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When Chris Adair graduated from SAIT’s Mechanical Engineering Technology program in 2014 he had no problem finding work in his field. He handed out a few resumes at Career Directions — SAIT’s annual career fair that connects students and alumni with potential employers — and secured an interview right away.
“The career fair was crucial to me landing that first job,” says Adair. “I began working for Baker Hughes in Calgary just two weeks after graduating. I was working as a directional driller and definitely using the diploma I had earned at SAIT.”
Shortly after that, the employment landscape changed drastically. The price of oil dropped and what is now being called an economic recession was just beginning to affect the work force. Adair was laid off in December 2014.
“I started looking for work right away. I was on SAIT’s Career Connector non-stop,” says Adair. By February 2015, Adair started seeing the benefits of his persistence and by March, he was hired as a Commercial Sales Specialist for Rockwell Automation. “It’s a transitional role and not exactly related to my education but there’s definitely potential here. It’s a foot in the door and the opportunity to do something I’m really interested in.”
Adair will be back on campus representing Rockwell Automation at Career Directions on March 1 and 2. There will be more than 72 potential employers on campus from various industries ready to connect with students and alumni.
“The fair is a great opportunity for students and alumni to network with industry professionals,” says Lara Schuelke, Career Development Specialist with SAIT’s Learner Services department. “They will get valuable information about what career opportunities are available to them and how to apply for openings in their field.
“We suggest students come prepared. They should research the companies that are attending Career Directions (a list can be found by logging into Career Connector) and prepare their resumes because you never know if someone will want to have a look on the spot.”
Career Connector — SAIT’s online job board exclusively for students and alumni – has been in operation by Student Employment Services since 2009 and has helped countless people find meaningful work after graduation. In addition to being a job board, Career Connector also offers tools and resources such as resume writing workshops and tips on how to prepare for a job interview.
“It’s a valuable tool,” says Schuelke. “We really work hard to keep it targeted towards SAIT programs. There are a handful of general jobs on the site but most of the opportunities are industry-related and geared towards SAIT graduates and students.”
Adair says he’s looking forward to coming back to campus and seeing things from the other side. “My advice to anyone attending the fair is to come prepared with a professional looking resume and dress for an actual interview. The competition for good jobs is really high right now so you have to work hard to stand out.”
Written by Alison O'Connor