More than 1,600 students attended the UTM Career Centre’s Summer Job Fair on Wednesday.
Many remained for two hours after the event ended, submitting résumés and taking advantage of the chance to practise interview skills and gain experience networking with dozens of employers from various occupational fields.
The turnout was more than double last year’s, and the Career Centre is looking to attract even a larger turnout for next year’s event, said Claire Westgate, the manager of partner relations for experiential opportunities.
“Some companies, like those that attended the fair, really like this format for hiring students,” said Michelle Atkinson, the coordinator of events and employment services. “They hire enough students at one time that coming to a fair makes sense for them: they get lots of candidates in one day, which works well.”
Typically, many students start to think about their summer plans after the holiday break, so having the fair in January is good timing for students who are thinking they might like to start looking for work.
Unemployed and foraying into the job market, some students dressed in suits.
Businesses are often interested in current students for their summer opportunities because current students are usually available between May and August, which overlaps with their summer hiring needs. That said, many of the companies here today were hiring for full-time positions as well.
Some of the jobs listed at the various companies’ kiosks had easily understandable titles, such as “administrative assistant” or “activities director”. But others indicate highly specialized positions, such as working for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, serving in the Canadian Border Services Agency, or working with special-needs children. Indeed, public service work opportunities, which included working for the City of Toronto and the City of Mississauga, were of real interest to students.
“Many students are interested in different levels of government, so these are always popular booths,” said Westgate. “I think each student is looking for something different. Many students are seeking retail or camp-style jobs for their first job, while other students are seeking more corporate experience.”
To pique students’ interest in the corporate world, big-name retailers and service providers, including Costco, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Danier Leather, FedEx, and the Centreville Amusement Park, were looking to fill hundreds of positions designed for students by the end of the school year.
“We hope that for UTM, this fair serves to continue to strengthen our ties to our local employer community, and that the employers enjoy their experience at UTM and continue to come back to visit us and hire our students in the future,” Westgate said.