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     Volume 1 Issue 8| September 24, 2006 |


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Job Fair at Marketing Department

Mainul Hassan

What attracted me as I entered the Marketing Department Job Fair venue was the exuberance of youth all around. Young men and women were happily mingling and talking with the people in the beautifully decorated stalls set up by various corporate houses of the country. The entire building and premise wore a festive look. It was altogether a different and new experience for many of the students. They were proud to be students of the Marketing Department of Dhaka University and it showed on their happy faces.

“Job fair" is a very new concept in Bangladesh. With the number of qualified graduates increasing every year the importance of a job fair can hardly be overemphasised. The ultimate goal of a student is to get a quality job and secure a desired standard of living after obtaining the degree. That's why one works so hard during student life so that he or she can secure a dream job. But, for the last decade or so getting even the simplest of jobs has become a matter of great difficulty.

Despite securing good results sometimes a student doesn't get a well-paid job. Then again another student who doesn't have a good academic background may grab a good job opportunity. What were his/her qualities that provided the edge? To get a quality job one doesn't have to be academically excellent only. There are many other qualities necessary to impress employers. But how can one display such qualities? Well, Job Fair is one answer that is getting quite popular these days across the campuses. In a job fair a job seeker gets to know about some key matters such as: How to face an interview; How to prepare a convincing CV; How to plan for career in a proper way; What are the requirements of a leading corporate house and what are the qualities which a company might expect from its employees etc. In a developing country, leading business houses are looking for qualified and smart personnel and similarly job seekers are looking for high salary jobs. So a Job Fair acts as a medium of communication between the two.

Coming back to the recently held Job Fair at the DU Department of Marketing, the gala event was organised by the students of the 8th batch of the department. It was a two daylong event held on September 16 and 17. It was titled "Seminar on Career Development and Job F@ir".

Students in front of a stall

The colourful event featured participation by 16 corporate houses. These were : Australian Immigration Signet Consultant, Unilever, Unitrend Ltd, Bitopi Advertising Ltd, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Commercial Bank of Ceylon, The City Bank Ltd, Basundhara Group, Maersk Bangladesh Ltd, ACI Ltd, Pran, Ace's High Inc and Citycell. Participation by these corporate houses attracted an overwhelming crowd of business graduates, job seekers and students of all disciplines of DU. It may be mentioned that Bitopi Advertising Ltd, Prime Bank Limited, Unitrend Ltd & Maersk Bangladesh were the co-sponsors of the programme and The Daily Star was the media partner.

For the two days the stalls remained intensely crowded and thousands of CVs were dropped. Not only the graduates, but also students who will pass out within a very short time also dropped their CVs. For example, Nobel an MBA student of DU came to the fair with high hopes. He submitted his CV to all the 16 corporate houses. He commented, “ I want to secure my career in a big business house so I dropped my CV in all the boxes". Noushin is an IR graduate and she said, " I actually came to the fair to know about the job facilities and I think I have succeeded. This job fair will play a significant role in my career." She looked happy indeed! "The fair offers me a rare chance of getting valuable information on how to face an interview," said another student named Shahed. "Through the fair one comes to know about certain important aspects which are very important for facing an interview". He added. Here is more. " The most important thing about this fair is that we are getting a rare chance to attend discussion sessions held on CV drafting, skill development, preparation for viva voce etc. These are really helpful," said Israt Jahan a DU MBA student.

Similar opinions were offered by other students like Lima, Kabir, Jubair, Kamrul, Arif, Sultan and many others.

A seminar in progress

Now let us see what happened these two days. On Day 1 the inauguration was attended by Prof. AFM Yusuf Haider Pvo VC, Dhaka University, Prof. Dr Md Serajul Islam Dean, Faculty of Business studies (FBS), Prof. Dr Md. Moinuddin Kamal, Chairman, Department of Marketing, Dr Md Afjal Hossain, Placement Director, Department of Marketing, DR AK Fazlul Haque Shah, Chief Advisor, Department of Marketing, Prof. Dr. Kazi Shariful Alam, Department of Marketing and Md. Shahidul Islam, Managing Director Rupa Group of Industries.

After the inauguration there was a seminar addressed by QM Shahed, HR Head of BAT. He talked on BAT and it's recruitment process. Rumana Rahman, HR Manager of BAT also spoke on the occasion. Then Unilever's Mr. BP Biddappa, HR Director presented a paper. It was followed by a paper on Developing Competencies to Meet Future Challenge by Zulfiquar Hossain, Head of HR CityCell. Next, Syed AH Uddin, Head of HR of HSBC addressed the students.

On Day 2, Arif Shahriar, Head of Group HR from Rahim Afroz spoke on Company and Recruitment Process. It was followed by a presentation by MAERSK on Company and Recruiting by Naira Nourin Chowdhury, Md Saifur Rahman, Khan Senior HR and Maria Rozario Senior HR Manager. After that Mr. Shamim Senior Officer, HR, Moinul Islam, Head of Training and Pravat Ghose, Assistant HR Manager of ACI spoke on Company and Recruitment Process.

Now let us hear from the Dean of the Faculty of Business Studies, Chairman Marketing Department, Placement Director and senior teachers of the department about their feelings after the successful completion of the programme.

Professor Dr. Md. Serajul Islam, Dean of the Faculty of Business Studies:
“Our course curriculum is always market oriented. Our main focus is to cater to the need of the corporate houses. This Job Fair deserves special attention because it was totally organized by a group of young students who are going to be graduates very soon. We have appreciated the enthusiasm in our entrepreneurs. They have come here and interacted with our students. It was a forum, a gateway to exchange ideas and views….to know each other and also know the requirements of the corporate houses.

Start to rethink about redesigning our academic curriculum after many such interactions. We shall think whether we may do such programmes in a bigger way at faculty level in future.”

Professor Dr. Md. Moinuddin Kamal, Chairman Department of Marketing:
“I am very happy that the programme ended successfully. We could make the corporate houses understand the importance of the programme and as a result we have got a very good response from them. The experienced they shared here will play a major role in developing the career of our students. We also wish to utilize the experience thus obtained to organize such programmes in the future.”

Professor Dr. Afjal Hossain, Placement Director, Department of Marketing:
“Initially I was a little sceptical ….there was a gap between the students and teachers in the beginning as well. Finally I was very happy with my students. I did not expect such good response. The direct interaction with the corporate officials or CEOs will help overcome the nerve-wrecking fear of interviews and corporate world. This Job Fair programme will work as a milestone in the future.”

Some of the organisers during a break

Professor Dr. Kazi Shariful Alam, Member of Board of Advisers (Job Fair), Department of Marketing:
“No such prgramme has been undertaken by the marketing department before. Such programmes help build confidence in the students and help develop their leadership qualities. 'We can do something'-was the motto. The students have been able to convince the seniors by successfully organising such a big event. This can become a yearly programme from here on.”

Professor Dr. AK Fazlul Haque Shah, Chief Advisor (Job Fair), Department of Marketing:
“It was a highly successful programme. Credit goes to the students. We are also thankful to the corporate houses for their support. I hope the Faculty of Business Studies will undertake such programmes in a large scale on a regular basis.”

The following students played the key role in making the programme a success though they did not have any prior experience in undertaking such a big programme: SM Didarul Hasan, Kazi Ahmed Farhan, Muhammad Muzahidul Islam, Rezwan Hamid Shezan, Raihan Uddin Ahammad, Md. Moin Uddin Kaoser, Bushra Mehrin, Afrin Chowdhury, Faizul Momen, Abdul Kaium, Jayanta Saha and Mashrafi Islam.

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