In this March 2013 photo, Fleming High School student Annie Cloud operates a scaled-down digger as Billy Elias with Operating Engineers Training Institute of Manitoba and friend Leigha Cloud look on during the 28th annual Brandon Career Symposium at the Keystone Centre. (FILE PHOTO)
Even with a wealth of information available online, career symposiums can still be an effective recruiting tool, according to Brandon Career Symposium co-ordinator Kena Olson.
"Exhibitors provide students and the public with an opportunity to speak with someone that is actually in the field so they can ask them direct questions, things they might not be able to find online," Olson said.
This 29th annual Brandon Career Symposium in March will see 106 exhibitors filling 104 different booths hoping to connect with local students and job seekers.
Among the exhibitors attending from across Manitoba, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Alberta will be Brandon’s Assiniboine Community College. ACC recruitment officer Jessica Spanjer said this year’s booth will showcase the college’s varsity athletics programs.
"We just want to let them know what sports we have and that they’re welcome to join the team."
Although there’s plenty of information for future students to gather online, Spanjer pointed out that the Internet can sometimes be a problem for those living in rural areas.
"Anyone can log on and look at a website but I think people feel more comfortable when they have someone who knows what they’re talking about and they can ask all the questions face-to-face and have those real conversations."
Brandon University will also have a large presence at this year’s symposium with hopes of attracting new students. BU will have booths set up with representatives from every faculty present, student success officer Connor Trueman said.
"We find that high school students really appreciate being able to speak directly with professors or representatives from each faculty," Trueman said. "It get students really excited and opens their eyes to some of the possibilities."
Trueman said BU provides students with small enough class sizes so that they get to know their faculty members. The career symposium is a good time for future students to meet those representatives, she said.
BU will also have an area reserved for aboriginal student recruitment and will provide information regarding the university’s Indigenous Peoples’ Centre.
The career symposium will take place from March 3-5 at the Keystone Centre. Evening sessions, which are free to the public, will be on March 3 from 7 p.m.-9 p.m. Daytime sessions for registered schools will be on March 4 and 5 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Olson said more than 40 schools from across northern Manitoba and Saskatchewan have already registered for this year’s symposium.
» Brandon Sun
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition February 21, 2014