College and university students connect with employers at networking event

Like speed dating, except with students meeting employers, not a new partner. About 120 students and 50 employers attended the event held by the Durham Tamil Association (DTA).

College and university graduates, as well as third and fourth year students, joined employers for an evening of meeting, mingling, and hopefully, job opportunities.

Reyl Coronado, a recent graduate from Computek College who studied network engineering, was excited for the dinner, and the chance to meet new people. He attended to meet people in a similar field, and to find a job if the opportunity presented itself.

“I’m here for, like I said, networking and opportunities to find people who are interesting and to see what I can accomplish,” he said. “I can always try to seek further opportunities to see if one is on my way and try and grab it.”

Kiruthiga Shanmuganathan, the youth coordinator for DTA, was herself, looking for job opportunities at the dinner.

“There are a lot of large companies that will give us a lot of opportunities, especially like for new graduates,” she said. “It shows that they’re trying to do an initiative to give younger generations an opportunity, and there are a lot of people that are unemployed with a lot of degrees in their aspect.”

Employers and students first met at a reception before dinner. The attendees visited a variety of booths such as the YMCA, Forces Canada and Nava Law.

Esther Enyolu, executive director of the Women’s Multi-Cultural Resource and Counselling Centre of Durham, brought young people from her centre to the event.

“It is a youth-focused event, and it has a lot of potential businesses and community organizations who are potential employers, so as a community partner, I feel that my presence is required tonight and I am happy that I could make it,” she said.

Enyolu hoped students could make connections and find jobs through the event.

Students talked with employers at the reception, as well as during the dinner. When registering, students were asked for their field of study and tables were organized to pair students and employers with similar job interests at the same table to make connections.

The night ended with speeches from local employers and politicians, as well as Ajax MP Mark Holland who delivered a statement from Justin Trudeau. The chair of the dinner hopes to hold the event again next year.