A native West Virginian and Facebook team member returned to Beckley Friday to speak at the U.S. Senator Joe Manchin & West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission Erma Byrd Higher Education Center Regional Job Fair.

Christian Martine, a graduate of Shady Spring High School and a solutions product manager at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., addressed the recent controversy concerning Cambridge Analytica, as well as encouraging job seekers to apply for positions at Facebook, the worldwide social networking site.

When questioned by a job fair attendant, Martine briefly addressed the current scandal involving the harvesting of raw data of 50 million Facebook users by Cambridge Analytica, a team hired by the Trump campaign, for use in the 2017 U.S. elections.

Martine said Facebook "will re-earn trust."

"I know we have teams working very, very hard," he said. "Without privacy and trust, everything I talked about doesn't matter.

"We're committed. We've launched an investigation. We've heard from (Facebook founder) Mark Zuckerberg that we're going to make this right," he said. "We condemn what happened with Cambridge Analytica. We condemn what happened with the people who lied to Facebook."

One audience member noted that an Amazon search for a product can lead to the same product being advertised in his Facebook newsfeed. He asked Martine to explain the connection.

"No personal information goes to Amazon, but systems are in place to allow Facebook to share anonymously into someone's newsfeed with the product that may be of interest," Martine replied.

The job fair brought together 144 companies and offered job seekers a networking opportunity, as well as help with resumes.

Joe Guffy of the Beckley Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce said BRCCC was happy to be a partner in the fair and to help connect job seekers with opportunities.

"This is the second year for the job fair," Guffy said. "We think it's important."

Diana Hogg, a human resources worker with Arch Coal, said response by potential workers to her booth was positive.

"We've had a few," she said.

Dee Sizemore of Beckley ARH said the fair provided a good opportunity for job vendors.

"I was really pleased at the turn-out and the ability to be able to educate job seekers on opportunities available at Beckley ARH," Sizemore said. 

Martine described Facebook to fair attendees as "a very non-traditional place.

"We don't have a direct career ladder. We call it the career jungle gym," he said, adding, "People transition to other parts of the organization.

"You move around until you feel this is the place you want to grow and learn."

He said that the Facebook culture is team-based rather than individualistic and that those who care about goals and missions rather than personal goals are a good fit.

Skills carry more weight than education or experience, and tailoring a resume and interview opportunity to the team spirit of Facebook is helpful, Martine hinted.

"(An interview) might highlight the absolute best in you, whereas what we really want to see is your self-awareness," he added. "What is it you're great at, what is it you're weak at, and, despite all that, why do you still believe you're the best person for the role?"

Facebook actively recruits women, he said, and facilitates "Lean In Circles" for female leaders to discuss bias and career goals. 

Martine, a 2014 graduate of Washington and Lee University with a BS in business administration and a BA in politics, is the son of Al and Gina Martine of Daniels.

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