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Bridging gap between companies and graduates

Samira Sabah | Published: July 03, 2019 21:12:45 | Updated: July 10, 2019 13:27:45


Job seekers visiting various stalls at Brac University National Career Fair 2019 at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre recently

Graduates struggle to find job placements in their desired industry mainly due to lack of information and dependence on biased beliefs. To alleviate this issue, there can be hardly any alternative to creating a common platform for seekers and providers to meet. NRB jobs presents Brac University National Career Fair 2019 organised by Brac University Office of Career Services and Alumni Relations (OCSAR) was an opportunity initiated to bridge the gap between the leading companies and the graduates.

Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen inaugurated the two-day career fair as  the chief guest along with Brac University Vice Chancellor Professor Vincent Chang on June 27 at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC). The General Secretary of Bangladesh Economic Association (BEA) Dr Jamaluddin Ahmed, Brac University Director of Student Affairs Dilara Afroz Khan Rupa and NRB Jobs BD's Managing Director and CEO Mahbube Elahi Chowdhury addressed the opening ceremony. FBCCI Director Amzad Hossain presented a keynote paper on "Youth Powerhouse: The key to be a developed nation" at the opening ceremony.

The national career fair organised under the theme 'Campus to Corporate' was open to all types of job seekers who are struggling to find a vocation of their interest.

Over 100 renowned companies from different sectors, including banks and financial institutions, national and multinationals, educational institutes, telecommunication, RMG and FMCG industries, took part in the fair and put up stalls where potential employees had the opportunity to drop their CVs and attend walk-in interviews. Some of the companies that attended are BRAC Bank Ltd, Eastern Bank Ltd, IPDC Finance Ltd, Decathlon Bangladesh, Grameenphone Ltd, Meghna Group of Industries, Renata Ltd, Studyco Bangladesh, Dhaka Tribune, Navana Group, Omera Petroleum Ltd and cvlinked.com.

The fair helped the potential employees to seek job from multiple companies at once while the prospective employers could save themselves of the hassles of arranging a separate recruiting process.

Career counselling sessions were arranged for everyone attending the event where prominent figures from various industries provided valuable insights about the dynamic corporate world. The speakers demonstrated constructive ways that people can adopt to prepare themselves for their future endeavours. Career counselling took place on both days consisting of four sessions on each day, which included discussions on crafting career, CV writing and winning interview, business communication, ethics and morality, corporate grooming, manners and etiquette. These were conducted by Ahsan Ullah Khan--EVP and head of public relations and brand communications, Standard Bank Ltd, Fatema Rizwana-- human resources director of Nestle Bangladesh, Masud Khan-- chairman, GSK Bangladesh and chief executive officer of Crown Cement Group, SM Ahbabur Rahman--deputy general manager, human resources at Pandughar Group, Mahmud Reza Chowdhury -- chairman and chief executive officer of Icarus USA Inc and Zara Jabeen Mahbub--country director and chief executive officer of Kazi IT Centre Ltd, among others.

The industry leaders and experts discussed the importance of networking, establishing professional relationships and creating entrepreneurship abilities in addition to the academic knowledge. There were question and answer sessions at the end for the participants to clear their queries.

 On the first day there was discussion session with HR heads of reputed corporate entities, which included Ayesha Saeed--head of talent management, human resources, Banglalink Digital Communications Ltd, Sayeed Nasir--general manager, talent acquisition and organizational development, human resources division, bKash Ltd, Mohammad Hafiz Al Ahad--head of HR, LankaBangla Finance Ltd, Lamiya Bushra-- head of recruitment and relationship, Brac Bank Ltd among others. They discussed the disproportion in demand and supply for jobs, the reasons behind lack of feedback from interviewers and how to improve the overall recruitment process.

The chief guest, Nasrul Hamid, MP, state minister for Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources and special guest Dr Md Jafar Uddin, secretary in charge, Ministry of Youth and Sports delivered their speeches in the concluding ceremony. The closing remarks were delivered by Lady Syeda Sarwat Abed, senior director, Brac Institute of Language, Brac University. 

The main aim of the event was to aid the youths with a chance to meet the policymakers, establish professional relationships, and discuss potential job opportunities, youth policies, business leadership and entrepreneurship opportunities.

Brac University previously organised career fairs in which access was  limited to its students only. This time, however, it focused on reaching a nation-wide audience. Students from all over the country attended the two-day fair.

"As a fresh graduate, I think it's tough to get the job you want. In addition, companies seemed to have less job openings in the IT sector this time around. Computer Science (CS) and Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) graduates like me will definitely be battling it out for some saturated job positions. However, it is a great initiative nonetheless. Students can now know what the industry requires and thus acquire knowledge and skills accordingly," said Rahat Shahriar Islam, a CS graduate from Brac University.

The writer is a fresh graduate of Brac University and is currently working in a commercial bank. She can be reached at samirasabah127@gmail.com

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