Alumni & Career Services will be piloting the Asia Pacific Career Conference at BYU-Hawaii on Mar. 7-10. The conference is focused on bringing international employers to campus to better serve the international students, according to Mark Macdonald, director at Alumni & Career Services.
“The money could go farther and it will benefit more students if we paid to bring employers here on campus,” said Macdonald. “The number of students to be interviewed by companies is way more than going to Career Connect.”
Macdonald explained the idea was suggested by one of their employees a few years ago. “It was approved, but we didn’t do it. We just continued serving the way we serve the students through the Career Connect program.
“The question arose again in August from our current staff. We had a meeting and asked ourselves what we could do this new year that could significantly elevate the quality of services we provide and the number of students we serve. The conversation evolved to this approach which we now agreed upon.”
As the approach took shape, Macdonald said they named it the Asia Pacific Career Conference. He explained, “By Asia Pacific, that’s our way of saying BYU-Hawaii’s target area, which consists of the church’s Asia, Asia North, Philippines, and Pacific areas.”
According to Macdonald, they’re looking for employers who have open positions in those geographies. He said most of the employers attending the conference are from those regions, and others are from U.S. companies that have openings in that part of the world.
Alexis Jimenez, marketing and events team lead at Alumni & Career Services, said the difference of the upcoming career fair from the past ones is there will be both domestic and international employers. “Students will have the opportunity to network with them and find out opportunities for their chosen career.”
Geoffrey Lewis, relationships manager at Alumni & Career Services, said, “We invite employers whom we’re connected with. Those who hired BYUH students in the past for internship or employment, or employers who are interested in hiring our students, especially those who have large employment potential in their region.”
Macdonald said, “The world works by relationships. It’s like bringing Career Connect to campus. Everyone will benefit in this conference. We highly encourage students to attend regardless on how close they are to graduation, as well as our U.S. students to consider the job openings in Asia Pacific.”
Lewis compared the intensive versus extensive benefits of Career Connect and the new career conference. “On Career Connect, we take a small group of students to meet with different companies, practice professional conversation, and find employment opportunities. By the end of that trip, the students will be more confident conversing in a professional manner. From the employer’s side, if we take five students to 10 employers, there is only a small chance for the employers to fill up positions.
“Employers take a lot of time to meet with us, but they don’t get to hire who they need. If the employers come here, they will see all students. The likelihood of the employers to hire students is high.”
Charity Jung, a psychology senior from South Korea, said, “It is a good time to advertise the school so we can establish the image of BYUH as a diverse university.”
Jung said she knows several students who went to Career Connect, but they weren’t able to fulfill the purpose of the program to get connections with different companies. She said, “It was a good experience for them, but I think they kind of wasted their time.”
Jemila Laureano, a senior majoring in business management from the Philippines, added, “Sometimes students just join Career Connect to go home to their country.
“In order to be a successful conference, the Career Center should reach out to students and encourage them to edit their resume. Students should not just bring a rough draft. Before they go to the conference, students should prepare,” Jung continued.
“The career conference is a great opportunity especially for students who are interested to work in another country besides their home country,” added Laureano.
The Asia Pacific Career Conference will run from this Wednesday to Saturday, Mar. 7-10. For more information, download the conference app: guidebook.com/g/apcc.