NSCC student wins $1,000 in #HireMeHalifax Pitch Competition


HALIFAX, NS – March 27, 2019 – The Halifax Partnership is excited to announce that Melissa Loder has won the #HireMeHalifax pitch competition, taking home the grand prize of $1,000. Melissa is an accounting student at Nova Scotia Community College and was selected out of 10 finalists who pitched themselves live to local employers and industry professionals at the #HireMeHalifax event on March 26. Kanaar Bell won second place with a prize of $300, and Aayoosh Sapra won third place with a prize of $200.

“The #HireMeHalifax campaign, in particular the pitch competition, aims to have students and graduates practice and be ready to articulate what they have to offer employers for that day when opportunity knocks, whether that is in an elevator, at an event, or in a job interview,” said John Rogers, Interim President & CEO of the Halifax Partnership. “It also serves as a way to show the business community what Halifax’s well educated and motivated talent can offer their company.”

In February, 45 ambitious students and recent graduates submitted their best elevator pitch video for the #HireMeHalifax competition. Through two rounds of judging, 10 young professionals were selected to deliver their pitches live at the #HireMeHalifax event. Close to 200 students, recent graduates, community leaders and employers attended the event, held yesterday at the Atlantica Hotel. The winners’ and finalists’ pitches will be posted on the Halifax Partnership’s YouTube channel this week.

#HireMeHalifax Winner and Finalist Profiles


Melissa Loder
Melissa will be graduating from the NSCC accounting program this spring. As a military veteran, she is no stranger to hard work. She aspires to find a career with a respectable company that shares her values.

Kanaar Bell
Kanaar is in his final year as a psychology student at Saint Mary’s University. He is driven by his pride in being a second-generation Canadian, and is actively involved in community development initiatives, youth engagement trainings, and event planning. 

Aayoosh Sapra
Aayoosh is a passionate leader with experience in healthcare, real estate and software technology. Armed with a background in engineering and industrial-organizational psychology, Aayoosh wants to solve companies’ challenges.

Additional Finalists

Isaac Bezanson
As a current accounting co-op student-athlete at St. Francis Xavier University, Isaac is looking to learn all of the technical and soft skills he can in order to be a key business leader in his future full-time career.

Laura Johnson
This photo and travel enthusiast, also known as the “idea gal”, is currently finishing her advanced diploma of public relations with a previous honours degree in psychology. Laura is looking to work in a creative marketing communications position.

Tony Poirier
Tony is a management student at NSCC with a love for leading teams and project management. He prides himself on his interpersonal skills and his ability to inspire people to reach their fullest potential.

Joanne Hsu
Joanne will graduate from NSCC’s business administration program with an accounting concentration this April. She is fluent in English and Mandarin, and is actively involved as VP Finance for Enactus Ivany Campus. She is hard working and easygoing.

Jared Piercey
Currently an NSCC accounting student, Jared will continue working towards his goal of becoming a CPA this fall. He is eager to begin his career in business with an innovative company that values results and has room to grow.

Nicolas Takushi
A Venture For Canada Fellow and soon-to-be business graduate from Saint Mary’s University (where started his own business), Nic is a jack-of-all-trades. He loves creative work and has experienced storytelling, web design, photo, and video at his marketing internships.

Christopher Gooding
Christopher is a soon-to-be marketing graduate who is excited to learn new skills from the everchanging marketing field while honing his talents. He enjoys networking with diverse groups of people and cultivating personal relationships.

For additional information, contact:

Brittany Warren 
Communications Specialist 
Halifax Partnership 

About the Halifax Partnership:

The Halifax Partnership is Halifax’s public-private economic development organization. The Partnership drives and accelerates economic growth by selling and marketing Halifax to the world, helping businesses reach their full potential and tracking Halifax’s economic progress. The Partnership’s network of over 115 influential and globally connected partners are committed to building a thriving, prosperous Halifax. Learn more at www.halifaxpartnership.com.