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Serving Our Country: From Military Service to Civilian Employment

By November 2, 2017CAF, Employer
canadian armed forces

“I was able to bring a unique set of skills and experiences to my civilian employer,” said Roy Liang.

Two years ago, as the Canadian Armed Forces Reservists’ paid internship program’s inaugural hire, Roy completed a six-month, paid internship on Apotex’s talent acquisition team. He successfully integrated into the civilian workforce and launched his career.

As did Andres Lapena at RBC. And Ian Kroetsch at Tjene. And many other Canadian Armed Forces Reservists serving our country.

Andres started as an administrative assistant and is now an analyst.

“This was the exact role I was aiming for…the fact that it all came together is amazing.”

Ian began as an analyst and now he’s a consultant.

“My Career Edge internship experience was nothing but phenomenal…Career Edge really benefitted for getting me into a position where I could showcase to employers in an interview setting what kind of value myself and any other Reservists bring to the table…and why we’re worth taking a chance on.”

Andres and Ian received full-time employment offers from their host organizations upon completing their internships, as did many of their fellow Reservist alumni of the program.

For two years, Canada’s top employers caught a glimpse of their reliability, discipline, quick-thinking, and quick-learning abilities, and exceptional communication and time management skills.

CAF Army Reservists undergoing basic occupational training at the 4th Canadian Division Training Center Meaford. All CAF Reservist must, early on in their careers, understand and implement similar skill sets to civilian project management. These Reservists learn the fundamentals of the military operational planning process, deliver or participate in a detailed mission briefing and from there execute the plan in any and all environments; day or night and under rigours training scenarios or in international operations such as those that were conducted in the Afghanistan conflict. In this particular instance Reserve Infantry soldiers are learning how to conduct Reconnaissance Patrols.

From analysts to consultants, coordinators to specialists, Reservists worked in human resources, operations, finance, communications, and recruitment for our country’s top employers, including Scotiabank, Bell, TD, and Accenture. These paid, entry-level, work-integrated learning opportunities provided those who serve our country with the opportunity to integrate into the civilian workforce and hold their Reservist status. A one-of-a-kind program designed for one-of-a-kind talent, to serve those who serve us.

“Members of CAF represent a highly skilled talent pool, and this program gives them an ideal opportunity to start working in their field,” said Jay Yakabowich, Career Edge Senior Vice-President and former CAF Reservist, during the program launch two years ago.

The latest hire, Qi Zong, talked about some of the four key pillars of Career Edge internships he’s benefited from.

“Soft skills…a lot of expert advice from different senior colleagues…a chance to meet different people…”

Two years later, Career Edge’s Senior Vice-President said, “The common theme amongst these CAF alumni is their proven ability to think creative and strategically, to execute and accomplish business objectives.”

In partnership with the Department of National Defence, and Employment Social Development Canada, Reservists across the country learned about the program. Career Edge project managers David Calconi and Marcus Yaeger connected with Reservists, and recruiters extended support and guidance – from program registration to internship completion.

Ryan Vine launched his career through a six-month Career Edge internship at Scotiabank.

“Without having a resume complete with relevant, recent, civilian experience, I would have likely encountered significantly more difficulty in securing a career.”

Since completing the program, Ryan has become a mentor, providing guidance and support to those applying to work at Scotiabank. A recruitment consultant and recent addition to Canada’s civilian workforce, he continues to serve his country, its civilians – and now its workforce.

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