So many employers all in one place: Why I’ll be attending the Work Experience and Career Fair

Guest post by Carly Grabher

You might think it’s too early to start thinking about what career you’re planning to pursue but actually, now’s the perfect time to start connecting with employers to get a sense of what you might like to do.

It just so happens that you’re in luck! Next week (Oct. 2 and 3) is the Work Experience and Career Fair where you have the opportunity to speak with over 50 organizations and connect with professionals in your areas of career interest. Sounds good, right? There are lots of reasons to attend the fair. I’ve broken down some of the myths about the fair—it’s not as scary as you think!

 

Myth: You will be interviewed and tested by employers at the fair.

Truth: You can chat with employers from different industries and companies all in one place but they are not there to test you. The employers just want to tell you more about what they do!

 

Myth: You don’t need to network while you’re in school.

Truth: Sure, you don’t have to network. Networking is definitely not my favourite pastime but it always helps to form those connections before you graduate to make job searching post-graduation a little easier. Think of it as investing in your future. Just like putting a little bit of money in investments and watching it grow, stopping at some booths relevant to your program at the career fair just might lead to a job some day! Small input; big reward.

Career educators Michelle Floyd and Jeremy Pearce are ready to welcome you to the Career Prep Corner!

Myth: You have to have a script prepared to meet employers at the fair

Truth: You don’t have to have a speech ready! Just come with an open mind and a curiosity to learn about possible work opportunities. If you’re nervous about talking with employers, stop by our Career Prep Corner, right next to the fair, to get some tips from our friendly career educators. I’m nervous talking to strangers but the folks at the career fair are super friendly and I’ve always made good connections to help me on my career path.

 

Myth: You have to know what you want to be when you grow up

Truth: Yes, we’re all grown-ups but that doesn’t mean any of us know what we want to do for our careers. Speaking from personal experience, I’m one of those people who doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life. I’m majoring in creative writing but lately I’ve been exploring graphic design and working in marketing. With such broad career interests, I’m looking forward to asking employers about what it’s like to work in these areas and about opportunities in different companies.

 

Myth: As someone in the Fine Arts, there aren’t any booths at the fair relevant to me.

Truth: As someone in the Fine Arts myself, I can say with certainty that there are absolutely organizations that want to meet you! The employers want to meet people from every discipline in order to build a well-rounded organization. So, come check it out to see how valuable your skills are!

A look inside last year’s Work Experience and Career Fair event. There are so many employers to meet!

 

Myth: I know someone who will hire me after graduation so I don’t need to attend the fair.

Truth: That’s amazing to hear you are being approached for work already! But, what if that opportunity falls through? Sometimes why we are offered jobs or not offered jobs has less to do about someone seeing your talent and more to do with budgets and government funding.

It is so worthwhile to attend the fair because you can network without leaving campus. Employers come from across Canada and internationally—so, you can broaden your network in one space. Why not have a back-up plan for yourself when it’s so readily available? Plus, you can get a free professional headshot for your LinkedIn account!

Co-op student Julian Sketchley photographing a student for LinkedIn at last year’s event.

 

How to make the most of the fair!

On the day of the fair (Oct. 2 and 3) come visit the career educators in the SUB Upper Lounge at the Career Prep Corner where you can check in before visiting the employer booths. At the Career Prep Corner, you can find out where organizations are located in the Michele Pujol Room, get tips on what to say to employers, and even get your photo taken for LinkedIn!

For more info on the Work Experience and Career Fair, visit uvic.ca/careerfair. I’ll see you there!

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