5 Takeaways from a Co-Op Networking Event
To end this class, Co-Op and Career Services organized a virtual networking event over Zoom on November 27th. Here, Co-Op students were able to hear advice and tips from nine employers relevant to Humanities and Fine Arts.
There were three employers in each of the following categories: private sector, non-profit sector, and public sector.
This was a fantastic way to put faces to names and hear valuable insights from relevant employers, many of whom hire Co-Op students each term.
Although moderators facilitated the event in three breakout rooms, many of the employers provided their contact information and were willing to connect with students after the event.
Here are the top 5 takeaways I gained from the networking event:
1. Getting a job at the place where you do your co-op
One fantastic way to find a job after graduation is to complete an internship or Co-Op at the company you want to work for. If you do a great job, they may formally hire you onto their staff.
This was the case for Isla Swanwick, the people operations coordinator at Redbrick in Victoria, B.C. She said this is one of the best ways to make connections.
2. The creative industry isn’t going anywhere
When looking to the future, Anna Comfort O’Keefe, who is a managing editor at Harbour Publishing Douglas & McIntyre, said that although much of the work she does is becoming mechanized, the creative industry isn’t going anywhere.
Mark Bradley from 291 Film Company echoed this when he said that when his team couldn’t physically make their documentaries during Covid-19, they adapted by writing and developing new ideas.
This is comforting to me, as a Humanities student, to hear from real employers that there are likely still going to be jobs in creative places after I graduate.
3. Online/digital skills will make you stand out
Alyssa Gerwig, Executive Director at the Sidney Museum, said that digital literacy and online databases are the future of her field, and that applicants who can show they know how to navigate these digital endeavours on the horizon will stand out more than those who can’t. There will be more of an effort into communications and online platforms.
4. Stand out with your resume
Pia Russell, a Coordinator in the University of Victoria Libraries, said her biggest tips for students entering their career are to present oneself well, have a more specific title for a resume file than just “resume,” and find a way to stand out with a creative resume.
Hiring managers who look through hundreds of resumes are unlikely to really look at your resume without a creative and visually-appealing format.
5. Network in the desired field
Finally, and this was something that most of the nine employers said, network in your desired career field as much as possible.
By making contacts, whether that be through an email, a cup of coffee, or a LinkedIn request, you are setting yourself up for success.
Employers who recognize your name when they pick up your resume are more likely to give it a second glance, and you never know who will be someone who can get you a job.