Will Patterson is fairly confident he will be able to land a job after he finishes his degree in civil engineering, but he’s not taking any chances.
He was one of several students networking with potential employers at UBCO Career Day Thursday.
“You start to think long-term and realize these are the connections you need,” said Patterson.
“When you come prepared with questions, that’s when you can really find out about what you want in a company.”
Twenty-five companies–some of which included BC Hydro, Husky Energy, Scotiabank and Target Canada–had booths set up in the Engineering, Management, Education Building.
Patterson, who is in his third-year, said the opportunity to meet representatives from those companies face-to-face is one he wanted to take advantage of.
“You can go on their websites and find out a lot of information, but you don’t really get to know the interpersonal stuff.”
Jamie Basran, career manager at UBCO, said this is the first year the university will host two career days.
Previously, the annual February career fair was the only chance for students to meet with prospective employers. This year, the university opted to take advantage of the fall recruitment period.
“I think it’s really important, especially with a job market like we’re currently faced with—where there are more applicants than positions,” said Basran.
“Any opportunity that students have to connect with a contact at a business, start establishing a relationship with them or get their face known…is (positive).”
The career manager added that it’s not rare for a handshake at UBCO Career Day to lead to a job down the road.
“A lot of response from our participating companies is that they’ve brought people in for interviews from meeting them at career fairs.
“Even talking with a few (Thursday), they already had arranged some interview follow-ups with candidates they met.”
Basran said it was especially encouraging to see UBCO alumni returning to the campus Thursday as recruiters for the companies they now work for.