By Chris Avery
On January 21, NAIT’s annual Career Fair provided students with new networking opportunities. With 97 firms represented (and nearly double the recruiters) the fair offered NAIT students a chance to explore possible career paths.
Nicole Bloome, career and employment liaison at NAIT, explained “students [must] view the career fair as less of a job fair, and more of a networking opportunity.”
She stressed the importance of being prepared to talk about yourself and your qualifications with recruiters at the fair.
The idea of creating a network over seeking a job placement may be new to some students. Bloome mentioned that part of the struggle with finding meaningful employment comes from expanding your network.
This year, some students understood the message. With over “50% [of] first-year students that filled out surveys,” said Bloome, the event represents a huge success. Bloome also added that the positive surveys from employers demonstrate the overall successful quality of student-employer interactions.
To prepare for the fair, NAIT students were provided daily workshops during lunch periods. A week and a half of workshops were available, such as “How To Do a Career Fair”, which served as an explanation of how to approach recruiters during a career fair. There was also a resume and cover letter building workshop, as well as industry resume consultations, all of which helped to set up students for success.
Other workshops included “Linkedin or Left-out,” a guide for using Linkedin, and “Achieving and Exceeding your Goals,” a presentation provided by an ex-military veteran turned team consultant. There was even a free haircut event that provided students with a fresh new look for the fair.
Some of the highlights from this year include a new venue and more exhibitors. The fair was previously held in the main building on campus but was relocated to the CAT building to concentrate the firms present. Additionally, the firms were organized alphabetically, allowing students greater ease to navigate the busy hub of networking individuals.
Some of the struggles regarding the new venue included bottlenecking that occurred down CAT main street. To prevent this, Bloome mentioned creating more space between contributors.
Furthermore, she said she “hopes to arrange the firms by industry” for next year’s event to allow easier navigation around career booths.
Bloome’s office at Advising and Career Development provides services for honing your resume and cover letter.
“Students are encouraged to contact our services,” said Bloome, as they provide help with LinkedIn accounts, interview preparation, and all employment related inquiries.