Some students left with insight; others, frustration
By Cazzy Lewchuk, Staff Writer
Students at both campuses of Douglas College attended the year’s first career fairs, presenting attendees with potential employment opportunities in a variety of fields.
Held on March 4 at the New West campus and on March 6 at David Lam, the career fair featured representatives from several different employers and industries, each making their pitches to Douglas College students. Despite new opportunities this year, the exhibitors were virtually identical to those from past fairs. Featured booths included recruiters for regional police forces, the RCMP, and the health care system, while others were tailored towards a specific niche of college student, such as jobs working with autistic children and other forms of early childhood education.
While many of the fair’s attendees were current Douglas College students, several of the school’s alumni were also in attendance, now looking for work.
Nicole K. is a future Douglas College student starting the Veterinary Office and Animal Care Certificate program in the spring. In preparation, she visited the career fair at the New Westminster campus, though she told the Other Press that she didn’t find the fair to be as diverse as it could have been.
“There were no booths relating to any animal-related jobs,” she said. “The closest there was was the health care assistant exhibit. It’s really hard to find any sort of job related to that field when you’re still a student.” Nicole is currently seeking a job at an animal shelter or clinic.
Career fairs generally attract attention from students unsure of their futures; those with undeclared majors or who are not in a career-oriented area of study could potentially benefit from seeing the many opportunities available in the community. They’re able to speak with professionals in the industry and find out some of the requirements and duties associated with the job in question. Many of the exhibits also featured job or volunteer positions available to current students—no additional training required. Examples include positions at Rogers Arena, T & T Supermarket, and the YMCA.
Douglas College’s community involvement and engagement plans allow for employers and recruiters to meet with college students, and is one of the reasons why the college hosts at least one career fair every semester. The diverse nature of the programs at Douglas means many students will not have been at the school in the last semester, necessitating these fairs’ frequency. The fair’s timing also provided an opportunity for those looking for a summer job, whether those students had recently finished a program or were between semesters.
While the fairs provided students with some opportunities, many walked away still unclear of job prospects.