Kyiv Post Employment Fair gives boost to job seekers
It was an unusual start to the weekend for Zhenya Halych, the lead singer of rock band O. Torvald, which will represent Ukraine at Eurovision 2017 in Kyiv this May.
Halych took to the stage of Olympic Stadium on March 25, but didn’t sing. Instead, he shared his advice and motivation with the attendees of the Kyiv Post Employment Fair – a biannual recruiting event with a 12-year track record in career matchmaking.
“Believe in your dreams,” Halych said. “We’ve been playing in garages for years… and always had to prove (our worth). Our dream finally came true. (Our) rock band will represent Ukraine at Eurovision.”
But dreaming is not enough to land a good job. Persistence, the right qualifications and stamina are important too.
These are some of takeways from the career fair, which allowed some 30 leading companies to meet up with hundreds of job seekers and get to know each other. Altogether, more than 400 people participated.
The list of participating companies was long and impressive: Porsche Group Ukraine, ACCA, Auchan, AIT, KPMG, ProCredit Bank, ControlPay, B. C. Toms & Co, Diamant Bank, Baker Tilly, Brain Source International, Brainware, Coca Cola, EBS, EY, Employment Center of Free People, L’Oreal Ukraine, Mazars, Nielsen Ukraine, lifecell, PRSM, PwC, Rabota Plus, Smart business, FM Logistics, Ukrtelecom, Uniqa, Viker Plus, Winner.
Good career advice was also in abundance.
Roman Borysenko, a deputy governor of the National Bank of Ukraine, said that improving practical skills during various internships is a key to a successful career and they are ready to work with the students.
“We are open for the generation Z,” Borysenko says.
During the panel discussion, Kilian Wawoe, a Dutch psychologist and professor at University of Amsterdam, said: “Finding a job follows the same logic as finding a partner in life. So if you go to somebody that you don’t know and start offering yourself, normally that doesn’t work.” Wawoe suggested to get to know the place one wants to work first, and then send a CV.
Ukrainian restaurateur Dmytro Borysov shared his life story with the attendees. Borysov started working in the advertising business at the age of 15, and he later got into the restaurant business. His first eatery – Barsuk – opened its doors in 2009. That first venture is a highend beer and food joint offering a wide selection of tasty food, beer and wine. Now Borysov’s “family of restaurants” includes 10 venues.
There’s no secret strategy that he follows, Borysov said. “Look, now I raise five children and own 10 restaurants. Usually I have to wake up at 6 a. m. to do everything.” Borysov works on the menus of his restaurants and communicates with farmers who supply fresh meat, eggs and dairy products to his venues.
There was some good news from the information technology industry as well. Bearing it was Swedish entrepreneur Andreas Flodström, the CEO and founder of the Beetroot IT company, which specializes in building teams of developers and designers from Ukraine, arrived in Ukraine four years ago.
He sees great potential within the country: “For an entrepreneur, Ukraine is like a land of opportunities. Because in everything that is dysfunctional, there is a business opportunity, right? And if you can, then combine a business opportunity with making an impact that actually drives society forward.”
Driving society forward is Flodström’s goal and that’s why he also founded the “Beetroot Academy,” a Swedish school that prepares students for a career in IT.
The first group of students completed the course in 2014 and currently courses are being offered in five Ukrainian cities: Chernihiv, Kyiv, Poltava, Kramatorsk and Odesa. But Flodström has bigger plans. They aim to expand from 5 to 20 academies by 2018. This will allow them to educate 2,000 people every year.
His mission is big: “What we really want to do is to help to build up the Ukrainian middle class. That is why we go in the regions and build up these IT schools because the IT-field is such a different world. So the more you can help people to come closer to this field, the more people you kind of have entering the middle class.”
As for his own career, Flodström has decided to leave his home country for a certain reason: “Here in Ukraine, I just feel that I get more impact from my work than I get at home in Sweden. …I like this sort of dynamic here. For me, when I go back to Sweden, I feel a little bit limited. I feel like I am in a box because everything is so planned, and I am quite spontaneous.”
The main advice from many speakers, including lawmaker Mustafa Nayyem and Yulia Tychkivska, former vice president of Kyiv School of Economics and co-founder of Bendukidze Free Market Centre, is to focus on education – even online courses might be of big help.
Denys Zhadanov, vice president of marketing at Ukraine-based Readdle, known for iOS apps like PDF Expert and Scanner Pro, said finding mentors also can boost one’s career.
At the end, Business online magazine together with SIC Group and the Kyiv Post awarded several companies, including Gefco, a logistics company, SmartFarming, Juscutum law firm, BASF chemical company, EY, Veterano Pizza, Boryspil Airport, Exporters Club of Ukraine and SUN InBev Ukraine, the largest domestic beer producer as one of the Best Employers.
Kyiv Post interns Isabel Lerch and Toma Istomina contributed to this story.
Visitors look at the maps on sale during the Kyiv Post Employment Fair on March 25. (Anastasia Vlasova)