In an exclusive interview, Satbir Cheema, Director of Employment Programs and Planning and Ikagarjot Singh, Human Resources Advisor at PICS share their experience about PICS’ Mega Job Fair and Business Expo 2015. They discuss the immense value PICS’ career fair has for job seekers looking for employment or hoping to forge connections through networking.

Which particular moment from last year’s MJF&BE impacted you in a most positive way?

Satbir: Red T-shirts featuring the PICS logo were organized for staff and volunteers last year, with Vancity, our platinum sponsor, also joining in with the same colour T-shirts. The entire venue was a sea of red and it was indeed an amazing feeling.

Ikagarjot: Vancity’s support last year benefited PICS in a very positive manner, boosting PICS’ good reputation further in the community. Also, in previous years, PICS hosted the Mega Job Fair and BC Small Business Expo separately. However, last year was the first year where PICS jointly organized the Mega Job Fair along with the Business Expo. This combination proved to be a “smashing success“.

What were some of the challenges that you encountered while planning and preparing for the event, or at the event itself? How did you overcome these challenges?

Satbir: Last year, an event booklet with a floor plan was not available at the event, which would have better enabled attendees to navigate the event space and seek out exhibitors of interest. Also, we were unable to register all the attendees as they entered the event venue. Ensuring better organization and maintenance this year will allow us to monitor the number and demographics of the attendees to assist planning for future events. This year, we have made sure that an event booklet is being prepared, which includes a floor plan for the convenience of the participants. I am sure the results will be fantastic.

Ikagarjot: Some of the challenges we had last year were the weather conditions and the venue, which despite being big and spacious, had poor signage and therefore was not very accessible for people. This year’s venue is centrally located and easily accessible to everyone including transit riders. We are expecting a huge turnout this year.

Do you have any words of encouragement for anyone who may still be hesitant about attending the MJF&BE?

Satbir: The MJF&BE is the largest career expo in the Lower Mainland, with over a hundred exhibitors gathered under one roof – it will be a great opportunity for exhibitors and participants alike. Whether you are looking to expand your business network, or find job opportunities, we have a place for everyone at the MJF&BE. It will also be a fantastic opportunity for small businesses to display their services and interact with the community, and also for the community to learn about the different services that are available to them. Our greatest hope and aim for the event is to unite employers and employees, and build a progressive and collective network and community that values diversity and service – because that’s what PICS Society is all about.

Ikagarjot: Any sort of job fair is helpful. It is a great chance for participants to meet and network with prospective employers. If you are still on the fence about attending, then don’t hesitate any further. The MJF&BE isn’t just about getting hired. It’s a much bigger experience – it’s about getting to know the employer and the company, and learning about the services they have to offer, and how these businesses, organizations and institutions interact with the community. On a short-term scale, the MJF&BE will be a great avenue for you to acquire a job, but on a long-term scale, it will also help you transition into future career opportunities, highlighting the dual component of the event. Spend as much time as you need at the MJF&BE, and get to know what jobs and opportunities will be the best for you.

More information on the Mega Job Fair and Business Expo can be found at megajobfair.pics.bc.ca, including a complete list of exhibitors. All enquiries may be made to Katarina.Low@pics.bc.ca