2009 AUB Job Fair Gives Hope
Despite Economic Crisis
|2009 AUB Job Fair offers students more than 500 vacancies
More than 500 positions will be filled as a result of the 2009 AUB Job Fair, which attracted close to 200 companies this year, despite the paralyzing global economic crisis.
Maryam Ghandour, coordinator of AUB’s Placement and Career Services, said that about 200 companies signed up to join the Job Fair this year, when it was initially announced for the first week of May. “But when we rescheduled it for the second week of May in order not to conflict with the presidential inauguration of May 4, some companies could not make it because of other commitments,” Ghandour said. Nevertheless, Ghandour appeased unhappy job-hunters, telling them these companies would join the October Employment Day, one of two annual employment days—the other is in February—initiated in 2008.
Despite the tough economic times, and the rescheduling, more than 135 companies, almost half of which are multinationals, in addition to 10 non-governmental organizations, set up booths and tables on May 14 and 15 to recruit some of AUB’s top graduates and students.
More than 30 recruitment presentations took place over the two-day fair. Additionally, some 50 companies conducted individual on-the-spot interviews with students whose CVs grabbed their attention.
The annual fair, which has been taking place for over a decade, recruiting an average of 350 students to positions in the region and worldwide, was inaugurated at 12 noon, on May 14, outside West Hall, in the presence of Acting President and Arts and Sciences Dean Khalil Bitar, Student Affairs Dean Maroun Kisirwani, Engineering and Architecture Dean Ibrahim Hajj, and Ghandour.
Bitar thanked all companies for participating, sharing with them some insights revealed during a recent AUB conference on human resources management. “In an economic downturn, all of a company’s assets suffer, except its human resources,” said Bitar, “particularly a human capital that is highly trained, such as our AUB students. So it’s our pleasure to provide you with the best resource, and we hope both you and our students will be able to make the best picks during this fair. Happy match-making,” he said
Sectors heavily represented among the participating companies from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Kuwait, the United States, and Europe were civil and mechanical engineering, management consultancies, information technology, education, business and finance, and economics.
Paul Hughes, a Dubai-based consultant with Bain & Company, a global management consultant firm, said that in the first hour of the fair, he had already collected 50 CVs. “It’s a very lively fair,” said Hughes. “For us, at Bain, AUB is very important for our development in the region, and we are always eager to participate in its annual fair to acquaint students with us, although our recruitment schedule is in October, and that’s when we come back to offer jobs.”
While students were worried about the impact of the economic crisis on the job market, they were busy distributing their CVs, and eager to remain hopeful.
Dima Al-Khatib, a senior business and finance student, had already distributed seven CVs in the first hour of the fair. She was planning to drop off at least another 20. “This is our only opportunity to find a job,” she said. “Let’s cross our fingers and remain hopeful.”
Recruiters, too, seemed impressed with student enthusiasm. This year, Ghandour also chose to encourage students to apply for internships in addition to jobs. “Internships can act as a foot-in-the-door for students who have not even graduated yet,” said Ghandour. “If they prove themselves, they can be sure that the internship will lead them to a full-time job by the time they graduate.”