The desire to promote hospitality and tourism as a viable career was a big driver behind many of the organisations that participated in the Career Fair at AUT on Wednesday 14 August.
The Hospitality, Tourism, Events and Culinary Arts Career Fair attracted 240 students and 32 employers, of which 10 were new participants.
Cordis Talents Acquisition consultant Ryan Cheemee says Cordis came to the career fair for two reasons. One was to advertise their brand but more importantly, they wanted to emphasise that Cordis offers careers, not just jobs.
“We promote the concept of long-term careers in hospitality and encourage students to pick up on casual or part-time opportunities because that is where the opportunities are that give them a foot in the door.”
Ryan was impressed with students’ questions about the organisation’s long-term growth and what opportunities there would be into the future.
“We had a lot of students looking for part-time work that could translate into full time.”
Career fair newcomers IDNZ attended the career fair to showcase tourism as a long-term career, says Business Development Manager Emma Bell.
“I hear from industry update sessions that a lot of young people don’t see tourism as a career path so it has been great to see these students do want a career in tourism.”
She says IDNZ work with destination management, inbound travel, FITs and short cruises. They are looking for people with transferable skills, particularly the ability to build and manage customer relationships.
Personal development is a big focus of The Nourish Group says People and Culture Manager Amy Burton.
“You start at the bottom, but we invest in people if they are keen and we have internships that give young people a taste of what different roles and aspects of our businesses are like.”
“I definitely met young people who we would employ.”
Associate Head of School Hospitality and Tourism, John Kelly, says employers commented on how well prepared many of the students were.
“It was wonderful to see our students engage with employers, talking about work opportunities and asking provoking questions.”
AUT Employability Relationship Manager Rachael Marsters, who organised the HTECA career fair with the support of the Schools of Hospitality, Tourism, Events and Culinary Arts, was delighted to have 10 new organisations attend the fair.
“Many employers enjoyed the opportunity of raising awareness of what they do, especially when they were part of larger groups. It is really important that students learn to recognise these parent groups and connect them to the brands on the street, such as Soul and The Nourish Group.”
Rachael says a number of employers had come to the fair without specific job vacancies but were wanting to hire students anyway.
“We were really pleased with the diversity of employers.”
She also wanted to congratulate the students that attended the Match Ready workshop before the career fair.
“They stood out on the day. They’d done their research and knew who they wanted to see, so they were really organised and made a great impression.”
This is one of three fairs running through August. The Law Career Fair runs on Monday 19 August and the Culture and Society Career Fair on Wednesday 21 August.
Career fairs are organised with Faculty and supported by the Employability and Careers team who run preparation workshops beforehand.
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