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     Volume 2 Issue 29 | July 29, 2007|


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NSU National Career Fair

Mahdin Mahboob & Feeda Hasan Shahed

"The best career advice to give to the young is, 'Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it' ” -Katherine Whitehorn.

The North South University organized the National Career Fair at Bangladesh China Friendship Conference Center on Friday, the 20th of July. The fourth of its type, the slogan of this year's fair was 'Explore the World of Opportunities'. Around hundred reputable companies from different sectors participated in the event.

The Honorable Advisor, Ministry of Industries, Geeteara Safiya Choudhury, in her message said that, “I think, this career fair will open a window for the young, bright career oriented students and graduates to meet, interact, and discuss their aptitude, choices and job opportunities with professional and potential employees. I appreciate the valuable service of NSU providing for the benefit of our educated, skilled and knowledgeable young community. ”

Dr, Saadat Husain, the Chairman of Bangladesh Public Services Commission is of the opinion that, “the fair will provide a great opportunity for the talented persons to interact with the apparatchiks of the corporate world, the banks and financial institutions, IT and Telecom firms, trading houses, academic and research organizations, energy conglomerates and of course the hardcore production behemoths.”

The Vice Chancellor of NSU, Dr. Hafiz G. A. Siddiqi commented, “The Career Fair is a relatively common feature in the developed countries. I am proud that NSU, as an institution of higher learning, introduced this concept in this country. The NSU Career Fair is unique in scope and outlook. It provides career advice and counsel in addition to a meeting place for prospective employees and probable employers.”

The scenario of the fair was somewhat distinctive from other career fairs held so far - the picturesque venue of BCFCC created a corporate environment. The job seekers were not only from NSU, but also from different other universities, and they gathered to submit their CVs with tremendous zeal. Almost every stall had an equal number of interested candidates. At 10 a.m. most of the visitors of the fair gathered at the media centre to view the corporate presentations by different companies. The media centre remained the center of attention until lunch hour. At the same time the students were visiting different stalls and were querying for opportunities in the companies.

Students and job-seekers were seen sitting scattered in different empty spaces in the corners of the BCFCC filling job applications. Some of them were seen taking counseling from agents acting on behalf of the foreign universities. A few students were seen giving mock interviews. The whole arena truly seemed to have acquired a corporate environment. The stalls were well organized and easy to locate. Proper space was given so that people could move freely around the fair ground.

When talking to several counselors at the different counters, it was found that the response was overwhelming! Young people were full of new questions about their probable future job and career and the counselors were trying to answer them to the best of their abilities. In one of the stalls of a big MNC, we asked that in what way was this 'on the spot' application and CV submission necessary since the company already has a big database of CVs which they get from the online form fill up that job seekers do in their website? The counselor informed us that the information provided on the fair is more updated, and hence more accurate compared to the online CVs.

NSU named this fair 'National Career Fair' as they wanted the fair to be a platform for career seekers/providers all over the country.

They believed that they had been successful achieving their goal. One would not object to it seeing the participation of career seekers from Sylhet, Chittagong, Khulna, Rajshahi and other places of the country.

There were seminars at the fair that were presented by HR heads /representatives of reputed corporations including: Grameen Phone, Standard Chartered Bank, Unilever, Rahim Afrooz, Prothom Alo Jobs, Huawei. At these seminars the corporations informed the career seekers about their expectations. The seminars were interactive; the HR representatives also answered questions that were raised by the career seekers, which had created added value to the career seekers quest of an appropriate career.

Job portals, such as prothom-alojobs.com, gave the career seekers opportunity to submit their resume and apply for jobs that are available on their site on the spot. There were representations of foreign universities, who disseminated information pertaining admission in their respective universities. The fair had representation of different industries, such as Telecommunication, Banking, ICT, Job Portals, Pharmaceuticals, Logistics, Advertising, Overseas Universities, Garments, and international institutions.

A journal was published on the occasion which incorporated articles from HR experts of different industries of the country, and surely that would work as a guideline to the HR sector. Preparing and placing graduates at the proper career that match their expectation and give opportunity to explore their career path is the responsibility of the universities. At the same time, the corporations have the responsibility to communicate their expectations so that the universities can produce quality manpower to meet the timely demand and fulfill the responsibility of creating a productive workforce.

The Department of Career and Professional Services(CPDS) at NSU, one of the key organizers of this event, tries to place the University's graduates in the right jobs after graduation. Their Director, Dr. Abdul Hannan Chowdhury, said that, “For the candidates, career fairs act as a direct platform to ask the companies about any queries they may have, freely and frankly, so that they can think carefully even before applying for a job role. It is extremely important that companies and universities work together in liaison; universities would foster their students with up to date market requirements, while the corporate world will come forward with their demands to the universities. ” Owing to the ever-increasing innovations in economics and technology, corporate jobs have become challenging and competitive. As a result, today's aspiring job seekers need to continuously update themselves to meet the demands. Career fairs like these are an effective tool to make all prepare for their future challenges.

We'd like to end this article with special thanks to Dilara Afroz Khan, Lecturer, School of Business, North South University, and one of the key organizers of the event and Radia Abdul Wahab, a student volunteer and organizer of the event for providing us with all the relevant information and pictures of the Fourth NSU National Career Fair.

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