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Career fair creates common ground for students and local employers

For Peng Jiang, networking with regional employers gives an insight into how companies and students can help each other succeed.

Jiang was one of many students who attended the second annual Working in Windsor-Essex Career Expo in the Ambassador Auditorium on Thursday. A native of Beijing, he is a master’s student of international accounting and finance, and looks forward to job offers from employers in the region.

“I’m hoping to apply my skills in a summer or winter internship next year,” Jiang says. “The professionals gave me a lot of advice on how to present a better resume and who to contact for future opportunities.”

The event, organized by the university’s Centre for Career Education in collaboration with Workforce WindsorEssex, provided the avenue for current students and recent graduates to network with regional employers and explore local career paths. Twenty participating organizations interacted with students and provided information on products and services. Local human resources professionals were available to critique students' resumes and increase their understanding of industry requirements.

“It’s a great learning opportunity for students to learn how their knowledge can be applied and it makes them see what employers look for in prospective employees,” says Nicole Vignone, employment advisor at Centre for Career Education. “It is also good for the companies to come out and make students see what the city has to offer in terms of emerging sectors and fields they may be interested in.”

Workforce WindsorEssex has developed a list of nine sectors and more than 40 promising occupations, including agriculture, construction, creative industries, education, health sciences, manufacturing, professional services, renewable energy and tourism. Its career pathway coordinator, Michelle Beemer, says its partnership with the university created a common ground between employers in these sectors and students pursuing related careers.

“The university sees the need of the students whereas we see the need of the workforce,” says Beemer. “They get to see what the expectations are, what skills they need and what jobs will be available locally in the future.”

— article by Chantelle Myers