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Centre offers career and educational resources for students

by Aurora Herrera

The Academic Advising & Career Centre at the University of Toronto Scarborough recently held its second annual summer job fair. Thirty employer organizations were on hand in The Meeting Place to accept resumes and answer inquiries from students searching for summer employment.

“I think that this initiative is great,” said Farida Pedhiwala, a third-year management student. “Students are always looking for work, especially in summertime, so I’m glad we have a resource like this on our campus. I definitely benefit from it.”

Career development coordinator Liz Annis was responsible for bringing the opportunity to students through the job fair held on January 30. That event is just one of the services offered by the centre to help students launch their careers or pursue graduate studies.

“We got such great feedback on the job fair last year,” Annis said. “And every year we see our participation increasing among both students and companies. Fifty per cent of the companies that attended last year came back this year, and we got more new ones.”

The cross-section of organizations present at the job fair included: Canada’s Wonderland, Investors Group, the CN Tower and Ontario Clean Water Agency. Jobs from different sectors ranged from program director to office staff. On-campus employers and organizations like the Scarborough Campus Students’ Union (SCSU) and Bluff’s Restaurant were also in attendance. Staff at the centre can also introduce students to career resources available at the other U of T campuses. “We provide transportation to the downtown campus when career information events are happening there,” Annis said.

Students looking for advice in their intended field may also have the benefit of career panel discussions organized in the near future, Annis said. The centre may bring in working professionals from various industries to answer student questions. Annis hopes to organize a discussion panel for undergraduates and then follow up with a subsequent panel directed at graduating students.

“We have been thinking about setting up a panel where students who are graduating can ask experts their questions as well as go through a mock job interview process,” she said.

In May, the centre is hosting two sets of workshops, both focused on job searching. One will focus on summer employment while the other is for graduating students. (Workshop dates TBA.)

Annis stressed the importance of preparation for the fall events. Fall is the high activity period for recruiters so students are advised to attend the fairs, bring resumes and/or transcripts and be aware of the potential career, graduate and professional school opportunities during that period, she said. Professional recruiters from many of these schools travel globally to attend such events and attract students to their institutions, she said.

The centre also coordinates two other fairs during the fall, a professional and graduate school fair and a volunteer and internship fair.

This year’s professional and graduate school fair at U of T Scarborough will feature more than 50 academic institutions from Canada, the U.K and Australia. It is scheduled over three days in fall 2008: Thursday, Oct. 2 (for international programs) and Tuesday, Oct. 7 and Wednesday, Oct. 8 (for Canadian programs), from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on all dates. These events will all be happening in The Meeting Place.

The volunteer and internship fair will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 5 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Meeting Place. “This event gives students a chance to speak with representatives from a large number of organizations from many different sectors,” Annis said. “They also get to network, which is key to landing the job they want.”

Annis invites all students to drop in to the Academic Advising & Career Centre to learn more about the resources and services available. It is located in the Academic Resource Centre (ARC) beside the library in Room AC 213.

Helpful job tips including career and industry information can be found at: http://www.careers.utoronto.ca/weblinks/libweblink.aspx?tr=. For more information on workshops, fairs and other services, visit the centre’s web site at: http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/~counselling/

Aurora Herrera is a fourth-year student in the journalism program offered jointly by U of T Scarborough and Centennial College. She is currently working as an intern in Marketing & Communications.





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