by Julia Bayne
This year the CIC Toronto Section hosted over 90 people at our annual Career Fair at the University of Toronto on Thursday, April 26th, 2018. The event was tailored towards graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and early career CIC members from across the Greater Toronto Area. This year’s event was supported through generous donations from our Platinum Sponsors: the University of Toronto Department of Chemistry and ChemClub, as well as our Silver Sponsors: Toronto Research Chemicals Inc., GreenCentre Canada and Ryerson University.
The day began with a presentation by keynote speaker Dr. Laura Reyes (Chemical Institute of Canada) followed by a presentation by Dr. Melanie Mastronardi (Top Hat). Both presentations provided an overview of their career path (during and after their PhD) and offered insightful career advice. The first panel discussion included Dr. Kazim Agha (Ridout & Maybee), Dr. Naveen Chopra (Xerox Research Centre of Canada), Dr. Glenn Ikeda and Dr. Alon Eisenstein (Pueblo Science), wherein students were able to ask questions pertaining to specific career paths and/or general pieces of career advice. After a quick coffee break, Jonathan Turner from the U of T Career Centre led a workshop entitled “Following Up in Your Career”. This interactive session was geared towards providing students with viable strategies for following-up with people after networking, after an interview and so on. After this workshop, Dr. Jan Oudenes (Kennarshore) gave a presentation on his unique career path through chemistry and entrepreneurship. Prof. Andy Dicks (U of T), Prof. Jessica D’eon (U of T) and Oriana Muzzin then led an “Education Panel Discussion”, and answered questions pertaining to a career in education. Students were then able to mingle with company representatives during the lunch hour. Booth participants included: Opalux, MITACS, Toronto Research Chemicals Inc, Kennarshore Inc., Alphora, NorthernChem Inc, Dalriada Therapeutics, Career Centre, GreenCentre Canada, Pliant Power Devices.
After lunch, the second panel discussion was scheduled, which included Kim Nosella (Xerox), Andrew Corbett (TRC), Doug Baumann (Syngenta) and Andrew Pasternak (GreenCentre Canada). The format paralleled the morning panel discussion – students were able to ask general and/or specific questions about career path, advice etc. The final session of the day was a round table discussion, where groups of 8-10 students were given 30 minutes to talk with 2-3 company representatives. Students were shuffled between company representatives after each 30-minute period to provide diversity and variability within possible career options. Roundtable participants included: Ridout & Maybee, Syngenta Crop Protection Inc., Xerox Research Centre of Canada, Toronto Research Chemicals Inc., Pueblo Science, Bereskin & Parr, Kennarshore Inc., GreenCentre Canada, Chemical Institute of Canada, Ontario Genomics, Career Centre, and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research.
In addition to the presentations and interactive sessions, Toronto Research Chemicals, NorthernChem Inc. and Dalriada Therapeutics held “on-site” interviews.
The organising committee (Julia Bayne, Jolie Lam, James LaFortune, Molly Sung and Jennifer Huynh) would like to thank everyone for their participation and for a successful career fair!