Career dreams can come true, with the right qualifications, persistence and timing (or luck).
These are some of the takeaways from the autumn Kyiv Post Employment Fair on Oct. 10. The event brought together 500 job seekers and 25 employers to the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry on 33 Velyka Zhytomyrska St.
Participating employers included international corporations, banks, law firms, informational technology companies, auditors, freight forwarders and consumer goods companies.
Yulia Mincheva of the Kyiv School of Economics says the fair offers a “great platform” for employers to meet prospective employees. “The companies have a chance to explain their work, while the future employees can look at the situation out of the box,” Mincheva explains.
Mykhailo Komarov, of the European Youth Parliament, agreed. “Look how many young people are here,” Komarov said. Some 40 people approached him during the first three hours of the fair, inquiring about vacancies.
Headhunting organizations use employment fairs for networking. They also offered tips to job seekers on how to improve their resumes.
“We give people information about us – vacancies, the situation on the labor market, ways to get consultations, and contacts of potential employers,” Lyudmyla Pereverten, a manager of the headhunting project Urgently Looking For a Job, told the Kyiv Post.
Meanwhile, attendees say the speakers were the stars of the fair.
“I’m not a frequenter of such an events, but what I can say is that I’m really satisfied,” Yaroslav Kramarchuk, a lawyer, said. “The speakers were great and lots of interesting ideas were discussed. I was hoping to see more law firms here, but it was still very useful.”
Kramarchuk said his favorite seminar was on a masters of business administration program in Harvard by Vasile Tofan, a partner with Horizon Capital, a regional equity fund manager.
Tofan, a Harvard Business School graduate, shared his experience on admission and education process with the fair attendees. He used a case study method during a seminar to show that even complicated business ideas and strategies can be easily explained.
“It was very motivating, I’m seriously considering applying for MBA program now,” Kramarchuk told the Kyiv Post.
Keith Rye, a senior consultant at Becker-ATC, invited financiers to join a training program. Upon successful completion, candidates get Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) professional qualifications and an opportunity to travel around the world.
“ACCA … opens the world for you. It did for me,” said Rye, who worked with the organization on three continents.
Some 500 Ukrainian students have already qualified with the Becker-ATC program while 2,000 more are undergoing training, according to Rye.
Those interested in information technologies had a chance to listen to Evgeni Utkin, a Ukrainian IT entrepreneur and a co-founder of Gogol Fest art festival, and Yulia Krasnienko, marketing and business development head at Looksery, an Odesa-developed real time face-changing and identification tracking technology.
Krasnienko shared her company’s success story in developing the most profitable mobile application in Ukraine tech history.
Before Looksery was acquired by Snapchat for $150 million on Sept. 15, it was created “for kicks” by Victor Shaburov, an entrepreneur from Odesa, back in 2013. It soon transformed into a serious project.
Ukraine’s IT start-up released videos explaining the technology and persistently promoted it through social media for free. Now, it has 100 million users, Krasnienko said. Looksery is looking for developers, concept and video designers to improve and expand the project.
Sergiy Gusovsky, a restaurateur and a candidate for Kyiv mayor from Samopomich party, explained his business. One part of Gusovsky’s advice: Don’t open a restaurant without a sure-fire plan to survive the first year.
One should be passionate and love chefs. “In the restaurant business, as well as in politics, it’s all about a team,” Gusovsky said. “A restaurant is like a human body – you should take care of it all the time.”
Dmytro Fedoruk, counsel at Clifford Chance Ukraine, talked about three distinct job options for lawyers: in-house jobs, private practice and civil service.
He also debunked the myth of the superiority of international law firms over local ones.
“They might be better in terms of ethical standards, but local law firms have freedom of decision-making,” Fedoruk said, noting that Clifford Chance Ukraine will become local firm Redcliffe later this year. Fedoruk said the firm is looking for an all-in-one lawyer, business consultant and manager.
For those interested in government service, Yulia Marushevska, deputy governor of Odesa Oblast, talked about Ukraine’s “stagnating, outdated, post-Soviet bureaucracy.” To work in civil service in Ukraine, one needs to be a steward of changes, Marushevska explained. Changes are needed because “Ukraine’s bureaucracy is stagnating and hangs on by the skin of its teeth,” Marushevska said. “A country with the highest number of prosecutors (15,000) and without opportunity to put anyone into jail cannot exist.”
Since June, the Odesa team under Governor Mikheil Saakashvili has hired new regional heads and cut the number of state employees in half — from 800 to 400. Saakashvili also returned private beaches to public ownership.
“We have people with MBAs, from abroad, working as regional heads… We call them Ukrazians (crazy Ukrainians),” Marushevska said.
One of the most popular workshops involved Ukraine’s new police patrols.
Vladyslav Vlasyuk, deputy head of the police department, explained the recruiting process and requirements.
Police are recruiting in Zaporizhya, Sloviansk-Kramatorsk, Boryspil, Cherkasy, Kremenchuk, Poltava, Kherson. They are hiring people between the ages of 21 and 35. All candidates need to pass theoretical, physical and psychological tests. The future officers then enroll in a three-month training program.
Yevhen Zborowski, a patrol officer from Kyiv, said motivation is the key along with support from citizens, citing a poll showing that at least 80 percent of Kyivans trust the new police.
Kyiv Post staff writers Olena Goncharova and Mariana Antonovych can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com