Students get opportunities at Careers Expo

Pinnacle Media’s Karla Whittaker, left, and Jennifer Hemmingsen, right, hand out the day’s edition of the Cayman Compass to students.

The Chamber of Commerce Careers Expo bustled with hundreds of university students gathering information on job opportunities Friday.

Moving from booth to booth, students heard about a myriad of opportunities, ranging from construction, to electricity, hospitality, finance and continuing education.

The annual Careers Expo, developed by the Chamber and hosted by University College of the Cayman Islands is a one-day event for all students and adults to meet with businesses and higher education representatives to seek out internships, scholarships and employment.

“I had a good time. I saw a lot of companies that offered what I was looking for. Now I feel like I have a bigger opportunity to achieve what I want to be when I grow up” said Kayana Ebanks, a UCCI student.

“Everything the companies did was spot on. Dart drew my attention because I want to be in HR, and when I talked to the people involved with Dart, they were very nice and accommodating … I like to see that in employees when they are talking to people,” Ms. Ebanks said.

Sarah Goring, an HR generalist at Conyers Dill & Pearman said it was fun telling the students about what the firm does.

“We shared with students the different opportunities that were available in terms of scholarships, internships and article clerk opportunities … if they were interested in a career, we had a fun way for them to leave contact information.”

Water Authority’s Hannah Reid links kids up with the authority’s Instagram account. – Photos: Jewel Levy

They wanted to talk to the seasoned professionals as well.

“Everybody is at some level. They may be going back to school or changing careers. We are here to share information, talk to people and hear what they had to say,” she said.

Alex Richards, another university student, was impressed with the diversity of businesses and companies on display at the expo.

“I found a lot of good things at the Careers Expo. I went to a contractor’s booth and saw a picture of a beautiful building built by many workers,” he said. 911 representatives got students thinking about a career in emergency response.

“There are three 911 operators manning the stations at the 911 call center at all times,” said Alan Cameron Bush, a 911 supervising operator.

“I haven’t had much kids today, but some wanted to find out what were the most bizarre calls we take. It ranges from people trying to order pizza … some things you would never believe what people call about.”

Mr. Bush said they enjoyed the questions because they could also educate the public.

“A lot of people are not aware of the functions of 911. They still have the perception that we are just there to take calls. We do a lot more,” he said, adding they monitor CCTV, prepare public presentations and an entire range of other things. He also said a lot of young people shy away from 911 employment, thinking they are police jobs.

Hannah Reid, corporate communications operator for the Water Authority, got students involved in their Instagram page so they could learn more about their summer internship and scholarship programs.

Students get information and sample cupcakes from the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa.

Careen Craig, a technologist at CUC, said some of the kids asked about internship programs.

“We have internship programs in all the departments, from fleet, mechanic work, to working in the plant, design and engineering.”

She also said CUC takes in about 15 to 20 students during the summer and the program is very competitive. She encourages students to fill out applications forms and submit them early.

Maples and Calder grabbed the students’ interest with a game called “heads up.” The game involved guessing words the students were not familiar with about Maples.

“It was good opportunity to explain some key parts of the company students were not aware of,” said Melody Martin, assistant HR manager at Maples. She said it was an effective way to get them thinking about the things that Maples offer, such as employment, office locations and different department opportunities.

Recruitment agency Baraud’s CEO Hilary Cahill talked to the students about potential internships through the Chamber of Commerce program, interview skills, scholarships and career choices.

“We have some brilliant students and it has been fantastic talking to the students,” she said

Foster’s Food Fair Human Resource Administrator Jaymie Connolly talked about the key steps of success, such as having a positive attitude, strong work ethic, discipline and punctuality.

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