Press Release

GIA’s Jewelry Career Fair and Open House Attracts More Than 600


The opening panel, “Job Success in Today’s Market.” From left: Jennifer Wilson, GIA senior vice president and general counsel; Douglas K. Hucker, CEO of American Gem Trade Association (AGTA); Meghan Simmons, director of operations at Omi Privé; Cathy Calhoun, owner of Calhoun Jewelers; and Mitchell Binder, president and designer of King Baby. Photo by Emily Lane/GIA.

28th annual event connects job seekers with recruiters and consumers with the industry

CARLSBAD, Calif. – Oct. 17, 2019 – More than 600 visitors discovered the perfect space for jewels and jobs at GIA’s annual Jewelry Career Fair and Open House on Friday, Oct. 11, at the Institute’s world headquarters in Carlsbad, CA. Aspiring gem and jewelry professionals, GIA students, open house visitors, industry professionals and recruiters spent the day attending informative panels, getting one-on-one career coaching, networking, participating in classroom demonstrations and admiring more than 1,000 museum pieces on display.
 
The day began with the panel “Job Success in Today’s Market,” moderated by Jennifer Wilson, GIA senior vice president and general counsel. Notable industry personalities shared their stories of success and imparted genuine advice rooted in a passion for the industry. “You have an opportunity to get involved in making this industry better, cleaner, more giving and more loving because of the access to data that you have,” Douglas K. Hucker, CEO of American Gem Trade Association (AGTA), told the captivated audience. “Always make it a point to introduce yourself…your network drives your success,” advised Meghan Simmons, director of operations at Omi Privé. Cathy Calhoun, owner of Calhoun Jewelers, showed how to make jewelry shopping a great customer experience. “It’s all about fun and having [your] customers have fun as well” she said. Mitchell Binder, president and designer of King Baby, rounded out the panel, “I encourage all of you to remember there are so many experts and people who can become friends, ask for help! There’s so many people who can help.”
 

Open house guests enjoyed hands-on classroom demonstrations, museum exhibits and the Institute’s library. Photo by Emily Lane/GIA.

Later in the day, JCK magazine and JCKonline.com publisher Mark Smelzer moderated the panel on “Creative Careers.” Jenny Luker, president of Platinum Guild International USA; Baba Blumkin, president and co-founder of Luxe Jewelry and Loan; Wade Clar, Jr., director of brand development at Julez Bryant; Alexandra Hart, designer/goldsmith of Alexandra Hart; and Tiffany Stevens, CEO and general counsel of Jewelers Vigilance Committee shared personal stories of the unique paths they took and how they found success. The common theme was to step out of comfort zones and pursue passions.
 
For the first time, the “Job Success in Today’s Market” panel and the “Creative Careers” panel were live streamed on Facebook, making them available to a wider community of aspiring industry professionals.
 
This year there were a record number of 42 recruiters – including local San Diego stores and global companies such as Tiffany & Co. and Signet Jewelers – looking to fill positions from entry level to senior management. Job seekers also had the opportunity to connect with industry veterans to receive personalized career advice.
 

Terry Chandler, President of Diamond Council of America, provided career advice during one-on-one coaching sessions at GIA’s Jewelry Career Fair. Photo by Emily Lane/GIA.

“The job seekers I met this year were top-notch – well-prepared, enthusiastic and engaging. Talking with them, I am really excited about the future of our industry,” said Terry Chandler, president and CEO of the Diamond Council of America and career coach at the event.
 
The success of GIA’s Jewelry Career Fair over the past 28 years is due to the generous mentorship of career coaches, the expertise of panelists and participation of recruiters. GIA Jewelry Career Fairs are planned for next year in New York on Friday, March 13, 2020, in London on Friday, June 19, 2020 and in Carlsbad on Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. For more details, visit gia.edu/career-fair. Follow @GIANews #JewelryJobs for updates.


About GIA

An independent nonprofit organization, GIA (Gemological Institute of America), established in 1931, is recognized as the world’s foremost authority in gemology. GIA invented the famous 4Cs of Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight and, in 1953, created the International Diamond Grading System™ which is recognized around the world as the standard for diamond quality.
 
Through research, education, gemological laboratory services and instrument development, the Institute is dedicated to ensuring the public trust in gems and jewelry by upholding the highest standards of integrity, academics, science and professionalism.