(CARLSBAD, Calif.) – Nearly 500 professionals at every career stage packed GIA’s (Gemological Institute of America) 30-acre campus in Carlsbad on Oct. 11, where 27 companies looking to fill hundreds of positions were on-hand at the Institute’s annual Jewelry Career Fair & Open House. The industry’s preeminent recruiting experience drew crowds for hiring opportunities, one-on-one career coaching and an array of panel discussions with industry executives, entrepreneurs and designers.
“There’s really no other event in the industry like this,” said Susan Jacques, GIA’s newly appointed president and CEO. “GIA’s Jewelry Career Fair offers a singular view into the diverse career opportunities, personalities and professional aspirations in this industry. It’s also a great way to learn how the global gem and jewelry industry is evolving and growing.”
The event began with “Job Success in Today’s Market,” a panel presentation moderated by Jacques. Panelists Lex Graham, retail jeweler at Betteridge Jewelers; Douglas Hucker, CEO of AGTA; and Dione D. Kenyon, president and CEO of the Jewelers Board of Trade, offered personal anecdotes and advice on how to succeed in the industry.
Later in the day, Erica Courtney, designer and president of Erica Courtney, Inc.; Alishan Halebian, designer and owner of Alishan; Charlie Herner, CAD/CAM director of Green Lake Jewelry Works; and Erik Stewart, owner of Erik Stewart Jewelry, joined moderator Victoria Gomelsky, editor-in-chief of JCK magazine, for a discussion on “Design to Finish.” The panel explored the exciting world of design and manufacturing, and provided insight into careers in these areas of the industry.
“Career Fair panelists are dynamic and fascinating professionals who have taken many different paths to get where they are today,” said Kathryn Kimmel, GIA vice-president, CMO and co-founder of the GIA Career Fair. “They demonstrate that ambition, creativity and a strong sense of ethics are what it takes to achieve your professional goals, and that there isn’t one formula to success.”
Finally, in a lively discussion moderated by Marc Smelzer, publisher of JCK magazine and JCK Online, panelists Rebecca Boyajian, director of communications for Bill Boyajian & Associates Inc; Au-Co Mai, president and CEO of Emitations.com; Yancy Weinrich, group vice president of JCK Portfolio; and Hutton Wilkinson, president and creative director of Tony Duquette, Inc., focused on “Creative Careers” and some of the sensational career paths related to gems and jewelry, demonstrating just how diverse the industry truly is.
Ben Bridge Jeweler, Helzberg Diamonds, Jewelry Television, Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers, Tiffany & Co. and Zale Corporation were among the 27 companies recruiting for hundreds of positions from retail sales and jewelry design to diamond grading and production. Job seekers had the opportunity to interact directly with hiring managers and learn first-hand what kind of skills each company sought.
GIA hosted its first Jewelry Career Fair in 1991 in Santa Monica, Calif. Since then, the event has expanded and linked gem and jewelry companies with future employees at nearly 50 events in India, Las Vegas, New York and the GIA world headquarters in Carlsbad, Calif.
For more details visit www.careerfair.gia.edu.