More than 450 students, GIA (Gemological Institute of America) alumni, job seekers and industry professionals connected with 56 companies looking to hire and 23 career coaches offering expert advice at GIA’s New York Jewelry Career Fair on Friday, March 8. The annual event paved the way for new talent and those looking to enter the gem and jewelry industry with a unique opportunity to network directly with companies.
“The record number of recruiters and the quality of the job seekers made this Jewelry Career Fair one for the record books,” said GIA Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Kathryn Kimmel. “Now is a great time for passionate people looking to move into or up in the gem and jewelry industry.”
The opening panel, “Job Success in Today’s Market,” featured compelling advice from seasoned professionals and a recent GIA graduate, who shared lessons learned in their careers and their passion and excitement for the industry.
Caryl Capeci, president of Hearts on Fire, opened the panel with the observation, “(Your) journey is a series of decisions that you make…some are good, some aren’t so good, but you know what? You learn something from every single step you take.”
Lisa Bridge, president and CEO of Ben Bridge Jewelers, said about selling jewelry, “It is so important to remember what it is that makes this business special – these incredible moments we get to be a part of.”
Recent GIA graduate Daniel Wisner, assistant technical designer at Alexis Bittar, shared what it was like to start his own business. “Starting a business means you get a crash course in everything you never thought you’d do,” said Wisner. “It’s not just having an idea. It’s taking a leap and learning to be uncomfortable.”
Lisa Nikfarjam, president of Lisa Nik Inc., said, “Be careful not to be distracted by the advice of other people. You have to stay true to your path and passion.”
Timothy B. Matthews, president and CEO of Jewelry Television, gave the advice, “Have an attitude about being others-centric instead of being self-centric, you will be amazed about how much further your career can advance.”
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.