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AUC First Virtual Employment Fair

July 15, 2020

There is no doubt that our lives have been affected dramatically by the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, and last semester was no different. It was riddled with uneasiness and uncertainty as students and university staff alike were unsure how the University’s activities would carry on with everything going online. Nonetheless, the AUC Career Center successfully adapted to the new format and was able to pull off its first virtual employment fair on July 15. The event hosted around 1600 participants and 31 employers.

Regularly a bi-annual on-campus event, the employment fair was a chance for students and alumni to get insights into different fields from corporate professionals while applying for internships and job opportunities. With the restrictions of physically going to campus, the event took a different flavor whereby interested students got to fill in their online profiles on the higher platform and choose which positions to apply for directly. Employers got to give concurrent webinars where they discussed how the pandemic affected the corporate world while looking toward the future for bright answers. One such webinar was given by Amazon’s Omar Alkarimy, senior operations manager, and Klaudia Goyke, Recruiter, who emphasized its mission statement of being “Earth’s most customer-centric company’’ regardless of the obstacles that the pandemic has imposed. Other businesses shared that sentiment in that it is important to adjust to changing circumstances because the world has to keep moving. Yomna Hamza, recruiting and university relations manager at Schlumberger, expressed how crucial it was to take advantage of the situation we're currently in by learning something new, whether through online resources or virtual internships becoming more common.

The new virtual employment fair was a new experience for everyone, and it came with its merits. Patrick Higgins, director of people and organizations at Mars Wrigley, said how “Talent connections are as important as ever today, and the Career Center was able to create that space through the first virtual employment fair.” This event's bonus came in the form of one-on-one meetings that students could arrange with corporate professionals. With many 916 live scheduled meetings at the event, it was a feature that many enjoyed. Sherouk Salah, a senior student, majoring in integrated marketing communication, said that the virtual event was the best employment fair that she had attended because it wasn’t noisy or crowded like it used to be before and also because she got the opportunity to talk freely with employers without any interruptions or distractions which allowed her to benefit more from the discussion. This was reiterated by Abdelrahman Elghannam, a political science, and history graduate, who said, “I really liked how convenient the new fair was, and I felt like everything was literally at my fingertips. I also got to do things much quicker this time around.” 

In general, the event was well-received, and it managed to attract many students, and alumni who had their questions listened to and their doubts cast away. Despite the hardships that the country has been going through, the university has been trying to accommodate everyone to the new reality that we currently live in. The virtual employment fair definitely paved the way for new alternatives that could help students safely cross over to the next chapter of their lives. 

The Career Center is organizing its upcoming virtual employment fair on Saturday, November 14, from 11 am to 5 pm. Make sure to check your emails and register for the event to make the most out of the three main event features: internship/job applications, 1:1 video meetings, and employer webinars.