Yesterday, Mila held its biannual job fair on a virtual platform, connecting 24 of its industry partners with 155 Mila students seeking internships and jobs. While the pandemic has had an impact on the hiring process, the online event provided students with the opportunity to schedule one-on-one meetings with different AI organizations, followed by presentations and Q&A sessions.
Jean-Sébastien Grondin, current professional masters student in machine learning at Mila, said that the previous edition of the job fair had helped him land an internship with the City of Montreal. “[The fair] is a golden opportunity for me to get to know these employers and expand my network. In this period of COVID-19, and now that I’m looking for a job, I know that it can make a big difference,” he asserted.
Similarly, Alexander Peplowski (Prof. MSc., Mila) reflected on the importance of networking opportunities during the pandemic. “The world won’t stop turning because of COVID-19, so I better have a plan for after I graduate this year, and getting to know the Montreal AI industry will help me prepare for that.” He added that the virtual event made it “easier to form a connection in a remote face-to-face setting than when only interacting via IM, email, or a company’s recruiting website.”
A Benefit for Mila Partners
According to some of the participating partners, having direct access to Mila’s students is what continues to attract them to this event.
Bernard Imbert, Director of innovation, research and development at UEAT confirmed that it gives his company access to a pool of potential candidates and often with successful hires: “We had two interns from Mila and one from HEC. All three are now UEAT employees.”
“The biggest advantage is the contact between this wonderful new generation of professionals and companies,” echoed Sophie Labonne, Program Director at Nuvoola, an AI firm specialized in blockchain, hybrid-cloud infrastructure and applications. “There will certainly be two follow-ups with [students] on our side, precisely because I saw a potential fit,” added Labonne.
Thank you to all of the organizers, partners and students who helped make this virtual event successful! The next job fair will be held in February 2021.