Connecting students and graduates with Kingston employers
A Queen’s study has found few students live and work in Kingston after graduation because they aren’t aware of potential employers or career opportunities.
The findings are detailed in a paper that recently won the Rob Shea Research Award, a national award recognizing significant contributions to the fields of career practice and school-to-work transition.
“We identify that the vast majority of Queen’s students ranked Kingston second in a list of places they’d like to live and work after graduation,” says co-author Jennifer Massey, Director – Career Services, Research and Assessment and Graduate Student Life. “But the students weren’t staying, and we needed to figure out why.”
The paper harnesses data from the 2008-’09 Creative Economy Study, which was commissioned by the Kingston Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO) and led by The Monieson Centre at the Queen’s School of Business in partnership with Student Affairs Research & Assessment and Career Services.
“One of the problems I see in Kingston is we seriously lack people between the ages of 25 and 45,” says Mayor Mark Gerretsen. “That’s why it’s so important that the city focuses on making sure students are aware of the employment possibilities that exist within Kingston.”
To help combat the problem, Queen’s Career Services and KEDCO will present Work in Kingston Day on Feb. 2 at Grant Hall. The career day is designed to connect students with employers looking for full-time, part-time and summer employees. More than 50 local employers have signed-up to attend the event, more employers for a one-day career fair than ever before at Queen’s. Confirmed employers include: the City of Kingston, Kingston Police, Ontario Public Service and Kingston General Hospital.
“We have highly-qualified graduates sitting on our doorstep and a pool of talent that we really need to tap into,” says J.P. Shearer, KEDCO’s Director of Business Development. “We need to put some strategies in place to encourage students to stay here.”
Unlike traditional career fairs, this event is designed not only to connect students to job opportunities, but also to include some educational programming like on-site resume checks and tips for engaging in discussions with potential employers.
Employers attending the event are seeking current undergraduate and graduate students and well as those nearing graduation and looking for full-time jobs.
For more information on Work in Kingston Day 2011 visit the website.
School of Business Professor Yolande Chan, graduate student Sean Field (Department of Geography) and former Director of Career Services Paul Smith co-authored the paper. The award-winning paper will be published in The Canadian Journal of Career Development in March.