The second annual Career Day was held at Aspira University College on February 16, 2017. The goal was to bring Aspira students closer to the educational sector and the labor market. It was also an opportunity for students to express their personalities and desires, as well as to find their mandatory internship with over sixty employers present. Many were from the travel, hospitality and sports sectors.
Dr. Sc. Marija Valčić, the Dean of Aspira, gave the opening address. She stressed how important it is for Aspira to keep up with prevalent and emerging trends. This is a key prerequisite for our graduates’ smooth transition into the marketplace. Aida Batarelo, the Deputy Mayor of Split, kindly wished the very best to all parties involved in this, as she said, important event. The next speaker, Sandra Čanić of the Association of Employers in Croatian Hospitality, pointed out that employers must fight for each talent, which Aspira students certainly are. She underscored the connection between students and employers, of which our school is a fine example. Ivan Goran Munivrana, representing the Croatian Olympic Committee, reaffirmed continuing support for Aspira, and expressed a desire for this to continue. Vice Dean Ivana Jadrić thanked everyone for attending and invited Aspira President Alen Jerkunica to officially open the Career Day. Jerkunica emphasized the function of the event, to expose students to the labor market. He applauded the efforts of Aspira’s Career Center in this regard.
After these introductions, it was time for the gathered employers to present themselves to the students. These included success stories, warnings of pitfalls and challenges, and countless informative and entertaining anecdotes.
The main course was then served, namely job interviews. Hotels, travel agencies, restaurants, sport clubs and other organizations were as a rule enthusiastic about the preparedness of our students for the occasion. Many were also kind enough to praise the organization of the event itself. Its utility was equally significant to the students and employers, on the one hand by providing career opportunities, and on the other, an excellent recruiting pool. Finding quality employees is step one; retaining them is step two.
A special feature of the Career Day was a round table discussion on the role of women in sports. Moderated by former Olympian Josip Reić, it included well-known Croatian sports figures Deni Borozan, Bernard Jurišić, Robert Radica, Marin Maljković and the medal-winning sisters Lucija and Ana Zaninović. Each pointed out that the round table was a step in the right direction, given the shockingly low figure of eight percent women in the sports industry.
The list of employers present at Career Day is too big to list here, but a few examples of their caliber and diversity follows: the hotels Hilton Imperial Dubrovnik, Radisson Blu Split, Le Meridien Lav, Falkensteiner, Sunčani Hvar, Park Split, Blue Sun, Valamar, Olympia Vodice… The travel industry also included such names as Omnivia DMC and the Atlas agency. The mouth-watering list of restaurants who awarded internships to Aspira Gastronomy students is by no means limited to: Pelegrini with chef Rudolf Štefan, Yacht Club Baotić, Divino wine bar, Zinfandel food&wine bar, Zrno Soli, and Nautika Dubrovnik. Sport clubs included HNK Hajduk Split (soccer), FC Split Tommy (futsal or indoor soccer), JK Labud (yachting), VK POŠK (water polo), Monter (taekwondo). A memorable event in every respect. To see for yourselves, check out the video and the Facebook photo gallery.