“As a Connector I teach recent graduates how to create a network and expand it – helping them meet the right people to land a job and stay in Nova Scotia”.
Since joining as a Connector in December 2014, Natalie Irwin has met with five Connectees and has consistently referred participants to contacts in her network. One Connectee found a job because of the connections Natalie provided. She’s responsive, willing to meet with new Connectees and truly embodies what it means to be a Connector.
Natalie Irwin, Manager of Partner Experience at EfficiencyOne, shares why she thinks it’s important to be Game Changers and keep young talent in Halifax
What is the biggest benefit of being involved in the Connector Program at the Halifax Partnership?
Making meaningful connections with recent graduates helps retain talent in Halifax and Nova Scotia. Which is the overall goal for the Connector Program. EfficiencyOne hired one of the connectees I met with. She was a recent graduate from Dalhousie Universities, Law Program. She started off working in the regulatory department and is now a manager with EfficiencyOne. That is just one way we benefited from the Connector Program at EfficiencyOne.
What is the talent pool like in Halifax?
The talent pool in Halifax is excellent. It’s the best in Canada. Halifax is home to eight universities and colleges, that include a variety unique programs. From art programs to medical schools, divinity collages and a number of graduate programs. We run the whole gamete here in Halifax.
What would you say to an employer or organization thinking about getting involved in the Connector Program?
They would be a fool to miss out on an opportunity to take part in the Connector Program. It is a great way connect, network and meet future employees. By participating in the program your contributing to build a stronger Halifax community.
What advice do you have for recent graduates?
I have a lot of advice for graduates. My advice for them is to use LinkedIn, update your profile and use it to connect with the people you’re meeting. Use the program to connect with people, and keep connecting with people. When you get a business card, connect with that person and remember to follow up. That’s the problem. A lot of people don’t follow up anymore. People just grab a business card, or add someone on LinkedIn and wonder why the phone isn’t ringing with a job opportunity.
You must put the time in, to connect, network and follow up. A lot of graduates think you’re going to immediately land this $60,000 a year job. But it doesn’t work like that. It’s a slap of reality for people when that doesn’t happen.
After spending four or more years in school getting a degree. Graduates are used to having there days planed out, and then they graduate and wonder “what to do I do?”. There is no plan, no guidance and there not sure what to do next.
I see my job as teaching them how to create network and expand it. To meet the people they need to and land that job to stay in Halifax and Nova Scotia.