The TRU Career and Experiential Learning Department in conjunction with the Faculty of Education and Social Work hosted a career fair for new graduates from the Bachelor of Education program in the Panorama Room of the International Building on April 4.
The fair featured provincial and national school districts, along with international recruiters, who interviewed graduates from elementary and secondary education STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programs.
Vince Watson, TRU events and marketing coordinator, said the fair gave upcoming graduates the opportunity to connect with various employers before graduation.
“We’ve got them grouped into three different groups, so they have an opportunity to go around and connect with different school districts, as well as different schools throughout British Columbia, just to network and learn more about the opportunities that are available,” he said.
Watson also shared that employers who attended the fair had the option to select candidates to interview the following day.
He added that while the education career fair is an annual event, this year is the first time the university has involved STEM graduates.
“That program is only two years old, so it’s a remarkable opportunity for them to be able to have a position and have that lined up for them before graduation,” he stated.
Elaborating on the event, John Churchley, coordinator of teaching and learning, said they brought in fifteen employers from various schools districts including private, international and Indigenous institutions.
“We do a speed dating interview, so they have five minutes per employer and they go around and they just have these quick interviews. Tomorrow they’ll have longer interviews with the employers that they like,” he explained.
Churchley said the fair is very helpful because it gives students practice with the interviewing process, so they won’t feel as nervous when they start applying for jobs.
“We’ve just had one excited TC leave a little bit early because she got handed a contract at this meeting right here, so it’s very exciting for our students,” he said.
Churchley was referring to Victoria Pattison, a bachelor of education major in the elementary program, who told The Omega that she had met with the school district she had previously applied to and was offered a package “right away.”
“Here’s a good chance to warm up [and] try these five-minute interviews. They’re low stakes, you get to feel comfortable [and] you can’t stay nervous,” Churchley stated. “The students always come out excited about that but also they get jobs.”
This year, there will be 80 students graduating from the two cohorts of elementary education and the first cohort of the secondary STEM program.