Importance of Networking: hirewesternu Career Fair 2019
Career networking is one of the most important ways to build relationships with future employers and learn more about your field of interest.
Networking may be nerve-wracking, but Western makes it easy for students to talk to employers about how they can apply their studies and passions to a future career.
Western held the hirewesternu Career Fair today from 10am-3pm in the Mustang Lounge, where students spoke to a variety of organizations about workplace trends, and the skills required to get hired in the industry.
There were 70 organizations looking to recruit talent from multiple disciplines and industries at the undergraduate, graduate, PhD, and alumni level.
Associate Director of Employer Relations at Western University, Jeff Watson, said the key to climbing the career ladder is networking during your undergraduate career.
“The university can be a bit of a laboratory where you can experiment and figure out where you fit in post-graduation”, said Watson.
“Having those conversations with employers can inform what you want to do and the types of work that you’re interested in, and the real breadth of opportunity that is out there”.
Participating employers included the London Police Service, Insight Global, Canada Revenue Agency, and the Student Works Management Program, amongst others.
Students could network with employers from a wide variety of fields, opening doors for students to perhaps even discover a career they may not have been aware of.
District Manager of the Student Works Management Program, Luke Fenn, was one of the employers at the event, and helps teach students the skills necessary to run their first business, from sales marketing and project management to interviewing expertise.
Fenn explained how the Career Fair is a perfect opportunity for students to meet employers, break out of their shells, and experiment with different career paths.
“Don’t be shy, and just have fun with it and be yourself”, said Fenn. “Also, just shake a whole lot of hands”.
One of the most important benefits of networking that shouldn’t be overlooked is that employers are seeking out opportunities to recruit students. Organizations want to get to know prospective employees, and what they have to offer.
“74-76 percent of people that we hire are referrals”, said Human Resources Manager from Chartright Air, Allan Armstrong.
“This is a great opportunity to network, find somebody, and if they can do a referral within an organization. Instead of getting 2,000 resumes, your resume is now at the front”.
Although networking with potential employers may be intimidating, if you do some research, come prepared with a résumé and cover letter, and simply be yourself, you are already giving yourself a huge head start.
And the Career Fair is right at your doorstep.
“My best piece of advice for those who want to come to this event, is first come to the event”, said Watson. “Don’t let any barriers hold you back.”
Students come to university to learn, gain hands-on experience, and connect with like-minded individuals in hopes of landing a career in the near future. And networking on Western’s campus is a great way to turn these aspirations into a reality.
hirewesternu will hold a Job Fair on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 from 10am-3pm in the Mustang Lounge.