Fair a magnet for job-seeking students
Paper Edition | Page: 9
Every year the Jakarta Fair (PRJ) at Kemayoran in Central Jakarta is always the go-to place for shopping and entertainment for millions of visitors. But it is also a magnet for students looking for extra cash and work experience.
Jessica Siliviana, 17, usually spends her school holidays in her pajamas watching DVDs at her home or going out with her friends to the malls.
This holiday, however, she has traded her pajamas for a white t-shirt and short denim skirt, handing out flyers to people passing by a booth where she works at the fair.
Jessica is one of hundreds of students working at the annual trade fair and exhibition, which lasts until Sunday. She, like many of her peers, had been looking for a job to kill time while also earning money.
She received a message on her handphone from her friend informing her about a job opening as a sales promotion girl (SPG) at PT Tujuh Samudera’s booth at the fair.
“I usually just stayed at home or went to the mall during the holidays. So rather than wasting money, I decided to apply for the job so that I could earn extra pocket money,” she said on Friday.
“Last year I spent my time sleeping during the holidays. But now I’m thinking about my future,” Jessica added.
She works from Friday until Sunday and earns Rp 150,000 (US$16) per working shift which lasts from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. or 3 p.m. until 10 p.m.
Jessica said that she would save some of her wages in case she needed the money.
But not all part-timers work at PRJ just for the money. Students like Hans Kristian, 17, who works as a cashier at the Food and Beverage section, does it for the work experience.
Hans, who used to spend his holidays playing soccer, said that he took the initiative to work at PRJ because he wanted to gain some work experience before entering college next year.
“At school, I only meet with the same friends and teachers every day. But here, I get the opportunity to meet new people every day and learn how to be patient and deal with customers,” said the Karunia High School student who plans to apply for an accounting major at the University of Indonesia.
Sonny Surya Saputra, 17, also said that he worked as an auditor during the fair to gain some work experience as well as making friends.
He initially applied to work as a sales promotion boy (SPB) at a booth selling shoes.
But because the position that he applied for was full and he had ticked the “Microsoft Excel” skill on his application form, he got accepted as an auditor instead.
However, Sonny said that he did not regret working as an auditor as he got to make friends and expand his working connections.
“I am planning with four of my co-workers to apply again for the job next year,” said the student of a private school in Central Jakarta.
Unlike Jessica who applied for her job directly to the hiring company Tujuh Samudera, both Hans and Sonny sent their CVs and application letters to PT JIExpo, the organizer of the fair.
Each year, JIExpo hires more than 10,000 temporary workers to work during PRJ, with the majority of them being high school and university students, said JIExpo marketing director Ralph Scheunemann.
“This is a good thing because they get to earn pocket money to help their parents as well as gain real life work experience,” he said.
Those numbers do not include SPGs who are hired directly by the companies operating booths at the fair.
According to Ralph, there are 20,000 SPGs registered by JIExpo.
The annual fair and exhibition has seen an increase in the number of participants and visitors. In 2005, the fair recorded 1.5 million visitors and Rp 477 billion in transactions. Last year, the number of visitors reached 4 million with more than Rp 3.6 trillion worth of transactions.
This year, the organizers expect the month-long event to accrue Rp 4 trillion in transactions and welcome 4.5 million visitors. (han)