Hear Mac job-seekers talk about Hamilton career opportunities

Groups of students from McMaster University are touring workplaces across Hamilton this week, learning about what job opportunities might await them after graduation.

Crawl includes four themed tours

McMaster students participating in the Hamilton Employment Crawl board a chartered HSR bus on Wednesday. (Cory Ruf/CBC)

It's not an art crawl. It's not a restaurant crawl. And it's definitely not a bar crawl.

About 60 McMaster University students participated in the first day of the Hamilton Employment Crawl on Wednesday, touring workplaces across the city.

Related: Employment picture bleak for Hamilton's youth, study suggests

"The purpose is to show students what Hamilton has to offer in terms of employment," said Gisela Oliveira, a student employment coordinator with the university's Student Success Centre, who helped to organize the event.

"A lot of students think that they have to go to Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver after they graduate. They don't think Hamilton is a place where they can start their career. It's the 'McMaster bubble.' "

The manufacturing/green energy tour included a demo at the sustainable archeaology lab at McMaster Innovation Park. (Cory Ruf/CBC)

The tour has value not only for the university and its students; companies that participate get an up-close look at potential employees before they graduate.

"The value for us is to show the students at McMaster University is that there are a number of unique and interesting options available in Hamilton for career," said Mark Stewart, marketing and leasing manager at McMaster Innovation Park. "If we can help in any way to keep good quality talent in Hamilton, we're happy to do it."

The crawl boasts four tours, two on Wednesday and two on Thursday. Each tour has a theme, tailoring to students from different fields in the academy.

Shuttled to each location on a city bus, "crawlers" ventured around the city to tour high-tech facilities, including McMaster Innovation Park and Arcelor-Mittal Dofasco.

Here's what some of the participants had to say about the event:

  • Name: Mohammad Zeiee
Mohammad Zeiee. (Cory Ruf/CBC)
  • Hometown: Tabriz, Iran
  • Program of study: Master of mechanical engineering, Year 1
  • Career aspiration: "Good research and a good job."
  • Why did you come on the tour? "Based on my experience from my previous Master's, I need to have a vivid vision of the industry and the research conducted in the environment around me." 
  • On where in the world he might land in the future:
  • Name: Claudia Chan
Claudia Chan. (Cory Ruf/CBC)
  • Hometown: Hamilton, Ont.
  • Program of study: Recently finished final year of bachelor of chemical engineering
  • Why did you come on the tour? "I thought this employment crawl would be a really good opportunity to do some job searching, because I don't have a job lined up for September or anything. So I thought this would be a good networking opportunity."
  • Career aspiration: "My objective is to find a workplace that really suits me and my culture and values, while doing something that I love. I really want to get into the environmental field and hopefully, water treatment."
  • On learning more about the employment situation in her hometown: 
  • Name: Andy Bermudez
Andy Bermudez. (Cory Ruf/CBC)
  • Hometown: Scarborough, Ont.
  • Program of study: Mechatronics engineering, Year 5
  • Career aspiration: "I would like to go into the industry as a mechanical engineer. Just going right now through Dofasco, it opened my mind quite a bit to the opportunities that are available."
  • Why did you come on the tour? "I was very interested last year, but I found out about it too late. So I made sure I was on it this year. I'm really enjoying it so far. I've got to know about companies I'd never heard about even though I've been in Hamilton for five years now."
  • On the value of the crawl: 
  • Name: Sepideh Alibeigi
Sepideh Alibeigi (Cory Ruf/CBC)
  • Hometown: Tehran, Iran
  • Program of study: Master of mechanical engineering, Year 2
  • Why did you choose to come on the tour? "I heard about it from my friend. She highly recommended that I come here because she was so impressed by this program last year. She said it would give you ideas about what job opportunities are actually in Hamilton."
  • Career aspiration: "I want to stay in Hamilton and I want to find a job as an engineer, especially in research. I found out on the tour that, every place that we went, they have research and development, which makes me so interested."
  • On the appeal of staying in Hamilton: