Over the coming months, hear stories right from our very own staff about why Career Edge and the work that they do is so important to them.

Jumana

Jumana Baker

Marketing Design Specialist

My story with Career Edge started when I graduated from school. I had just finished four grueling years of studying, assignments, tests, projects and now I had to go out into the real world and find real employment. Only problem was, I had no idea how.

Everyone kept talking about networking and leveraging your family’s and your parents’ networks, making connections that way. Well, I’m an immigrant and so are my parents. We had moved to Canada when I first started university, so we were still rebuilding our lives and setting down roots. And at that point, my parents’ network that I could have leveraged was currently residing on the other side of the planet, so the family network was out.

So, I just started applying to positions. And, as many, many, many people have experienced, I didn’t hear back – that was fun…

But then I stumbled on Career Edge. It was a complete fluke how I found out about the program and (if you would allow me to be a little dramatic) it felt like salvation. Here was organization that was helping new grads (me!) launch their careers and connect with employers, and they were doing it through a paid internship. Interns are given a mentor and networking opportunities, and they are being paid for the work they’re doing. And it literally just fell into my lap.

So, yes, I registered that same evening. I applied to two jobs and I was truly lucky to not only hear back from both, but I was also hired for one of them! I was the new Marketing Assistant Intern at…drumroll please…Career Edge! That was back in 2013 and I’ve been here since.

As a new grad who had no idea what she wanted to do with her life and no real work experience to boot, the Career Edge program was a treasure. I had some incredible mentors who taught me so much and guided me through my role. I built up my skills and picked up new ones. I discovered the work that I found joy in. And I was able to write a career story that I am proud of. None of that would have been possible without this program that took a chance on me, a new grad with no experience but so much drive to learn and make a difference.

This is exactly what I think makes Career Edge special. It’s the program that takes a chance on new grads, newcomers, and people with disabilities. It’s the mentors that empower the interns to grow and be the best version of themselves. It’s the team that comes into work everyday wanting to make a difference; to help one more new grad start their career journey, one more skilled newcomer set down roots in Canada, one more person with a disability connect with an employer that values them.

My story is not different, or special, or unique. Everyday, there are grads who are told they don’t have enough experience to get the job. Everyday, there are skilled newcomers who are told they don’t have enough Canadian experience to be hired. Everyday, there are people with disabilities who are excluded from opportunities. That is why the work that the Career Edge program does is so important, and I’m so proud and thankful that I have the opportunity to pay it forward to other new grads, newcomers, and people with disabilities, connecting them with employers who see their potential, just as someone saw the potential in me.

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