Career Edge, Canada's Internship Organization

Since 1996, Career Edge Organization has provided thoughtful results-driven leadership in connecting multi-sector businesses with diverse, qualified talent through innovative paid internship programs to fulfill talent strategies for recent grads, graduates with disabilities, and internationally qualified professionals.  Click here to visit our website!

 

Since launching the Canadian Armed Forces Reservists Paid Internship Program, we have had the opportunity to visit Reservists at the companies where they are completing their internships, and have heard nothing but good things, from the Reservists and their employers alike.

Some of the reservists who have secured sustainable internship opportunities through Career Edge’s CAF Reservists’ Paid Internship Program. From left: Roy L., Craig S., Andres L.

Our employer partners have shared with us how impressed they are with their interns’ performance, and are looking for other opportunities to have more Reservists join their teams. The good news is, September is one of the best months to start hiring Reservists.

Many Primary reservists attend training courses through the summer months, and after spending a few weeks away at Canadian Forces training centres, Reservists return in September, ready to work in corporate civilian occupations that allow them to leverage the portable skills they have augmented through their training, such as leadership, communications, teamwork, and time management.

If you’re looking for Reservists to join your team, contact us.

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Last time on InternSHIFT, we introduced our newest internship program for Canadian Armed Forces Reservists, speaking to various stakeholders who all share the common goal of helping Reservists launch their civilian careers in Canada.

For Episode 2, we were inspired to look at Generation Y from a few different angles after reading a 24 Hours Toronto article that upheld the perception that new grads have a weak work ethic, poor attendance, and are just not ready for the workforce.

For recent grads, these stereotypes can thwart their attempts to secure employment, as some employers – like those mentioned in the article – are less inclined to bring GenY/Millennial employees on board.

But this issue is not new. In fact, it’s the reason Career Edge exists. So we invited a few subject matter experts to join us for this episode to talk about the skills and benefits that GenY DOES bring to the workforce, and the ways employers can unlock talents that are often overshadowed by stereotypes:

  • Lisa Leitch: Sales Strategist, Trainer & Coach with Teneo Results helps us understand Millennials’ working style, and how new grads can be groomed for a career in sales
  • R. Brian Robson: Project Manager for Ryerson University’s ADaPT program speaks to the type of education and training that new grads are bringing to the digital economy
  • Our Intern of the Year Sunny Vykunthan – joined by his mentor Liz Carreiro – shares his experience as a new grad working at RBC, while outlining the aspects of his internship that contributed to his success

Tune in now…

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Our partner, ACCES Employment recently announced the launch of a new Online Job Search Centre that will provide job seekers with self-serve resources including webinars, articles, interactive games, and videos.  The resources draw from ACCES Employment’s experience helping jobseekers and newcomers to Canada to successfully find work in the current Canadian job market.  The Centre is organized into six topic areas including: Resumes, Interview Preparation, Networking, The Canadian Job Market, Career Self-Assessment, and Workplace Success.  The Centre is generously supported through a (CAD) $1.4 million grant from Accenture (2016) and contributes to the project’s larger goal which is to create an end-to-end online services platform at ACCES Employment that will provide job search services and programs to more than 56,000 new Canadians seeking employment over the next two years.

Click here to visit the Online Job Search Centre now!

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Career Edge’s Achievement Awards recognize the success of accomplished individuals and leading organizations that partner with us to provide meaningful employment opportunities, helping us to launch more careers in Canada. We also salute our interns and the people behind them – the mentors who help enhance the internship experience.

This year, we took a personalized approach and celebrated the Achievement Awards through various events held over the months of May and June, in partnership with the winners and finalists. We also recognized the organizations and individuals who have demonstrated leadership and cultivated innovative employment solutions, allowing more people to make an investment in their career.

Meet our winners and finalists in the July 2016 issue of the Career Edge E-Newsletter…

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Video-based talent screening has revolutionized how we review and assess candidates seeking access to paid internship opportunities. Many of our employer partners have also taken advantage of these pre-recorded video interviews, as a compliment to their existing recruitment best practices.

We’re happy to share that we have now made these videos on-demand. Previously, links to selected candidate videos would be sent via e-mail upon request, but now they are accessible directly from the list of applications, for every candidate.

We have also made it easier for you to meet candidates from our newest internship program for Canadian Armed Forces Reservists by launching the Career Edge Video Gallery Portal. Log in using the same account details that you use to access careeredge.ca and you can browse through our video gallery of Reservists seeking civilian employment opportunities within the community of their reserve unit. Don’t have an account yet? Register here.

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We have officially jumped on the podcasting bandwagon with InternSHIFT, a podcast hosted by Career Edge that aims to shift the way people think about internships.

For our very first episode, we dove into our newest paid internship program for Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Reservists. Speaking with Lieutenant Colonel Derek Cheff, Executive Director at the Canadian Forces Liaison Council, along with our internal CAF team, listeners will get a deep understanding of the program, and how it supports the Canadian Forces as a whole, subsequently building employers’ military-friendly recruitment strategies and national pride. Tune in now…

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By guest contributor and former Career Edge intern Sujit Das, CPA, CGA, ACA

In every stage of our life, we embrace with some torch bearers who show the path. They may either be parents, teachers, leaders, senior peer groups, colleagues, friends or others.  Parents embed the norms of behavior and code of conduct in our blood which can simply be said as ‘Charity begins at home’. Afterwards, our ‘SHIKKHAGURU’ that is, ‘teachers’ in educational institutions shape our lives to materialize our aims and to be a good human being. Peer groups, colleagues, friends and others also help to reconcile the up and down sides of practical and career life, advise how we can rectify our norms or behavior to achieve a desired result. We are facing many bumps from starting education in primary school to a work life in work culture that are well known to all of us.

Could all of us imagine what will be the flip side if we start an immigrant life in a completely new and challenging culture? I believe, more or less, every one of us faced the same sorts of challenges when we touched the land of immigrants, Canada. As a new immigrant, we face uncountable challenges either in workplace, at home, to adapt [to] socio-economic changes or cultural barriers. To face new challenges in a new environment, to grow and to make a place in a competitive market, to embrace with a new culture, we need to take a ray of hope, ray of inspiration, ray of right direction at right time from the lodestar. One of such torch bearers is ‘Mentor’.

“It’s very hard to be successful without having a good mentor, it is essential to have someone you can look up to and emulate. Also, a mentor will show you the tricks and pitfalls of the game because they have likely already been around the block.”- Varun Gulati (San Francisco, California – ‎Co-founder at UClass; Product Owner at Renaissance Learning – ‎Renaissance Learning).

Mentoring means teaching and/or advising. It also involves what we call “uplifting behaviors”- namely inspiring, motivating, and encouraging. Its core purpose is to enable the mentee’s growth. Mentoring is a very special relationship that you have with somebody that could share their industry insights, their expertise; share stories about how they got to where they have got in and provide encouragement that you need to be successful in your job search here in Canada.[1]

How mentorship helps the new immigrant?

The generic purpose of mentorship is to help the “mentee” in developing professional relationships with accomplished mentors for:

  • Professional Development – beyond industry, the focus is on intrinsic challenges as well as discovering and leveraging expertise
  • Personal Development – the focus, here, is on the mentee and how mentees manage work/life decisions

We have to always keep in mind that this is not a job placement program and does not guarantee industry-specific insights.

How the mentor benefits:

  • Enhances leadership and coaching skills
  • Develops cross-cultural communication skills
  • Gains a better understanding of the skills and experience of immigrants
  • Becomes more aware of the job market and industry trends
  • Participates in professional development sessions customized to address mentor needs

[Original source: Become a Mentor, The Mentoring Partnership]

Empirical evidence:

I started my Canadian life with the hand of Career Edge through a paid internship at Scotiabank. Career Edge is a self-sustaining social enterprise that has remained passionate about connecting highly motivated, well-qualified interns with leading organizations since 1996. […] I was enough fortunate, I must say, to have mentor like Scott McAthey, Director, Decision Support Services Governance at Scotiabank. I did my internship for one year under his prudent guidance. I believe he helped me in the following ways:

  • Dedicated to my professional development throughout the internship period, proactively setting up regular meetings with me to provide orientation, support, feedback, and mentoring.
  • Proactively provided me with organizational resources that provided practical job-related knowledge that helped me not only excel in my role as an intern, but also contributed to my long-term professional development.
  • Proactively exposed me to several networking opportunities that allowed me to meet other professionals and colleagues – cross-functionally – in both formal and informal settings, which helped me to excel in my role as an intern, and contributed to the growth of my professional network.
  • Provided regular formal and informal feedback on my work as an intern, helping me to achieve my work deliverables, career-related goals and enhancing my professional development.
  • Proactively encouraged me to pursue professional growth opportunities like working on significant projects/presentations, exposure to other parts of the organization, and participation in company events.
  • Contributed to my career launch in a significant way by ensuring my internship provided me with meaningful work experience.
  • Promoted and highlighted my skills and experience to others in the organization, and offered knowledge and networking opportunities within and/or outside the organization.

Some of the advice that we should seek from our mentor is just to learn about their experiences. We really want to learn about the workplace culture, so asking questions about the culture, like how are things different here in Canada than back home, we are going to hear some amazing insights about how it is to deal with our manager, our colleagues. The mentor will be able to give us a lot of those insights, so ask a lot of questions and structure your sessions to really focus on different things at different times. Maybe one session is just about our resume, where we talk about our resume and how we could tweak our resume and then we could move into talking about the workplace.

Vijay Chander came to Canada from the Philippines as a student, which afforded him both the opportunity to learn what Canadian employers were looking for and also understand the cultural dynamics necessary for successful integration into Canadian diaspora. It is this background that has served him well through his ten mentoring relationships with new immigrants in Canada. “I realized that a lot of new immigrants were coming who were very well qualified but had no idea how to integrate into the society and how to find jobs,” says Vijay, a Senior Program Manager at Rogers Communications. Vijay firmly believes that mentoring plays a critical role for a new immigrant in Canada. “A mentor is the bridge for the new immigrant,” says Vijay. “A mentor can help guide the mentee with real world experience – we can immediately say what works and what does not work anymore. We provide our mentees guidance in adapting to a new culture and surroundings, and if necessary, on how to present oneself.” [Vijay Chander is a mentor with The Mentoring Partnership; original source: Vijay Chander – Mentor to 10 or more skilled immigrants, The Mentoring Partnership]

Fabian Marks sees the value that a mentor brings to a newcomer’s career search process.  “As a mentee, I totally appreciated the advice and guidance I received from my mentor. This helped me secure a position in my field, and I hope to be able to return the favour to newcomers.” Having arrived in Canada in 2008, Fabian works as Director, Marketing, Global Wealth & Insurance, Scotiabank International. He became a mentor because he knew there was a need for mentorship, especially for newcomers to Canada. “Having been there myself 6 years ago, I know how challenging it can be -when you have a family to take care of, this is life changing stuff.” [Fabian Marks is a mentor with The Mentoring Partnership; original source: Fabian Marks – I wanted to return the favor to newcomers, The Mentoring Partnership]


Following his internship, Sujit secured a permanent role and has continued to take on new challenges and opportunities at Scotiabank. We wish him great success in his new Canadian life and look forward to having him switch from being a mentee to a mentor as we work together to launch more careers for newcomers in Canada!

To learn more about Career Edge’s paid internship program for internationally qualified professionals, visit www.careeredge.ca.


References:

  1. Rothwell, W. J., & Chee, P (2013). Becoming an effective mentoring leader: proven strategies for building excellence in your organization.
  2. http://www.prepareforcanada.com/working/success-strategies/how-can-newcomers-benefit-from-mentoring/
  3. http://www.financialpost.com/related/topics/mentoring+immigrants/4465549/story.html
  4. http://www.ontarioimmigration.ca/en/working/OI_HOW_WORK_MENTOR.html
  5. http://www.thementoringpartnership.com/

Special thanks to TRIEC for allowing us to share the stories and guidance originally published by The Mentoring Partnership.

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It is an exciting day for Career Edge, as we are proud to reveal the brand new design of careeredge.ca!

Our website is at the heart of all we do – it is a virtual space that connects Canada’s top employers with amazing talent. It is our goal to ensure our website remains innovative and fully accessible – for first-time visitors and frequent users alike – as we celebrate our 20th year of launching careers through paid internships.

The new design has streamlined navigation and an improved user experience, while better reflecting the needs of our stakeholders and the ways we work together.

So come on in, make yourself at home, and join us as we launch more careers via the new and improved careeredge.ca!

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Hiring trends from 2015-16 show significant growth in the recruitment of recent graduates with disabilities through paid internships.

Statistics from Career Edge, Canada’s largest provider of paid internships, report that 31% more recent graduates with disabilities secured employment opportunities compared to the previous year[1], citing a change in employer commitment and candidate engagement.

Half of the reported growth was concentrated among financial institutions and public services, with more employers in these sectors augmenting their diversity, inclusion, and accessibility mandates. Together, these sectors increased the total number of graduates with disabilities hired by 15%.

Graduates are also finding greater success in securing employment through paid internships, as more are willing to have open conversations about their disability, explains Graham Sogawa, Vice President of Partnerships and Recruitment at Career Edge.

“We changed our strategy in terms of how we engage with recent grads in our talent pool,” he said. “We started having more open and constructive discussions around accommodations, which has made a big difference when it comes to helping our candidates navigate the recruitment process.”

By the time they graduate from college or university, the majority of new graduates have learned to adapt and accommodate their disability. But when it comes to seeking employment, many candidates choose not to disclose a disability or avoid making requests for accommodations with employers, fearing that it may diminish their chances.

This has been a major stumbling block for those looking to make the transition from school to work, but Sogawa credits the shift in candidate engagement as having a profound impact on their ability to overcome any barriers that their disability may have posed.

“We’re able to have conversations that candidates may not feel comfortable having with a prospective employer,” Sogawa said, “We’re helping them to understand that their ability to overcome adversity is an achievement worth sharing, not something to hide.”


[1] Statistics compare 2014-15 to 2015-16 and relate to Career Edge’s fiscal year (April 1 to March 31).

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If you have an inclusive corporate culture and are looking for great candidates – with or without disabilities – to join your team, fill out our contact form and let us help you find the talent you’re looking for. 

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In case you missed it, the launch of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) Reservists’ paid internship program was featured in the November 16, 2015 issue of Canadian HR Reporter. Read the article below, or learn more about the program on our website.

Reservist internship program launches
Federal government-funded program offers subsidies for participating employers

By Liz Bernier, News Editor
Canadian HR Reporter

EMPLOYERS reluctant to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars training employees on leadership, complex decision-making, risk management, teamwork and resiliency may want to consider a lesser-known but appealing option: Hire a reservist.

Employers can now find a worker with experience in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) reserves with the launch of a government-subsidized, paid internship program offered by Career Edge, an organization that connects employers with interns.

The Toronto-based organization will receive close to $3 million from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to launch the pilot program.

The funding will provide wage subsidies to employers hiring reservists for internships who meet certain basic conditions: they are between 19 and 30 years of age, they have a minimum of a high school diploma and they have had no previous internships through Career Edge.

“This is all about doing two things: Helping Canadian Armed Forces reservists launch their careers with meaningful employment and great experience, and employers getting experienced, phenomenal talent,” said Kelly McDougald, board chair of Career Edge.

Youth employment opportunities

It’s programs like this one that help develop strong leaders who drive organizations forward, said Don Ludlow, Toronto-based president of Treble Victor and vice-president of commercial banking at RBC, which sponsored the launch of the program.

“I am where I am today at RBC for two reasons. First of all, because some great folks at RBC took the time to get to know me and hear a bit about my military background…someone gave me a change to tell my story,” he said, and secondly, because of a career transition program not unlike this one.

The first objective of the program is to place 225 reservists in civilian roles over the next three years, said Ludlow. The program will roll out in the Greater Toronto Area, Halifax, Montreal and Winnipeg.

“The average length of an internship will be about six months, and we’re aiming for about a 40 per cent success rate in terms of getting hired by the employer that sponsors (the intern),” said Ludlow.

“This program gives employers a great opportunity to connect with reservists, and get funding in the form of a wage subsidy.”

Like many in their early 20s, young reservists often want to make a career change, said Patrick Kelly, director of reserves with the Canadian Armed Forces in Ottawa.

“Sometimes, (what they studied) in school isn’t where they need to go with their career, or the options aren’t there for them,” he said, and the internship program is an excellent way to leverage their military training in a civilian workplace.

Military training

Many reservists already have impressive educational backgrounds, said Jay Yakabowich, vice-president of marketing and business development at Career Edge.

“If you look at the makeup of our Canadian Armed Forces reservists and average it out, roughly 50 per cent of them have a university degree; many of them have more than that. Twenty-five per cent of the remainder have some university or college, and the other 25 per cent — the balance — have a minimum of a high school diploma,” he said.

But the military training and experience they receive is also invaluable — the challenge is translating that experience in a way civilian employers can understand.

That’s an issue Marcus Yaeger, reservist and consultant for CAF programs at Career Edge, has navigated firsthand.

“I didn’t have a lot of recognizable corporate experience on my résumé that I could sort of leverage to find a job. But, at the same time, at the age of 21, I had experience being a part of and leading small teams; I had experience with making complex decisions in high-stress environments with deployment experience to Afghanistan, making decisions with ambiguous information or limited information,” he said.

“So for talent acquisition managers and hiring managers I would say, ‘When you’re looking at military résumés, it’s important to look not only at the content but also the context.’”

Benefits for employers

So what exactly are the benefits to the employer?

“The program enables employers to increase their diversity and enhance the existing military support programs that they have in place. And I think also, it gives people out there in the business world a bit of access to what is really a closed shop — an organization that can sometimes be a bit difficult to access,” said Ludlow.

The military delivers a plethora of valuable training that’s highly transferable to other employment opportunities, according to Kelly.

“We deliver leadership training, teamwork, resiliency, they’re physically fit, they’re mentally agile, they understand complex problems and they’ve dealt with great degrees of difficulty. In many cases… a number of reservists (have the opportunity) to work their way around the world on different missions,” he said.

“Just imagine you, as an employer, get a 23-year-old person who’s been somewhere complex, they’ve had hard jobs, they’ve already learned to be a junior leader, and they bring those skills to your workplace.”

Reservists come with an impressive slate of skills and abilities, said Ludlow.

“They come with tremendous skills and experiences, including leadership, personnel management, mentorship, coaching, the ability to analyze complex situations, decisiveness, loyalty, discipline, accountability and I think, most of all, the ability and the desire to work on high-performing teams,” he said.

“So these are absolutely the kind of people that nowadays organizations seek to have become part of their teams.”

 

This article appeared in Canadian HR Reporter on Nov 16, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, 1-800-387-5164. Web: www.hrreporter.com

 

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