Job seekers converge on Okanagan College

The Kelowna campus will host the annual Business Expo & Employment Fair on Wednesday, Feb. 3.

  • Jan. 29, 2016 8:00 p.m.

CIBC’s David Knapp at the Okanagan College campus in Kelowna

Looking for work? Graduating students, alumni and community members can meet with the companies who are hiring at the ninth annual Business Expo & Employment Fair at Okanagan College in Kelowna on Wednesday, Feb. 3.

More than 60 businesses will be present, looking to meet potential job candidates from across the valley, representing a range of sectors including banking, business solutions, engineering technologies, IT, trades and even the Canadian Armed Forces and Canadian Coast Guard.

“It’s about connecting those looking for work, with those who do the hiring directly for these enterprises,” said organizer and Okanagan College School of Business Program and event coordinator Jamie Morrow.

“Having a chance to get beyond being just a name on a resume and present yourself to human resources managers can bring you one step closer to having a job and launching a career.”

One company in attendance will be CIBC, which has hosted a booth at the fair since it first launched in 2008.

David Knapp, who is the business development manager at CIBC for the B.C. and Northern Territories region and also an Okanagan College alumnus, says the appeal is in attracting candidates who are job-ready.

“Our experience is that Okanagan College graduates have the education, skills and professionalism that are the right match for our bank,” said Knapp. “The employment fair gives applicants and employers a chance to meet for a few minutes and from there we can add candidates to our prospect list for ongoing job opportunities.”

Knapp’s advice to those attending the fair is to come interview-ready: bring your resume, dress for the part, and have your “elevator pitch” in mind. He also mentions to not overlook transferable skills such as how a part-time job in a restaurant while attending college can be aligned with customer service, time management, and basic accounting skills.

“Job seekers need to maximize the short time by being as clear as possible about why our bank is a good fit for their goals, but it’s also important to explain why they are good fit for us,” explained Knapp. “Show us what you can bring to the company. We are looking to find great employees.”

In addition to CIBC, exhibitors will include Accelerate Okanagan, BC Tree Fruits, Capri Insurance, City of Kelowna, Kal Tire, Mission Hill Family Estate/CedarCreek Estate Winery, Sentes Automotive Group, Valley First Credit Union, and Westbank First Nation, to name a few. Certain employers also book additional rooms to conduct more in-depth interviews on the spot for applicants who meet the job criteria.

“It can be a quick process. The value is in making those connections and facilitating first impressions,” comments Morrow.

The public is invited to attend the Business Expo & Employment Fair at Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus, which will be held in the atrium of the Centre for Learning building from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Okanagan College School of Business and the Student, Graduate and Co-op Employment Centre sponsor the event.

For more information, go online: and click on business community for a full list of participating employers.



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