"Small, but ground-breaking" was a refrain heard often at Search Associates' first job fair in Latin America, held in Bogota, Columbia on February 20-22, 2015. This year's fair was held at the Radisson Royal Hotel Bogota, located near the historic Usaquen shopping and restaurant district.
The fair was developed to connect recruiters from schools in Latin America and the Caribbean with educator candidates who are strongly interested in the area, and who likely have experience in the region. The Latin America Fair also aimed to reduce costs and travel times for recruiters and candidates by holding the fair in-region.
Senior Associate Bridget McNamer, the fair's organizer, explained,
"Search believes that a Latin America job fair has great potential because of the large number of well-regarded international schools in the region and a significant base of educator candidates who are drawn to the region. We believe a fair focused exclusively on and for the region will be a strong draw over time... Bogota was selected as the host city for the initial fair because it has good transportation connections with other countries in the region, good hotel facilities, a cluster of strong international schools in the city, and because it is an attractive destination."
Though the turnout for this year's fair was small, as is expected with any new job fair, recruiters and candidates who attended were in general agreement that the Latin America fair is poised for growth.
"It was a really nice fair with lots of potential," said Alida Garcia de Paredes, a principal at the International School of Panama."The small turnout was not surprising for a first year fair."
Marcela Vayas, Upper School Principal at Colegio Menor San Francisco Quito, added:
"I consider that the fair had a good start and that in the years to come will attract other schools and offer opportunities for schools and teachers looking for an international experience."
Many of the candidates who attended said they enjoyed networking with recruiters and fellow teachers, and they appreciated the support and advice they received from the Search staff working the fair.
"I received personalized attention that was very warm, welcoming and professional," said Katherine Ghinaglia, an elementary teacher who took a position at the International School of Panama. She continued,
"The fact that it was small gave me the opportunity to interact with many school representatives at a more relaxed and intimate level. Also, it allowed me to take part in a quality job search experience at a lower cost."
In addition to Bridget McNamer and John Doxey, her office partner, other Search Associates staff were present to assist, including Search Associates President Jessica Magagna, Search's Webmaster Rob Snyder, and headmaster emeritus Frank Anderson, who brings decades of experience in Latin America. The location and timing of the next Latin America job fair are currently under consideration. Please visit our website for any updates to our 2016 Latin America Fair!