Some students in the Faculty of Communication and Design (FCAD) say they aren’t provided with as many career opportunities as those in other faculties at Ryerson.
The career centre at Ryerson hosts an annual New Grad Career Fair with the University of Toronto. However, recruiters at the fair are more often based in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) or business fields.
Rachel Barreca, the manager of campus engagement, said that there are a variety of factors that went into recruiting companies for the fair.
“The way that recruiting works, depending on the sector and industry, there are different levels of budgets that are available to people in those industries to recruit new people,” she said.
The cost of a company attending a career fair at Ryerson starts at $150 for smaller startups and can go up to $750 for larger companies.
“Budgets are dwindling, and so (is) the ability for a company to spend lots of money (at a career fair). (The cost) really starts to add up,” she said. “There has to be a return on investment and (they have) be able to afford it in the first place.”
Barreca said frequent comments she recieves are that “our needs aren’t getting met” or “your career fair is very STEM and business heavy.” It isn’t as though the Career Centre isn’t trying to do the concerns, rather, it is doing things differently through small events, she added.
In November 2017, it hosted FCAD career cafe, a weekly networking event where students could ask industry professionals questions over coffee and snacks. However, some students felt like it wasn’t of much help.
Taylor Stone, a fourth-year professional communication student, attended the event earlier this year. She said that even when there are general events, they’re not specific enough for every person there, considering FCAD has nine different schools.
“I don’t think I’ve had as much opportunities as I should have, especially compared to other faculties,” Stone said. “A lot of opportunities I’ve had have come from student group involvement, not necessarily the university.”
The Ted Rogers School of Management (TRSM) has its own Business Career Hub where students pay an annual fee for the services. The hub also markets to specific programs in business, which Stone said could be helpful for students in FCAD.
While the New Grad Career Fair is advertised to all students at Ryerson, there are students who feel that the employers who attend are mainly in the STEM or business fields.
Alexander Rondeau, who graduated from photography studies in June 2017, said that when he attended the fair last year, the most relevant employer for creative fields was a storefront manager at Benjamin Moore Paints. When asked what program he was graduating from and he replied a bachelor of fine arts in photography, the recruiter ended the conversation.
“FCAD is largely what makes Ryerson so unique, and I think the extra help of more inclusive employers at the New Grad Career Fair is a great way to launch FCAD students into a career,” Rondeau said.
Barreca suggested that students shouldn’t just skim the surface, they should look for opportunities outside of Toronto, and think outside the box.
“Do your research, and know where you want to work,” she said. “Look into things like what kinds of support groups they have for people of equity-seeking backgrounds. If you apply for one or more of those, are you a racialized person? Are you an LGBT person? Do you want to work somewhere that values what you bring to the table?”
The New Grad Career Fair takes place Wednesday, Feb. 7 at Chestnut Residence & Conference Centre.