Job seekers, employers meet at TRU job fair

Devan C. Tasa, Contributor  Ω

People entered the ballroom – some in their best suits and others in casual wear – prepared to perform that dance that takes place between job seekers and potential employers.

Around 2,000 people attended the TRU Job Fair in the Grand Hall on Mar. 8 to talk to 45 different employers, said representatives from the career education department.

The job fair had a number of benefits to visitors according to student employment co-ordinator Megan Gerow.

“It’s a opportunity to practice networking, practice professionalism, gain confidence and obtain careers,” she said.

While the fair is aimed at students, student employment co-ordinator Susan Forseille says other groups also attend.

“Lots of alumni, tradespeople and people from the community come too,” Forseille said. She added that faculty also come to learn about the job market for the subjects they teach, making changes to their curriculum if necessary.

Forseille said that it was difficult to determine how many TRU students are hired as a result of the job fair.

That sentiment was echoed by most of the employers there, but Matt Richmond, a senior accountant at KPMG’s Kamloops branch, says that his company hires an average of six to 10 new accountants from all of the career fairs he visits.

Hiring new people wasn’t the only reason why employers attended the career fair.

Many were there to promote their companies and services to TRU students.

“We get a lot of exposure to the community,” said Lorianne Gotro, a human resources specialist from Interior Savings. “That’s our primary objective.”

Others said they were there to contribute to TRU and its community.

“It’s a good opportunity for us to help the university,” Richmond from KPMG said.

He explained that paying for a booth, which ranges from $200 to $3,000, helps fund the career education department.

Fourth-year journalism student Allison Gibbard says the job fair was useful to her.

“It’s a good opportunity to find out information about a company or career that you may have never thought of,” she said.

First-year philosophy student D’arcy Bruce says that the fair wasn’t useful to him, as he plans to attend law school first.

“But I can see it being useful for more than a few people,” he said.

TRUSU VP external Jordan Harris, who was near the Grand Hall promoting a different event, says the job fair was busy for most of the day.

“It’s great that students at TRU can drop off resumes and talk to companies about career opportunities,” he said.

The job fair isn’t the only thing the career education department does, Gerow says.

Students looking for help in finding a career can go to the department located in OM 1712.