The University of Technology (UTech) job fair draws hundreds
Hundreds of job seekers, both fresh out of school and experienced workers visited the University of Technology, (UTech) Jamaica a week ago in hopes of snagging one of a number of jobs advertised by a company in the gaming and technology industry.
Neither the company nor UTech — which hosted the job fair on its behalf — disclosed any identifying details about the organisation, except to say that it is expected to launch this year.
In a newspaper advertisement, they called for “enthusiastic”, “customer-focused”, “skilled” and “passionate” individuals to fill line and managerial positions in “all parishes”. Among the positions listed were store managers, cashiers, customer service agents, maintenance workers, security officers, janitors, and couriers. There were also vacancies for operations, human resource, risk/compliance, customer service, security, inventory/supply, facilities and marketing managers, as well as accountants and market analysts.
The two-day job fair, on January 12 and 13, at the Alfred Sangster Auditorium, was set up to facilitate interviews by human resource professionals and faculty members who are experts in the industry. At the end of the first day, some 200 job-seekers were interviewed.
According to Claire Sutherland, senior director of International and institutional Linkages at UTech, the university hosts its own job fair in March each year. On this occasion, however, the event was not limited to UTech students and alumni, but was open to anyone with the required qualifications.
“As a university, we consider this a very important thing for us to do in supporting the private sector and economic growth in the country,” said Sutherland, who reported being very impressed with the turnout.
Applicants ranged from students in their final year at the university, to individuals with years of experience in similar industries.
One of the recruiters, who gave his name only as Oniel, told the
Jamaica Observer that many of the applicants for managerial positions did not have any work experience, so their pitches were built solely on “passion”, “desire” and “desperation”.
Michael Joehill, a UTech past student who applied for four different positions, said he had been applying unsuccessfully for jobs since completing school and hopes that he will finally be considered. He praised the university for the initiative.
“I think it’s really amazing…the location probably, to me, couldn’t be any more perfect, because a lot of students live in and around the area, so I think it really gives young people [and] school leavers… a chance here. And there are a lot of positions,” he said.
Joehill says the only experience he has in a managerial position was gained while he was on a work and travel programme abroad, but he was hopeful that the recruiters would look past that and focus more on his drive.
“The interviewers are using their discretion, and I guess how best you conduct yourself and explain to them that you have that mindset, you are vibrant, you are young …I think that probably [gives you] an edge without the experience,” he said.
Duwayne Beason, who is a final-year accounting student at UTech, said he is willing to start working while attending school.
Stacey-Ann Belle, who has three years’ experience as a security guard, also took advantage of the fair. She says she is very optimistic and believes she will be hired.
Meanwhile, recruiter Joseth Brown said the job fair presented a “wonderful opportunity”. She added that, though there was not a rush, those who were able to take advantage of the event were privileged. The relatively slow pace and subdued atmosphere was an advantage, she explained, as it allowed the recruiters more time with candidates and gave them the chance to “see what you don’t see on paper”.
— Dorian Graham: JamaicaObserver.com