The UST Office of Alumni Relations (OAR), together with the Career and Counseling Center (CCC) under the Office of the Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs, conducted the first virtual career fair for UST students and alumni on May 31, 2021 via Zoom.
More than 2,000 participants, composed of third-year students, graduating students, and alumni, registered prior to the event to meet and interact with 60 partner companies from different industries such as Proctor and Gamble (P&G), Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines, Inc., Amazon Operation Services Philippines, GMA Network, and Unilab Inc.
Vice-Rector for Academic Affairs Prof. Cheryl R. Peralta, DrPH, in her welcome remarks, said that the work ecosystem and global economy have shifted to accommodate the impact of the global pandemic, and the system of industries have been challenged.
“The stress of the situation probably created a feeling of loss, demotivation, and uncertainty for our graduating students,” said Peralta, adding that despite these challenges, the University looks forward to its graduates being able to find meaningful and purposive careers, dreams and expectations with God’s unending grace.
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Asec. Dominique Rubia-Tutay, CESO III addressed the realities of the labor market that fresh graduates will experience in her keynote speech.
“The lingering pandemic has brought our economy down to its knee. Employment is likewise affected. [There’s an] imbalance of supply of workers and the demand of businesses,” explained DOLE Asst. Sec. Tutay.
The Assistant Secretary shared tips and advice to the participants on how to traverse this rough path ahead to employment, which include improving critical thinking and problem-solving skills that employers believe will grow in prominence in the next five years.
The short program was followed by the live exhibitors’ booth where students and alumni can choose from different company Zoom meeting rooms to join. Participants were able to connect with employers through on-cam interactions and consultations. UST alumni from different companies also joined their colleagues in Zoom meeting rooms to share their work experience.
For their career fair next year, OAR and CCC aim to make the virtual career fair bigger with more exhibitors and participants and allow for more extended employee-applicant interactions. This year’s career fair was powered by Prosple, an Australian-based company specializing in careers and education technology.