Before I started Co-op, I used to feel a lot of anxiety about my future and whether or not I’d find a job in my field after graduation. I was used to hearing of the impossibility of finding a career after university, and that my degree alone was not my golden ticket to landing that dream job after graduation.
I would love to say that what we’ve heard about education today is not true, but this is not the case. We cannot rely on a degree to magically grant us a job. What I did realize, after my experience working as an On-Campus Recruitment Assistant here at SFU, was that there are tons of career opportunities out there for students like us. It is just about knowing where to look!
As a student, the first place you should check is myExperience. This is SFU’s newly updated job posting site. When you log in you will be able to see Co-op, full-time, part-time, and volunteer opportunities. This is also the place where you will be able to RSVP for different employer events.
As an On-Campus Recruitment Assistant, I have had the chance to work with dozens of different employers, across a wide range of sectors, who consistently invest time and money to seek out students to hire. I organize events on campus for companies such as Amazon, EA, Health Canada, Statistics Canada and RBC (and many others). During these events, employers give students inside information about their organization, the type of students they are hiring for, as well as exclusive networking opportunities. Info sessions are free to attend for ALL SFU Students and most take place within the first couple months of each semester.
The next thing you need to be aware of as an SFU student is the value of attending career fairs. I have had the opportunity to be on the coordinating team for the BIG Fair, which is the largest recruitment event on campus, taking place from September 18-21 this year. The BIG Fair is a 4-day career, volunteer, and grad school opportunity extravaganza, and we are expecting to have upwards of 100 different organizations in attendance.
This year, we will be welcoming companies such as Microsoft, Facebook, SAP, City of Surrey, and many more. These employers will have booths set up on campus and will be ready to speak to SFU students and Alumni about their current employment opportunities.
If you’re anything like me, being one person among a sea of others at a career fair can seem intimidating. This is why preparation is important. A week before the Fair, simply practice these 4 steps and you will feel more confident to approach employers on the event day.
Log into myExperience with your student ID and search for active job postings. We encourage organizations to post opportunities on our site before they attend the Fair. You should also check the exhibitor list to gain a better sense of all the organizations attending.
When you have found the jobs that interest you, do some research, and find out more about each of the organizations.
Print off copies of your resume and bring them with you to the Fair. This will show employers that you are prepared and can serve as a “cheat sheet” when discussing your skills to them.
Lastly, Practice your elevator pitch, which is a way you can break the ice with the exhibitors, while sparking their interest in you as a potential job candidate.
Relationship building and work experience is key to finding a job after graduation, and as we move into the Fall semester, this is the perfect time to take charge and start seeking out ways that you can supplement your degree and get that dream job when you graduate.
For more tips and tricks on how to prepare for the fair, visit the BIG Fair website.