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Bloomberg, BNP Paribas, PwC, and Santander Chile Among Employers Looking to Connect with SPS Students and Alumni for Global Career Week

The days of the traditional job search are long over, says Kelly Ahn, Executive Director of the Career Design Lab at the Columbia University School of Professional Studies. “Opportunities may come and go, but in the long term, it’s about the professional connections that you want to make and sustain over time.” 

That’s the guiding principle behind the Career Design Lab’s first Global Career Week, held Tuesday, January 26th through Friday, January 29th. Held each day to spotlight employers based in specific world regions, the virtual event will allow for recruiters to showcase their companies, discuss their needs and the kinds of people they value, and for SPS students and alumni across programs to network with them. Nearly 30 employers based in Latin America, China, India, and Canada will participate, including Bloomberg, BNP Paribas, Doctors without Borders in Canada, PwC, and Santander Chile. RSVPs are still being accepted (for SPS students and alumni only).

IT, financial services, health insurance, human resources, construction, supply chain and logistics and sustainability, data analytics, and consulting are among the industries that will be represented. In addition to full-time positions, there will be several internship opportunities for the summer. The CDL partnered with Columbia's Global Centers in Beijing, Mumbai, and Santiago, the Consulate General of Canada in New York, Confederation of Indian Industries, and the newly-formed SPS Alumni Global Career Coalition to organize the week-long event. On Friday, January 29th, Invest Ottawa, representing more than 20 businesses in the region, will discuss expedited visa opportunities for international professionals, including Chinese nationals. China-based employers, who’ll participate on Wednesday, January 27th, are seeking candidates from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea, in addition to Chinese nationals.    

“Employers are thinking bigger. They’re really trying to get to know the graduates and students for the longer term,” says Ahn.  While job markets around the world continue to ebb and flow in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Career Design Lab team has been coaching students and alumni about ways to tap into the “hidden job market.” There are few reliable estimates on the number of positions that aren’t publicly posted, but recruiters generally agree that c-suite positions, as well as bespoke positions, rarely make the public square.

According to the CDL team and other career experts, the key is getting to know recruiters and/ or other employees at organizations that interest you. While there may not be a specific position immediately available when a job seeker and an employee meet, the employee may think of the job seeker at a later time when something may become available. Sometimes, the company may have a unique or emergent opportunity that the job seeker is uniquely qualified to handle.

While it’s impressive that one Global Career Week employer has nearly 1,000 vacancies, Ahn and the CDL team continue to emphasize the power of networking as an important, ongoing part of the job-seeking process. The sessions are also designed to help SPS students and alumni get comfortable with speaking to hiring managers.

Applied Analytics M.S. candidate Priyanka Nagpal attended the fair on January 28th, saying, "Attending India networking career fair event has been a great opportunity as it provided the platform to learn about various companies' work culture, different verticals within a business and where I can be a good fit. I was able to attend sessions for Google, Bloomberg, Nasdaq & TCS. The key takeaways were: know the company's business, understand different verticals, and then apply for appropriate roles as per your qualifications. I will definitely recommend this to other people even if we don't want to work in India office but knowing their work culture can definitely help in landing a job in the USA and as always networking is key."

The CDL is calling on alumni from around the world to expand the SPS Alumni Global Career Coalition as the year unfolds. There will be a post-Global Career Week reception for regional co-chairs to network and expand the coalition. The CDL is seeking alumni based in or with strong professional networks in Canada and India in particular. Applied Analytics alumni Jose Manuel Peña Mendez, Portfolio Manager for AFP Habitat Chile, and Rodrigo Prado, Managing Partner at Primus Consulting, are serving as Co-Chairs of the Alumni Global Career Coalition in Latin America. Actuarial Science alumna Jenny Xinyao Sun, Product Manager at ZhongAn P&C Online Insurance Company, and SIPA alumnus Francis Bingzhang Huang are the Co-Chairs for China. For the India region, Construction Administration alumnus Vinay Venkatraman, Associate Director at Fortune Consultants Ltd., is serving as Co-Chair. Enterprise Risk Management lecturer Dr. Sanjay Sharma is also serving as a faculty partner for the Global Career Week event in India. 

“The world is getting smaller, everything is virtual now so you have to increase your global network,” says Ahn. In addition to Global Career Week, the CDL is hosting nearly 20 events this Spring, ranging from career coaching to industry-specific workshops and talks. Visit the Career Design Lab’s Calendar of Events to learn more.