By Sasha Sears
Landing that first job can be challenging for any new grad. Throw language and cultural differences into the mix and it can be especially nerve-wracking.
Working with international students in the Partnership’s Connector Program, we noticed that they tend to struggle with resume writing and interview skills - two must-haves for gaining employment – and we wanted to help.
Robin Nurse, Director of Career Services at Dalhousie University, proposed a career preparation workshop and we went from there. In eight short weeks we had a pilot project planned and off the ground.
Over the month of March, the Connector team and Dalhousie Career Services offered a career prep workshop to 40 graduating students from the Master of Engineering in Internetworking program; their graduating classes are almost all international students. The purpose was to equip participants with the skills and confidence needed to land their career jobs and succeed in the workplace.
Ore Okebukola said the workshop helped him build essential pre-employment skills and learn more about himself. “The Career Prep workshop played a pivotal role in my journey of self-discovery and capacity building. It provided me with concrete tips on job interviews and networking strategies, enabling students to better interact with top industry professionals.”
Covering two full days, the sessions covered topics like self assessment and awareness, intercultural communication for the technical workplace, the importance of networking, resume review, and tips for acing those interviews. It ended with a focus on networking and interviewing. The students completed an interview practicum with volunteers from Cisco, IBM, Thinkwell Research and Internetworking Atlantic. Matt Whitman, Halifax Regional Municipality Councillor for District 13, also shared his experience and success with networking. Many of our volunteers also offered help and guidance after the workshop.
In our Connector Program, we believe wholeheartedly in the magic that happens through face-to-face meetings and targeted referrals, so we are very grateful to all those who provided their time and energy to help these students prepare for their careers. We hope to continue workshops like these to keep talented and skilled people here in our city.
If you are interested in the Partnership’s Connector Program or would like to learn more about this workshop, please email email@example.com or call 490-6000.
Author: Sasha Sears
Sasha is the Project Coordinator for the Young and Emerging Talent stream of the Partnership's Connector Program.