UBCO students cast an eye to the future

Vancouver Police Department Const. Denise Foster talks to fourth-year UBCO psychology student Rebecca Wong about a career in the force at the annual UBCO career fair at the university
Vancouver Police Department Const. Denise Foster talks to fourth-year UBCO psychology student Rebecca Wong about a career in the force at the annual UBCO career fair at the university's Kelonwa campus on Thursday.
— image credit: Alistair Waters/Capital NEws

University of B.C. Okanagan students learned first hand about possible future employment options Thursday during UBCO's annual career fair.

The fair, which included about 30 organizations representing a full spectrum of possible employment opportunities from law enforcement to environmental technologies and from local government to finance, attracted a steady flow of students through the day.

"Yes, it's been busy," said Christen Wilson, a recruiter with the City of Kelowna's human resources department.

Wilson said the university has provided the city with many summer students in the past, and several have gone on to work full-time for the city.

She said students, especially those with engineering backgrounds, often give the city a good look as a potential employer.

As a result, she added, she tried to rotate in current city employees from a varying number of departments during the day in order to help answer specific questions from students.

One student interested in working for the city was Krisnendu Bas Kushal, an international student from Bangladesh who is studying marketing here at UBCO.

He said he hopes to find a job that field after finishing his studies and returning  to Bangladesh.He said he would like to work for three of four years here after he getshis degree.

Kushal said he came to Kelonwa, in part, on the advice of friends who were already studying in Canada and had good things to say about British Columbia and especially the Okanagan.

"It's a wonderful place," said Kushal. "I think there are good opportunities here."

Over at the Vancouver Police Department booth, a former UBCO student was helping spread the word about the Lower Mainland police force.

Caleigh Gehl, who graduated last year with a degree in management and is now a VPD recruit, said she came from the Lower Mainland to study here because she liked the smaller UBC campus and the lifestyle the Okanagan offered.

The Vancouver Island native said she always wanted to be a police officer and opted for the Vancouver city force over the RCMP because of she liked what it had to offer.

As a recruit constable, Gehl is currently going through the nine-month training course that involves hands-on work, as well as  training at the Justice Institute in New Westminister.

VPD Const. Denise Foster said it's important for her and other VPD recruiting officers to make students aware they do not have to have a degree in criminology to join the force and that there are other options to enter law enforcement than just the RCMP.

"We are looking for educated people but they also have to be well-rounded people," said Foster.

The annual career fair, which followed a similar event at Okanagan College Wednesday, helps provide information for students as they approach then end of their post-secondary education and are looking to the future.









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