MI Career Fair 2013 opens doors
Monday, February 18, 2013

MI Career Fair 2013

Volunteering for three hours at the main door, identifying employers beforehand and coming prepared was all part of first year Nautical Science student Jonathan Ainamo's strategy for success at the Marine Institute's 11th annual Career Fair Exhibition.

"Volunteering was a great way to introduce myself and get a sense of the presenters as they came in," said Ainamo. "There were a lot of people in the gym but I took my time and made my rounds. I wanted to be prepared and that meant multiple trips to my communications teacher to make sure my cover letters and resumes were perfect. It's a future career so it's important."

The exhibition, which took place in the institute's gymnasium on February 6, showcased 34 employers and attracted close to 400 students and alumni. Among the employers at the exhibition were several MI alumni. Kassandra Paul, a mechanical technologist with Fleetway Inc., graduated from MI's marine engineering systems design program in 2011. Marking her second MI Career Fair as an employer, she enjoys the opportunity to offer perspective for current MI students.

"Looking back on the career fairs I attended as a student, it seems foolish now to be as nervous as I normally was. We're just people behind booths and some of us were students only months ago," said Paul. "I focus on not only telling the students about the positions within Fleetway, but also about the opportunities available to grow within our company since not many students think about this when looking for a job."

Marking his third year as an employer in the exhibition, John Tipton, chief engineer with Algoma Central Corporation, is also an MI alumnus. He graduated with a diploma of technology in marine engineering in 2004. Before settling with Algoma, Tipton worked for several companies such as Secunda Canada and Transport Desgagnes Inc.

"The best advice I give to interested students is to keep their names fresh within our company," said Tipton. "In my experience, when students come on board our vessels and do well they generally have positions waiting for them when they finish their schooling."

For upcoming MI graduates, advice of this kind is not taken for granted. Third year marine engineering systems design student, Brandon Wrice, hopes to gain employment with industry after graduation.

"The exhibition was completely full this year and I was able to see about six relevant employers to my field. I'm looking for full time work so I made sure I was prepared with resumes, cover letters and I went out and bought some nice clothes," said Wrice.

Having been involved in the MI Career Fair for a number of years, Mark Wareham has seen the progression of the event and the benefit to students and employers as program  chair of MI's marine engineering systems design program.

"While the MI Career Fair has always been a great opportunity for our students to connect with potential employers, in the last few years there appears to be a different dynamic," said Wareham. "At one time the onus was on the students to sell themselves to the employers but now it seems we're seeing the employers selling themselves to the students. Rather than consider themselves lucky to get a job, many students now have choices as to what job and where."