The AC Hub was illuminated by candlelight, as students and alumni ate canapés under the stars, sipped fancy mocktails and met industry professionals at the Tie into Business networking event, Nov 4.
Students were able to practice networking with alumni within the familiar setting of their own campus. Natasha Roux, employment officer at Student Support Services, organized the event. “This is our second year in a row,” she said. “Last year they had six or seven employers and 255 students in a ‘speed dating’ scenario. This year we changed to open-floor networking to simulate the real-world experience. Being here at the campus, it’s a low-key environment with less pressure.”
The event also showcased a larger program designed to equip students with the skills needed to job search. Jennifer Jarvis, acting manager of Career Services, Student Support Services said “Networking is a chance to try it out and get a sense of what to wear and how to behave in the working world.”
It’s not meant to replace similar events done by other programs, but an opportunity to include all students and programs in general with the focus still being on business.
“We want to add to the resources that we already offer such as career fairs, online job postings and job search coaching,” Jarvis added.
Career Services has partnered with the Algonquin College Alumni Office, who sponsored the event. “We knew there’d be a natural mix for their members.” Jarvis said. “It’s a benefit to the alumni to provide them an opportunity to mentor newer people.”
They also partner with other departments. Professors would have students put together their version of a resumé as an assignment. “Then we would present to the class.” Jarvis said. “The students would then revise their resumé, based on what they learned from our presentation and make a drop-in appointment with us. We gave them feedback to make their resumés more marketable. The same thing happened with mock job interviews.”
Career Services targets business program students in between midterms and final exams. “It gives them a chance to take a breath to see where they’re going,” Roux said.
Jarvis adds, “It’s a good chance for them to look ahead and draw from this experience as a tool for the job search after graduation. We’re a small team but very effective in providing students with information on how to present skills for workplace and their job search. It’s never too early to start.”