Guest post by Afiya Altaf
Career Development and Experiential Learning offers many events to connect students with prospective employers. The networking event that took place during Career Week 2015, February 23-27, gave students a chance to appreciate all the academic and non-academic qualifications they have built up in their lives to this point. This pre-exposure to the job market was a boost of confidence for all who attended.
The companies who were present at this event were: The Genesis Centre, D2L, Kent, Johnsons Insurance, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, NATI, and the Board of Trade. Representatives offered students advice to assist them in gaining perspective about interpersonal skills to focus on alongside their academic education. These events act as informal interviews and give students a chance to address any concerns they may have about searching for jobs, and to glean professional opinions from the professionals themselves.
The employers also highlighted how their own volunteering and extracurricular activities played a major role in preparing them for their future endeavors. There was passion in the air and that seemed to be the atmosphere around every table. As the professionals talked about their journeys, students felt more encouraged and hopeful about their own futures.
Students took away a lot more than just business cards from this event. As the students departed from the session, they realized that their current field of study did not restrict them towards their future as long as they were willing to take risks and experiment with what they really wanted to do. All the attendees, as they walked out the door, were open to opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise have considered.
It was quite an inspiring and motivating experience and I personally felt lucky to be a part of an institution that promotes such events where students get a feel of the real world while motivating them towards their goals. Such events offered by CDEL are a great place for students to hang out and gain more than just a few business cards.