Jan 30, 2013 Written by Jordan Sloggett Photos by Allison Rostic News 0
Technology showcase gives students opportunities to connect with alumni and industry leaders
The Science Complex atrium was absolutely buzzing, partly from the many computer screens that made up the different exhibits, but mostly from the several hundred alumni, industry representatives and prospective students.
The Guelph Technology Showcase 2.0 was advertised as “a career fair [and] celebration of technology in Guelph.” Companies had a chance to show off their career opportunities, while students could take the opportunity to make connections and chat to alumni of the Computer Science department and other related programs at the U of G.
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Organized by Greg Klotz and Valerie Lalonde, this was the second annual technology showcase. Lalonde explained that the purpose of the event was “to highlight Guelph’s tech community, or tech sector.”
“We wanted to bring the big companies and contributors together here on campus,” added Klotz.
Lalonde addressed the benefits of the showcase for attendees.
“It’s not just a career fair, it’s more of a career fair plus a celebration of technology. Students or the general public can get information about tech in Guelph – not just career opportunities for tech professionals,” said Lalonde, the marketing coordinator for Guelph tech and design.
Lalonde continued, “It’s nice for students that want to stay in Guelph to know about all these companies exist, and that they’re interested in, either coop or hiring, partnering with students.”
Klotz talked about the purpose of having the career fair on campus.
“It’s a nice opportunity for students. We’re on their home turf, [and] it’s casual so they can just drop by for a half-hour in between classes and meet some companies. They don’t have to go to Waterloo for a career fair.”
Zac Fairchild graduated from the School of Computer Science in 2011 and described his time at Guelph as an undergrad as being, “great, [and] really well done.” He’s now a graduate student at Guelph in subatomic physics, researching the structure of nuclei. Fairchild volunteered at the event to answer attendees’ questions.
Don McKay graduated from Guelph in 1970 with a B.Sc. in Physics and Mathematics. He spent some time working with Environment Canada, ended up getting his Masters at University of Toronto, and later returned for his PhD at Guelph in 1977. McKay had a long career as a consultant, general manager and professor. Now he’s a councillor for the county of Wellington, and a part time sheep and beef cattle farmer.
“I think it’s great [and] I think they need more of these. Students need to be able to understand what is available and how to go about looking for jobs. It’s a lot different. When I was looking, the opportunities were really great; they’re still good, but now you have to do a lot of work to demonstrate to an organization or company you want to work for, what you’re going to bring to that company and how you can help them out,” Don McKay commented on the showcase.
Jamie McDade, another attendee, graduated from the University of Guelph in 2009 with a bachelor of commuting, and is currently the release manager for Innosphere Systems.
“I think it’s really important, especially for the Guelph community in general. The IT community is really starting to pull up, and so events like this are crucial,” said McDade.
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