Conestoga news

March 8, 2024 3:24 PM

Speed networking event connects employers, students

Students in Conestoga’s School of Applied Computer Science & Information Technology sat down for quick conversations with employers at a speed networking event.

Speed networking.jpg
Students in Conestoga’s School of Applied Computer Science & Information Technology sat down for quick conversations with employers at a recent speed networking event..

More than 100 students and 30 employers joined the evening gathering held on February 27 at the Waterloo campus. 

Tables were set up in the cafeteria, each hosted by an industry expert, and students engaged in 10-minute conversations about working in the field, leadership and the need for learning and skills development across the region.

When time was up, students moved to the next table to hear about the current labour market and challenges facing it from various perspectives. Alumni and faculty also helped facilitate the event.

Industry experts came from diverse backgrounds, including insurance, web development, IT consulting, financial institutions, data engineering and game development, with support from the Conestoga Talent Hub and co-op programs.

Waterloo software consultancy Vehikl views networking night as a great opportunity to find talented students for co-op placements and full-time roles. In fact, the company has hired more than 30 employees from these events.

Margaret Tavares, business development and operations manager, is always impressed with the calibre of students who come out to chat with people working in the field.

"It's always a pleasure meeting with Conestoga students who have a passion for learning about the tech industry and building their soft skills. The desire to get out of their comfort zone and speak with employers is very impressive, and it will serve them well in their future careers,” Tavares said.

Vehikl is eager to support events like speed networking to connect with new talent, and Tavares knows firsthand it’s a great opportunity for students too. Tavares is a Conestoga graduate from the Computer Programmer Analyst program and the Human Resources Management program, and she learned about Vehikl at a networking event.

“It's actually what introduced me to the company when I was looking for my first co-op placement over seven years ago. I'd highly recommend the event to other employers who want to meet talented students who are eager to step into the industry,” said Tavares, a 2021 Conestoga Alumni of Distinction honouree.

The gathering was sponsored by Canada's Association of Information Technology Professionals.

The next one is scheduled for October 22.

Conestoga’s School of Applied Computer Science & Information Technology, based at the college’s Waterloo campus, offers a 21st-century education that prepares graduates for exciting careers in the innovative world of information and communications technology. Project-based and work-integrated learning enables students to solve real-world problems and engage in new technologies that empower a professional journey in a rapidly growing sector.