The timeless appeal of jewelry draws more than 800 to the Javits CenterNEW YORK – Aug. 6, 2013 – Top names in the gem and jewelry industry ushered in the next generation of professionals on July 29 at GIA’s (Gemological Institute of America) New York Jewelry Career Fair at the Javits Center. There was no shortage of opportunity for the more than 800 aspiring industry professionals, GIA students, companies and industry leaders at the event, with 44 recruiters on-site looking to fill hundreds of positions – from retail sales and jewelry design to diamond grading and production.
“The timeless appeal of jewelry has helped our industry thrive, even in trying times,” said Susan Jacques, chair of the GIA Board of Governors. “The outstanding turnout at the GIA New York Jewelry Career Fair is evidence that there is demand – and jobs to match – for talented and passionate professionals in the gem and jewelry industry, and that even the most prestigious companies are seeking new and motivated talent.”
The event began with “Job Success in Today’s Market,” a lively panel discussion introduced by National Jeweler’s Whitney Sielaff, featuring seasoned professionals and moderated by Jacques. Panelists Alan Bronstein of Aurora Gems; David Gardner of David Gardner's Jewelers in College Station, TX; Daria de Koning of Daria de Koning, fine jewelry; Martin Rapaport, Chairman of Rapaport; and Joel Schechter, CEO of HONORA, shared their personal experiences navigating the gem and jewelry business and offered advice for jobseekers.
During his presentation, Bronstein discussed the importance of seizing an opportunity when it arises, and shared how one colored diamond request from a single client opened his eyes to a world of business opportunity. Schechter, meanwhile, described the ten qualities he looks for when interviewing candidates. He noted the importance of someone who: loves Mondays, sweats the small stuff, tells the truth, is willing to do anything, is loyal, embraces mistakes, takes risks, respects others, gives back and stands up for their beliefs. “Embracing mistakes and taking responsibility for them is how you learn,” he said.
“What’s really important is getting a good mentor. Make as many contacts as possible,” advised de Koning. “The diamond business isn’t really about diamonds… it’s about people,” added Rapaport.
“I was energized by the enthusiasm of the students coming through the wonderful program at GIA. My hope is that their enthusiasm towards education will continue and be enhanced with professionalism,” said Gardner, who is also president of the American Gem Society.
Companies recruiting included David Yurman, De Beers, Gabriel & Co, Gemvara, the Natural Sapphire Company, Saks Fifth Ave., Tiffany & Co., Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry and Zales.
GIA hosted its first Jewelry Career Fair in 1991 in Santa Monica, Calif. Since then, the event has expanded, bringing gem and jewelry companies and future employees together at more than 40 events in India, Las Vegas, New York and the GIA world headquarters in Carlsbad, Calif. Following the New York event, the next GIA Carlsbad Jewelry Career Fair will take place on Friday, Oct. 11.
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