The Global Vision Ottawa Regional Round Table took place on Oct. 22nd and 23rd at the University of Ottawa. I attended the event with Samantha Cannon as Carleton’s Outreach and Communications Advisors for the Student Academic and Career Development Services. Following the event I interviewed Cannon about her experience since it gave her the opportunity to apply for a position as an Ambassador for Parks Canada next summer.
Q: How was the event organized?
A: The event was round table. Roughly 40 students from local Ottawa high schools, Carleton University and the University of Ottawa attended the two-day event. Students chose a table to sit at with seven others and were grouped together as such for various other activities over the course of the weekend.
Q: Who else attended this event?
A: Terry Clifford, former Member of Parliament and founder of Global Vision, taught us how to properly network and gave the students a taste of the experience they would have when on missions with Global Vision Junior Team Canada. His daughter Amy Giroux did an incredible job planning, organizing and running the entire event. Various other alumni of the program and successful community leaders attended for a networking lunch to create connections and practice specific networking skills. Karine Constantineau from Parks Canada came and did a presentation about their Ambassador positions and other opportunities for Canada’s bicentennial next year.
Q: What did you learn from the event and what was most valuable to you about your experience in attending the event?
A: I learned about how important first impressions are and how to successfully network horizontally as well as vertically. That means I should make connections with people that are higher up in companies but also with people my age that don’t have set career paths yet how could potentially end up being an important connection later in life. The most valuable part about the experience was the opportunity to apply to work with Parks Canada next summer as an Ambassador, which has been my goal for a long time.
Q: Who were some of the people that you met and what did you learn from them and their careers?
A: I met Terry Clifford, who has led an incredible life through hard-work and dedication as a teacher, a Member of Parliament and Global Vision founder. He dedicated his life to providing amazing opportunities for youth to actually make an impact and gain real-life experience. I also met Karine Constantineau, who is the head of the Ambassador teams for Parks Canada. She started out as a historian and has since found an amazing position in Parks Canada that brings Canada’s history to life while protecting the environment.
Q: What did you learn about yourself?
A: I learned that I should take more of a leadership role in my life.
Q: What did you find challenging about this experience?
A: The most challenging part of this event was working in a group of 8 driven individuals with different visions to develop a feasible idea for a low-budget event for Global Vision could hold during Canada’s 150th celebrations.
Q: Did attending the event meet any of your expectations/goals?
A: The event exceeded my expectations and met my goals of furthering my leadership skills while understanding how to utilize my network.
Q: What are the next steps you would like to take in regards to developing your skills and your career goals?
A: My next step is to create and start to use business cards and to improve my social media and LinkedIn presence. I think this will encourage me to get a lot more out of networking than just an interesting conversation.
Q: In your opinion, are these types of events beneficial for students to experience?
A: As a graduating student, this event was extremely beneficial to the way I view my career and the priority I will now put on my network. I learned that my social media presence plays a much larger role in employment than I had previously realized.
Q: What are some of your recommendations or suggestions you would like to make regarding attending professional events?
A: First, I want to encourage first and second year students to seek out and attend these kinds of events. You never know when you will hit your stride and find your passion! One of the most important things I took away from the round table event was that networking benefits students at every point of their academic career, so students in every year of study should consider applying. Global Vision is an amazing organization that will help you overcome self-doubt in the workplace.
Secondly, it is extremely important to learn how to work in groups. I know that as students, we dread group projects because it doesn’t feel fair to depend on another student to be successful, but that’s how it is in the workplace. You need to trust your team and know when to take the lead or the backseat.
Finally, make sure you take full advantage of all the amazing opportunities at Carleton and Career Services. Finding your passion is hard, but we are lucky our university is dedicated to helping us grow as students as well as individuals.
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