York’s first Career Expo was ‘truly wonderful’

“A very motivating and defining experience!”
“My career path is headed in a clearer direction now.”
“A truly wonderful event!”
“Career Expo helped me overcome my fear of job searching.”

These are just some of the comments from students who showed up in record numbers for Career Expo 2006. On Sept. 28, over 2,500 students participated in the Career Centre’s first annual Career Expo which was held in the Student Centre and the Underground restaurant on York’s Keele campus. 

Left: The employer exhibition in the Underground

The event was initiated by the Career Centre to help students gain a better understanding of where and how jobs are found and teach them job search strategies to find work in their field.

The day kicked off with a keynote presentation, sponsored by the Alumni Office, by York alumnus Mark Swartz (MBA ’85) who gave free copies of his best seller, Get Wired, You’re Hired, to the first 50 students who attended his session.

“While some large companies recruit on university campuses, most jobs are found through our networks.” said Donna Robbins, director of York’s Career Centre. “We wanted to create a day of activities that provided students with knowledge and skills to meet this reality.” A third-year student in the Faculty of Health who attended a number of activities during the day was excited by her experience, “Career Expo helped me confirm my career interests and strengthened my confidence to achieve my goals!”

Employers who attended Career Expo 2006 had high praise for York students. When asked what it is about York students that makes them so special, York alumna Cathy Paranczuk (BBA ’00), a representative of Bell Canada, said, “There is a great range of programs at York and York students are from very diverse backgrounds and live throughout the city of Toronto – this opens a larger market of employees.”

While there were a variety of larger employers, like Bell Canada, who took part in the employer exhibition, Career Expo 2006 offered additional activities to help students learn how to connect with employers in their own field of interest – including small and medium sized organizations who typically recruit through their networks.

Students attended workshops and an alumni panel, and participated in career exploration online chats with professionals representing 11 different industries.

Right: Donna Robbins (left), director of York’s Career Centre, with Shawn Shepheard, a keynote presenter

Shawn Shepheard, the closing keynote presenter at Career Expo 2006, talked about “unnetworking” — a strategy where students can find people in their area and create opportunities of interest. Aryan Yassavoli, a fourth-year economics student at York, said, “Shawn Shepheard made me think about networking in a new way and I can’t wait to try out the things I learned in his session!”

Visit the Career Centre Web site for more information about the many services available to York students.