The P4E (Partners for Employment) Career fair was held in RIM Park, Waterloo on February 7, with more than 200 different companies participating. The organizations claim that the career fair was the largest of its kind in Canada, conveniently located right next to Waterloo’s doorstep.
As a first year, I decided to go to the job fair just to check it out. This is just in case if I might have to find a job during continuous round and for future references. There were also students from Laurier, Guelph, and Conestoga, and jobs from all fields such as engineering, business, science, and social services.
Since it was my first time going to this job fair (or any job fair at this level), I thought it was a good idea to bring a clip-board and wear something formal, mainly because the people in the picture of the fair from last year wore them. In addition, I would also have wanted to give an impression that I was not an awkward first year (I still gave that impression sadly).
On my way there, I have met a few people who were also going to the career fair with different purposes. One was almost graduating and needed to get a job for after graduation, while another first-year was also just checking out what a job fair is about. Whatever the reason, students and graduates go to the career fair en masse.
Once I got there, I went inside the main building, where I was fascinated by the amount of students and employers inside. For most of the time, I was looking for any companies within my interests and who were hiring engineering co-op students at that time. I went and talked to several employers from different companies and learned quite a lot from each of them. During that time, I first heard that some engineering jobs were not the regular 9-5 jobs, but were more like contract jobs that require employees to travel across the world with short notice to do the job.
Along with the job booths, there was also a booth set up by the career services of the 4 universities and colleges sponsoring this fair. Since this was my first time going, I decided to visit the career services to see what I could have done the next time that I come to a career fair (to be fair, I should have gone there first). I went to the Laurier booth (since all other booth was full) and gained more tips and advice for my next career fairs. I would recommend first-timers to get advice from your respective career services on how to act in a career fair environment.
It was a great learning experience for me, as it opened up my views on what I could do after graduation (if I stick with my program and degree). I would recommend people to go the next time this happens, which will be held on September 26 in the fall. In the meantime, good luck to all students who are currently looking for a job for next term.