(No, not the American election…)
What do lawn signs, debates, and Career Edge interns have in common?
All played a role in shaping Drake’s presumed vote for ‘the greatest city in the world.’
After accepting candidate cards that travel from volunteer to disposal in seconds, and then growing frustrated with congested platforms (no, not Bloor-Yonge station after a security incident), the residents of the greatest city in the world voted.
Vying for our filled ovals, the City of Toronto election featured candidates of old and new, showcasing trustees for school boards, councillors for a compressed council, and a second term for incumbent Mayor John Tory.
With transportation, real estate, and crime spotlighted on the main stage, it was the contributions from about 20 Career Edge interns backstage – some of which are still ongoing – that ensured the democratic show would go on.
“I honestly could not believe that I was chosen out of so many candidates.”
Bria Lucas said leaving her full-time, benefits-included position to serve as an HR Recruitment Coordinator was “the right move” if she wanted to pursue her field of study. The new Sheridan College graduate arrived every morning before 8 a.m. to field the high volume of calls and book interviews from applicants of election-day positions. Every day, she conducted approximately 10 interviews, while ensuring all paperwork, administration, and correspondence were complete. Like every Career Edge internship, the experience involved meaningful, real-life work.
She said she enjoyed interviewing and holding the autonomy to make the best hiring decision.
“It was a great feeling to be able to troubleshoot on your own and place candidates in the positions that you felt suited them best.”
Bria described her Career Edge mentor as “most definitely one of the best people to work with/for…she prepared us beyond my expectations and truly set us up for success.”
The recruitment coordinator also enjoyed working with other Career Edge interns, learning what motivated her colleagues to join her in the HR field.
“Pretty excited and happy.”
Julie Huynh was delighted, learning she earned her first opportunity to work in HR after defeating the high volume of applicants competing for the positions. She answered calls and conducted interviews like Bria, and when election month arrived, Julie trained the election-day hires. She led customer service seminars and taught employees how to operate vote tabulators and election-day machines.
The HR Recruiter said she studied HR law in school and enjoyed applying that knowledge on the job daily. She also relished her wide array of duties the most, learning the different HR functions, as well as working for the “amazing” City of Toronto staff. She shared a mentor with Bria.
“[My coach] has been an excellent mentor. She is very patient, kind, and is extremely knowledgeable.”
Julie also enjoyed the Career Edge camaraderie and opportunities for growth.
“The other interns have been very positive and motivating, because in the end, this is a learning opportunity and it is nice to work with others who are also on the same page as you.”
She feels new graduates provide a strong willingness to continue learning and growing to Canadian employers as they’re passionate and driven to excel.
Julie is currently conducting payroll administration for other election employees.
“Almost surreal to be honest.”
Jay Eugenio, another new Ryerson HR graduate, said he never expected his first career experience to derive from such a large organization.
“It was exciting, and made me feel like the time I put into school was starting to pay off.”
He enjoyed the responsibility of performing tasks traditionally reserved for more senior staff, conducting interviews and training sessions, and working with an HRIS. Jay continued improving his communication and teamwork skills, also learning about what motivated the many other Career Edge interns he worked with, along with the value they offered.
“Recent graduates provide a high level of enthusiasm that you can only get from those who have done their time in school and are excited to move on to the next chapter in their lives. I myself was eager to start my career, and now that I got my start, I’m putting all the energy and effort I can into getting the most out of it.”
He felt rewarded after seeing everything come together on October 22nd.
“It felt good to be a part of something that took months to prepare for, and proud to be a part of something that is clearly important to the city.”
Jay is currently working on special post-election projects.
After many phone and in-person interviews, Bria couldn’t believe her current employer, SDI Marketing, selected her – out of more than one hundred applicants – as their newest HR Assistant. She loves working with her large HR team, continuously learning as she trades ideas and opinions with her coworkers. Every one of Bria’s days are unique because she works on several HR accounts and projects, performing a little bit of everything HR-related. The Sheridan College alumni believes her recent post-secondary education provided valuable hands-on experience, including how to use an HRIS.
Bria’s City of Toronto internship concluded before October 22nd, but she recognized the legacy of her work, serving as an asset to Toronto and its citizens. She felt her efforts and decisions led to the election’s abundance of great candidates – and led her to her chosen destination.
“I’m very proud that my hard work through school and smart career choices has led me to where I wanted to be.”
So, after working hard through school, making smart career choices, and serving the greatest city in the world, Bria’s transitioned from backstage to the main stage – with a launched career in HR.