First Talent Bridge cohort prepares for their careers

In the midst of a changing employment landscape, a group of recent Brock University graduates are gaining a leg-up in the job market as they prepare to embark on their careers.

After more than six weeks of tailored online workshops and daily discussions, Brock’s inaugural Talent Bridge cohort is beginning to think of what September will look like.

The three-month program aims to provide final-year students with job-readiness training, networking activities and industry-specific opportunities as they take the first steps in their careers.

Armed with an array of career-specific skills as well as tailored feedback to enhance their ability to land a career of their choice, students in the program are taking the knowledge they gained in their degrees and pairing it with tailored workshops, group activities and one-on-one interactions all focused on career development within a general stream as well as another group that is focused specifically on the insurance industry.

Tristan Palser, a Business Economics graduate who has taken part in the insurance stream, said he has zeroed in on the industry and learned how to execute sales within it.

“We learned during our sales lesson to intentionally leave silence so that you can allow the client to do the talking,” he said. “I found that to be almost opposite to the way I normally think and very helpful as I begin my career.”

Francesca Boncoddo.

Public Health graduate Francesca Boncoddo enrolled in the job-ready general stream and has used her time to re-examine her goals.

“I previously viewed developing a career path as simply seeing a job advertisement and applying to that job,” she said. “Since taking this course, I now understand the depth of what it will take to be successful, and I plan on following the Career Development Model to achieve this in the future.”

An average day in the program sees students participate in an online meeting with Talent Bridge Manager Madison Fuller, as well as listening to guest speakers who present on a variety of topics, including teamwork, effective communication, design thinking and leadership.

Fuller said the program aims to make students’ transition to the workforce as seamless as possible.

“The focused career training students gain, along with career-specific mentorship and work-ready industry connections help participants to iron out any of the initial bumps that come with beginning a career,” she said.

With physical distancing efforts in effect across the University, this year’s sessions are taking place online, but Boncoddo said that has not hindered the group’s ability to come together and network with each other.

“Madison and the guest speakers work very hard to make the sessions interactive and accommodating,” she said. “A positive aspect of online learning is that it forces self-discipline and enhances organization and time management skills to complete tasks and stay on top of the workload.”

Palser has also enjoyed the online sessions.

“The instructors and staff have been terrific so far,” he said. “All of them have been doing a great job of being interactive and engaging with the class. The program feels far more hands-on than a regular university lecture environment and that’s what I really like about it. All of the sessions have really felt more like an educational conversation.”

As Palser, Boncoddo and the other participants prepare to finish the program at the end of August, they hope others will consider enrolling next year.

“If you’re unsure of what your path might be after you graduate, and you are looking for a push in the right direction and that extra competitive edge, Talent Bridge is a great choice,” said Palser. “The lessons I’m learning and the people I’m meeting along the way have been truly helpful in inspiring me and my future prospects.”

To learn more about Talent Bridge, visit the CCEE website.

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