My name is Skylar Sloan and I am a new electrical engineer graduate from Lakehead University in Ontario. With the economy down turn, finding a job sounded impossible. Throughout the months of February and March, I relentlessly looked for a job. I tried all the job searches, posted my resume online and signed up for job alerts. Same old story, we are not hiring right now or a minimum of two years of experience is required.
With exams approaching and still no job opportunities, I was accepted to be a part of Inclusion Works ‘09.
Starting right from our arrival in Vancouver airport, we were welcomed by an Aboriginal Human Resource Council member, holding an Inclusion Works ‘09 sign. This was the first chance I had to meet some of my fellow graduates. I got to meet the rest of the graduates at the “skill build.” At the “skill build,” there were a lot of good recommendations given. There was advice about making an appealing resume and also there were education councilors to help with resumes. There were tips on interview strategies and about interacting with the media.
The official first day was very busy since I had four interviews lined up. Before the interviews started, there were keynote speakers. The keynote speakers, combined with the “skill build,” were so inspirational – their words gave me so much confidence. Usually, I get very nervous in interviews. My very first interview was with TransCanada and I walked in and out of the interview with a smile on my face because I had confidence in myself. They wanted a second interview with me.
In-between interviews, I would go to the trade show, where other companies had booths set up. Since my first interview went well, my confidence rose a little more. The second one (interview) didn’t go as good as the first one but that didn’t deter me. I got a job offer on my third interview and I was blown away. I was so happy because I knew I was leaving this event with a job. Right after that, I ran into Diane Carriere, an Aboriginal Human Resource Council staff member, and I thanked her for giving me this opportunity. My last interview went very well and there was talk of a second interview. My day could not have gone any better. Everything turned out perfect and I owe it all to Inclusion Works ‘09 and all the people who made this event happen.
The networking and events were amazing. After the long day of interviews, the employers and graduates got to meet in an informal environment at Stanley Park Pavilion. Here, I got the chance to talk to employers and also other graduates that I hadn’t had the chance to meet yet. For entertainment, there was Murray Porter, a First Nation blues musician, as well as a roving magician and caricaturist.
My favorite was the caricaturist because it was so much fun watching him draw other people and also seeing the sketch of myself. I still have that sketch and I will always keep it because every time I look at it, I can picture that day and that feeling that came with it. There was a feeling of new, excitement, happiness and the feeling that I could do anything.
The next two days followed with more keynote speakers, tradeshows, workshops and networking. After breakfast, I had my second interview with TransCanada. At the end of the interview, I was offered the job. I was so excited. After hearing more inspiring keynote speakers, we went to the gala. The gala event took place at the Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre with Rick Mercer as emcee. It was an incredible networking event which included a silent auction and some of Canada’s best Aboriginal entertainment. It was an amazing event; I have never been to anything like it before.
Thanks to Inclusion Works, I went from “can’t get a job anywhere” to having job offers from two companies in just two days. After receiving both official job offers, I decided to go with TransCanada because I found that the job suited me the best.
I will not be leaving this event with just a job – it’s much more than that. It is a once-in-lifetime experience that I will remember forever. I feel that I have grown and learned so much from this event. I had the chance to meet so many interesting and talented people. This event has been a success to me on so many levels.