Adrian Shellard, for the University of Calgary
Feb. 27, 2023
Popular career fair focused on tech industry returns to UCalgary after pandemic hiatus
Feb. 7 saw the return of the highly regarded tech-focused career fair, Tech Fest. It took place at Mac Hall in the MacEwan Student Centre and welcomed over 1,600 students and 35 companies.
“Having Tech Fest return to campus after its pandemic hiatus is very exciting,” says Anica Vasic, director, talent, Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking.
“With the ever-evolving and changing landscape of tech and innovation industry, some of the best job opportunities remain in the tech sector and both emerging ventures and students are keen to connect around those opportunities, as proven by the overwhelming turnout of students at the event.
The Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking is excited to be able to facilitate these types of connections and help grow the local innovation community.
Tech Fest puts a unique spin on the typical career fair by bringing together up-and-coming startups, local innovation organizations, and post-secondary students interested in careers in innovation. It provides access to UCalgary’s innovation community resources, such as Innovate Calgary and W21C, and local innovation organizations, such as Plug and Play and Rainforest Alberta.
Additionally, the event hosted a video game lounge, giving students a personalized experience by engaging with company representatives and getting to know each other in a unique environment. Students and company representatives had a chance to connect, compete, and learn more about the province’s local video game industry.
“This initiative is an excellent example of joining forces across multiple areas of UCalgary and the local innovation community. We hope to inspire post-secondary students to explore the potential in building a tech career in our province,” says Vasic.
Tech Fest provided companies with the opportunity to meet talent and enabled students to learn about the career opportunities that exist in the regional innovation economy. Main objectives of the event were to create the space to have discussions that shift the narrative around commonly available career opportunities within the innovation sector and exploring how technology is integrated in workplaces not exclusive to STEM students.
“Attending Tech Fest at the University of Calgary is a smart move for companies looking to hire early talent,” says Pedro Restrepo, vice-president of engineering, KnowHow. “The event was a prime opportunity to connect with students who have a strong interest in technology and are eager to learn and contribute. By engaging with these individuals, KnowHow was able to identify potential candidates who possess the skills and enthusiasm to succeed in our internship roles.
"Moreover, Tech Fest provided a platform for KnowHow to showcase our brand and values, which helped attract students who are aligned with our mission and vision. All in all, it is a valuable event for companies looking to hire strong early talent.”
TC Energy provided integral sponsorship to ensure the success of the event. Through their support of developing early talent in the tech sector, TC Energy is contributing to the next generation of the innovation community.
“As our world continues to evolve, TC Energy understands the importance of adaptability when embracing innovation and technology,” says Mike Procee, manager of enterprise innovation enablement. “We know that using an innovative mindset is crucial to overcoming challenges and developing unique solutions, which are all important tools for students to learn as they enter the workforce.
"The social impact TC Energy seeks to have by partnering with Tech Fest is to not only encourage the next generation of energy problem solvers but to help build a strong and skilled energy workforce for the future.”
UCalgary Tech Fest is intended to become an annual event, linking students, faculty, staff, alumni, community, and industry in building a strong innovation future for Calgary and Alberta.
Tech Fest was presented by the Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking in partnership with the Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Graduate Studies, Faculty of Science, Haskayne School of Business, Schulich School of Engineering, and the University of Calgary Career Services.
Created with a transformative gift from the Hunter Family Foundation in 2017, the Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking is UCalgary's community innovation hub that transforms lives and economies through fostering entrepreneurial thinking in students, faculty, and the community. Our mission is to create and support game-changing innovators and accelerate their ideas from conception to impact.
The Hunter Hub contributes to the University of Calgary's strategic vision to be the most entrepreneurial university in Canada.