24 HOURS DC/UOIT: Employers and students connect on campus

A student checks out job options at the Job Fair. Photo credit: Keisha Slemensky

Our second-year Journalism – Mass Media students from Durham College have tackled a special project – one we are calling ’24 Hours DC/UOIT’.
On Feb. 5, 2019, the students visited particular areas of the Durham College and UOIT campuses, including north Oshawa, downtown Oshawa and Whitby.

They talked to people, snapped pictures and gathered stories from students, faculty and staff about their campus experiences. This is one in a series of 16 stories from that day.

The doors to the Career-a-thon opened at 11 a.m. on Feb. 5, welcoming students to about 70 booths hosted by employers hiring for part and full-time jobs. There was a steady stream of students coming and going throughout the entire event.

DC and UOIT students filed in and out, dressed in their most professional outfits.

Alexandra Carson, 20 is in the social service worker program. She was one of the hundreds of students who attended.

Carson says she has attended job fairs before but was pleased to see there was a lot of space in the booths to talk to employers.

“As students, you don’t really know where to start looking for jobs. It’s hard to get your foot in,” says Carson. She says the event was good for students looking for work when they graduate as well as part-time positions.

This marks the 22nd year this job fair has been hosted at Durham College and UOIT.

Devon Turcotte is the outreach coordinator in the Career Development and Co-operative Education office. She has worked at Durham College for seven years and has been in the Career Development office for two-and-a-half years. She says she has noticed considerable growth in the event.

Turcotte says the job fair is a good way for students to conquer a possibly scary concept: networking.

“Networking is a word that scares a lot of people and it doesn’t have to be scary,” says Turcotte.

She says finding a job is about meeting people, communicating effectively and developing relationships.

“The job fair is a good opportunity for students and alumni to engage in real conversations with employers,” says Turcotte.

Upon entering the doors to the gym students were greeted with a entry form and a name tag. Once registered, students were free to browse employer booths. A wide variety of employers attended this year including businesses like Bell, YMCA, Flanagan Food Service and York Regional Police.

Some booths were manned by students as well like the Princeton Review that helps students with standardized testing.

Many services were offered to students such as the opportunity to meet alumni.

Career Development student representatives were available to answer questions and take professional head shot photos for students with their own cameras.

For students who weren’t able to make the event or would like more information, Turcotte says the Career Development office located is the Student Services Building in SSB212 .It offers services like mock interviews and one-on-one appointments to help students with resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn and portfolios.

Online resources are also available at hired.durhamcollege.ca.

Turcotte says a good practice is to search on LinkedIn for people working where you are interested in and contact them. She says as awkward as it is at first, the more you practice networking, the easier it gets.