By Nehal Sharaf, Nadine Ramadan and Daniella Banna
The Fall 2015 Employment Fair, organized by the Career Advising and Placement Services office (CAPS) took place at American University in Cairo on Nov. 7, 2015 to provide students and alumni various career opportunities.
There were 76 organizations present at the Fair. According to Malak Saleh, one of the event’s organizers, the CAPS office sends out invitations to various companies in which they respond to pay and partake in the Fair. Even though the Employment Fair changes every year, there are companies that are usually participating at the Fair. Maha El Moslemany, manager of Recruitment and Employer Relations stated “the recurring companies present at the Fair are a reflection of what’s in the job market.”
During the Fair, students approach companies, introduce themselves regarding their majors, their area of interest and share their CV’s with companies. Even though students and alumni came ready with their printed CV’s, they were not accepted by many of the companies such as Coca Cola, Mobinil, Procter and Gamble and the American Embassy. These companies asked for CV’s to be submitted online.
After speaking with Mobinil and Unilever about what characteristics they look for when hiring employees, Mobinil’s Human Resources supervisor, Nancy Wahba stated that they look for someone who is friendly and dynamic. Whereas, Karim Kandil, the Manufacturing Excellence manager for Unilever Factories stated “they look for candidates with soft skills, such as leadership and team building and people with technical skills.”
A couple of attendees were unsatisfied due to the Employment Fair lacking in variety of companies, such as NGO’s. Lydia Matta who minored in Community Development and Organizing, was hoping to find an opportunity available at the Fair regarding this field, however, she expressed to us how disappointed she was with the Fair’s lack of choices in NGO’s. Attendees with a business background expressed the most satisfaction due to numerous opportunities provided by the present companies.
The Employment Fair has been going on since 1986, back then it was considered one of the first types of career fairs in the Middle East. There are two Employment Fairs a year, one in Fall and one in Spring. Each year there are different companies, however, there are several recurring companies that choose to be present at the Fair.