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.”
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.
“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.