Indigenous Peoples Career Stories: Employer Networking

Indigenous Peoples Career Stories: Employer Networking

By: Christina Coolidge | Indigenous Program Researcher
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Click here for more information or to register for Indigenous Peoples Career Stories event.

We are students preparing for our future. We are thinking about how we might like to use our degrees after graduation. We are thinking about how much money we hope to make; how much joy we would like to take from our jobs; what our strengths and weakness might be and perhaps, how we can implement community solutions and our Indigenous heritage into our work lives. We are excited and maybe a little bit afraid as we allow that little voice of self-doubt to creep into our psyches.

 Are we really prepared for the next phase of our lives?

Indigenous Peoples Career Stories is an event that enables Indigenous students to better understand what may come as we search for a career that is right for us. As we listen to the panelists share their own experiences, we will be better prepared for what is to come.

There will also be various employers in attendance, specifically recruiting Indigenous students as they have identified what a powerful resource we are; therefore, learning to network appropriately in a safe environment is a definite benefit of this event.

Employers

Confirmed employers include:

  • BC Public Service Agency Aboriginal Youth Internship Program

“The Aboriginal Youth Internship Program is a 12-month paid internship for Aboriginal youth residing in B.C., age 29 and under. Interns are placed in provincial government ministries for nine months and then in Aboriginal organizations for the last three months of their internship. Interns are supported by the Aboriginal Youth Internship Program staff (program lead, program coordinator, and program administrator), and supervisors and mentors in government ministries and Aboriginal organizations.” 

  •  Zajack Foundation

“Supporting children, seniors and those with special needs through innovative community projects focused on developing life long skills and independence.

  • Legal Services Society of BC

“They provide legal aid in British Columbia. Their priority is to serve the interests of people with low incomes. They strive to engage their clients in finding solutions to their legal problems.”

  • Sun life financial

“Offers a complete array of financial services and products, including life insurance, annuities, group life, health and disability insurance and retirement programs.”

  • Latash Native Arts 

"A 100 percent Aboriginal owned and managed business providing Native art and cultural presentations."

  • Seven Your Indigenous News Source

"A full colour, arts and culture tabloid featuring inspiring stories that reflect contemporary Indigenous culture."

Networking

The purpose of networking is to build relationships. Making connections with many different people creates opportunities; and the more people you know, the more likely you are to benefit from these relationships. People are more likely to do business with people they already know; therefore building your network prior to graduation will enable greater opportunities after graduation.

Tips For Successful Networking

  • Have a plan
    • Why are you there?
    • What are you hoping to gain?
    • What answers are you looking for?
  • Have a list of questions prepared
    • Ask open ended questions
  • Attentive listening
    • Make eye contact
    • Don’t interrupt
    • Focus on understanding, not replying
  • Effective Communication
    • Learn to articulate your needs
  • Keep written documentation about meeting
    • No matter how brief the meeting, keep records of who you spoke to, about what, time, date etc.
  • Maintain network contacts with follow up
  • Follow through on referrals quickly
  • These recruiters are there to meet you
  • Don’t be afraid
  • Enjoy the moment
  • Most important, just be yourself

This event is an exciting opportunity for all. Take advantage of it and soak in everything that you can. Listen to the panelists, mingle with the employers, enjoy the entertainment and know that you are in the process of creating a successful and fulfilling future. 

Click here for more information or to register.

Further Reading:

Christina Coolidge is currently attending SFU as a Communications Major. She is the Indigenous Program Researcher with the Career Services department. Christina is a member of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation and her matrilineal ancestry includes Cree and Scottish. She hopes to help build a bridge between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous communities in order to better understand one another and to live together in a spirit of unity.

Posted on February 07, 2013