PHOTO CONTRIBUTED BY JEREMY VYN / SPUTNIK PHOTOGRAPHY
Wilfrid Laurier University virtually hosts the bi-annual Partnerships for Employment Job Fair on Feb. 2.
The fair will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST on a platform designed for online job fairs called CareerEco. All students and alumni from Laurier University, University of Guelph, University of Waterloo and Conestoga College are encouraged to join. Around 160 employers will attend the event and over one-thousand Laurier students have already registered.
However, some students are struggling with attending the event while it’s virtual.
“The fact that it’s online makes it more confusing and it’s a lot for people to stomach,” said second-year digital media and journalism student Leia Langridge.
Pre-event meetings lay out the process for students, as explained by Jennifer Hicks, a career consultant at the Career Development Centre. The workshops took place on Jan. 27, Jan. 28, Jan. 29 and Feb. 1. There is a three-minute introduction video about the event available on Laurier Navigator.
The purpose of the event is “heavy on the education side of things,” according to Laurier representative on the Partnerships for Employment (P4E) steering committee, Lisa Favero. It is meant as a chance for students to connect with employers and learn about recruitment positions, salary expectations and industry trends.
“If you’re like me, who’s never been to campus and has been stuck in my room for two years,” said Langridge, “I don’t have any energy to go. I just don’t have the mental capacity.”
In the past, in-person job fairs had about three-thousand students in a conference centre opposed to scrolling through a list searching for jobs.
Still, Favero encourages students to attend, even if they’re already employed.
“You never know who you’ll meet and who their connections are,” she said. “Sometimes it’s good to say you’ve never had much experience talking to an employer, it’s pretty scary and you’re a little nervous. There’s a lot of support there, go and try to network with employers where the stakes aren’t as high.”
To attend the virtual event, students can go onto the Career Centre’s event calendar on Navigator and select the job fair block scheduled under Feb. 2. Students can click the button to register for the event and create a profile. They can also upload their resume in the system and look at employer details before the event.
The job fair has been held virtually every February and September since March 2020 and the number of students that attend has grown comparably to past in-person fairs.
There has been a “good interest from Laurier students” in the past, “and it’s been steadily growing,” said Favero.