Seniors: It's job-hunting time!
MANILA, Philippines - Last March 6 to 8, the University of the Philippines Diliman College of Mass Communication (UP-CMC) held a Job and Internship Fair for the academic year's graduating students.
According to senior student and UP-CMC Career Assistance Program head Anj Sebastian, around 350 students attended the fair and participated in the different seminars scattered across the 3-day event.
Anj told Rappler, “Our primary motivation was to help our fellow media and communication students chart their career paths.”
To achieve this, they arranged 3 phases with the fair as the culminating event:
1. “Be in the Know” exposed students to the different career paths media and communication students can take in the future.
2. “Put on a Show” focused on skills development and featured seminars and workshops on job-hunting strategies, resume writing, and power dressing.
3. Mock interviews and the fair gave students concrete avenues to put their skills to practice.
Students looking to apply with one or more of the 15 companies that had a booth at the job fair had to bring hard copies of their resumes. Organizers even provided printing services for students who needed more copies.
Anj also said they accepted online submissions which were forwarded to the companies.
Do job fairs help?
In-campus job fairs are organized by placement offices of many universities this time of the year. But do they really help?
“In terms of snagging interviews or employment, not really,” said Arlene Chang, a senior student from the Ateneo de Manila University which holds its own job and internship fairs for 3rd and 4th year college students.
“I think that job fairs are helpful in the sense that they introduce you to a diverse group of companies, beyond the multi-nationals like P&G, Unilever, SM.”
Arlene said job fairs can help widen horizons for students, if only to give them more options.
She elaborated, “As a management student, prior to the job fair, I wasn't really aware that there were so many consulting companies here in the Philippines or that there were so many financial institutions in the country beyond HSBC, BPI, and all the major banks.”
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For Walter Wong, an Ateneo alumnus who graduated in March 2012 and is now working for an NGO, the ability of job fairs to help fresh graduates depends largely on timing.
“I think job fairs aren't typically synced with the recruiting functions of most companies, at least in my case. Companies tend to look for recruits much, much earlier so all the jobs I got last year were for slots designed for the following batch.”
“If anything, the job fair taught me how much I had to rely on myself and go out of my way to make applications a full-time endeavor.”
The next challenge
For many seniors, getting a job is the next big challenge after college. So what kinds of jobs are graduates-to-be looking for?
“In my personal opinion, a good job is the marriage of the core competencies and the interests of an individual,” said Anj.
“A good job aids in the personal and professional growth of a person, while fueling curiosity about the world.”
In Anj's case, after graduating from college, she's not going straight to work.
“I plan to take a week or two off to do some soul searching,” she said.
“Every decision I make will have lasting effects on my career and the rest of my life. I want to thoroughly explore my options first before starting the next chapter.” - Rappler.com