We Want You

On-Campus Recruiters Scoop up U of S Grads

It's every graduate's dream come true. And it happens every fall. Companies from across Canada send recruiters to university campuses hoping to entice the best and the brightest into their organizations.

For students who are offered these jobs, the knowledge they won't have to pound the pavement come April is a huge relief. But the jobs aren't easy to come by. Companies interview graduates from universities across the prairies and the candidates have to sell themselves.

Bob Johnson, an account executive with Procter and Gamble says his company sends out teams to campuses in a search for the best candidates, but admits it's a competitive process.

"We look for skills and abilities more than for a specific degree. We're not necessarily focused on one college although we do commonly hire commerce grads," he explained.

According to him, when compared with graduates from other universities, the U of S measures up very well. "We're pleased with the level of excitement, enthusiasm and work ethic we see, plus the skills they have developed within and outside of their degree," he claimed.

The P & G summer internship program for students who have completed their third year is also becoming more and more important as time goes by, he says. "It works well for students and for P & G. They get a chance to do real, meaningful work. I think they are often surprised by the level of responsibility they're given. For us, it's good because they can learn the company culture and how we operate," he said.

Jody Sawchuk, a human resources officer with IMC Kalium agrees that the quality of graduates from the U of S is impressive. "We've had very good experiences with U of S grads. And because we're a local company we find it is easier to retain these good employees," said Sawchuck. His company recruits across the prairies, including the University of Manitoba, University of Regina, University of Calgary and the University of Alberta.

IMC Kalium tends to hire engineering graduates, but will also hire commerce students from time to time when positions open up. According to Doug Rain at the U of S Student Recruitment Centre, on-campus recruiters have typically focussed on commerce, engineering, and agriculture over the years.

He says some employers have specific technical needs, but are also doing a good job at finding the skills they need in the general population. "We tell them that 'yes, commerce grads are good, but liberal arts students may be good too.'

Rain says he is surprised with the increased demand for education graduates. "We are seeing more offers and activity from schools than we've ever had at the same time the U of S is cutting back on quota." In his experience, companies are generally very pleased with graduates from the U of S.

"The same companies keep coming back year after year and have good comments," said Rain. One accounting firm from Edmonton is now recruiting on campus when they used to only consider the U of A, he explains. So while other students are just starting to hunker down for a long year of learning, graduates looking for jobs should keep a high profile. The competition for much sought-after jobs is just beginning.