February 4, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 69  

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Job Fair packs ’em in as students peruse at UCC

By Anton Vidgen
Gazette Staff
Joyce Wang/Gazette
WE’VE GOT FIRST DIBS ON LAUNDERED MONEY, DRUGS AND AUTOMATIC WEAPONS. James McLean, a second-year mechanical engineering student, listens to a police man pitch the service at the Job Fair yesterday.

Students passing through the University Community Centre yesterday were greeted by dozens of booths stacked with flashy pamphlets and smiling recruiters, though many were there for different reasons.

The annual Western Job Fair featured small and large companies and institutions vying for university graduates, said Sharon Lee, a recruitment co-ordinator with Career Services at Western.

“I’m impressed with the students presenting themselves to the employers,” Lee said, adding the event was important because it “brings students and employers together.”

Even though this year featured the largest ever student population at Western, Lee said she expects the impact on the job market to be minimal. “It doesn’t really affect [it],” she said.

About 40 per cent of students are looking for summer employment and many in attendance brought their resumés along to promote themselves, Lee explained.

“We’re looking to develop new leaders,” said Henk Kupyers, a representative of Primerica Financial Services. He added that his company is a great business opportunity for students who want to be their own boss and “who want a little bit more.”

Even though the event was for one day only, some companies who rented booths chose not to do any actual recruiting and instead took the opportunity to advertise their services to a captive student market.
Franz Branschat of the Certified General Accountant Association of Canada said his company attends career fairs at universities across the country strictly to advertise its main message. “We’re hoping to promote the CGA designation,” he said.

One marketing company ironically only chose to recruit employees and not directly advertise its clients’ products — or so the company claimed. The Segal Communications booth featured a Sony Playstation 2 with various games for visitors to play. “We just bring it for the students,” said Aaron Dowden, a representative for the company.

Dowden said his company only goes to the career fairs of Western and McMaster University because of their relatively large student populations and enjoyable environments.

Even other universities and colleges had their places staked out. Representatives from McMaster’s theological studies and Fanshawe College used the Job Fair to promote their academic programs. The response? “Not overwhelming,” said Jenn Bowler, a representative from McMaster.

—with files from Sue Ruhe



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