.”

Gibson recommended researching companies that interest you in advance. The full list of attending employers is available on TRU’s website at http://www.tru.ca/jobfair/students.html.

Marion Oke, career education department member, stressed the importance of being open to opportunities at the job fair.

“Sometimes the most unexpected thing can launch your career: an introduction, a chance encounter. Be open and take risks,” Oke said.

There will be a free workshop on March 5 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the TRU Student Union Lecture Hall. This workshop intends to answer any questions about the job fair and give tips on how to make a good impression on employers.

“You would never approach an employer and ask ‘So what jobs do you have?'” Gibson explained.

Feedback from employers over the years shows that they are most interested in students who take a personal interest in the employer as a person and develop meaningful conversations with the employer.

Susan Forseille, a student employment coordinator who wrote the presentation to be shown at the job fair workshop, recommended not only preparing your resumé and portfolio, but preparing to market yourself. This includes sharing information about your schooling, experience and skills. Along with being polite and enthusiastic, Forseille recommended paying attention to non-verbal communication from the employer.

Certain employers consider the TRU job fair “one of their primary recruitment tools,” Gibson said. Employers in the forest sector and mining sector return to the job fair every year to hire students, and so do the financial institutions Royal Bank, CIBC and Toronto Dominion, according to Gibson. Many TRU alumni are now working at these financial institutions full time.

To those who might feel overwhelmed or intimidated by the event, Gibson recommended hanging back and watching how other students are approaching employers before starting the search yourself.

“We have incredible success stories of students getting actual meaningful work out of the job fair,” Gibson said.