UTM’s Career Center hosted the annual Get Experience Fair last Wednesday. This year, over 80 organizations set up booths around the RAWC and shared opportunities available to current and recently graduated UTM students. Many booths offered brochures and flyers with more information about their organizations. Several others also gave away free items including chocolate, pens, stickers, water bottles, and more to attract students.

The Medium talked to a few students about their experience at the event.

Several students found that having well-recognized organizations such as TD Canada Trust, PepsiCo, and Raptors905 was helpful for learning the various career pathways students could take to work with those companies.

Other students felt disappointed because the organizations attending the event were not representative of the range of programs studied by UTM students.

A fourth-year professional writing and communications programs student said that “the Instagram stories and UTM Engage event page evoked a sense of anticipation and excitement. I had high expectations for it. I figured the fair would provide a diverse range of volunteer and job opportunities within my field or something interesting. While a few representatives stood out, I felt there were too many similar opportunities and not enough in the field I’m interested in.”

She moreover explained how “maybe reading over the company list more thoroughly [prior to attending the event] would have [lessened] the disappointment.”

A large number of organizations were community-based, non-profit, or related to education and tutoring. Another large chunk of companies included UTM organizations that many students were already aware of. Options for students in communications, science, and arts programs specifically were limited.

Sharon, a third-year English major, remarked that “[she] didn’t find the fair helpful. Most of the companies and people there weren’t relevant to [her].”

She also discussed the type of opportunities available. “I didn’t see a lot of job-related booths,” she said. Most of the organizations were only offering volunteer positions and while volunteer positions may be a beneficial way to gain valuable experience, volunteering is not the same as work. For students seeking paid jobs or recent graduates looking for direct experience working in their field, the Get Experience Fair may not have been very useful.

In contrast, several first- and second-year students found the fair informative. Alina, a first-year social science student, said that while “there weren’t many job opportunities for the first years, except [for] on-campus jobs and volunteering, going there and looking around was a good way to help [students] be informed and prepare for later years.”

This Wednesday, the Career Center will be hosting the Graduate and Professional Schools Fair. Students interested in learning about admission requirements and the application process for various post-graduate programs are encouraged to attend the event.

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