Written by: Hayleigh Conway
As I was nearing the end of my post-graduate degree in GIS (Geographic Information Systems), I was anxious about entering the job market. I was in a very intensive, 10-month program in Nova Scotia and was struggling to find time to apply for jobs that I was interested in. The job that I wanted the most was with Esri Canada – the forerunner in selling, supporting and teaching GIS solutions and software. The company promotes an excellent message, is in my field of study and I had only heard the best things about how they treat their employees. I sent in my application and crossed my fingers for an interview.
To my surprise and delight, I ended up getting a position as an Associate GIS Technician with the company in their Toronto office. The position is part of Esri’s Associate GIS Program, which hires new grads and exposes them to many different teams within the company over a 12-month period. This unique and exciting job has afforded me the chance to build new skills and abilities, be exposed to innovative technologies, and see how different parts of a company work collaboratively towards success. I feel incredibly lucky to have been afforded this amazing opportunity and its thanks in large part to ICTC (Information and Communications Technology Council)!
After I began the job, I found out that ICTC was an important factor in my hiring. Through the ICTC CareerConnect project, which is partially funded by the Government of Canada, recent graduates are afforded amazing opportunities that would otherwise be very difficult to experience. Thanks to this amazing initiative, Esri Canada is able to hire 3 newly graduated GIS students each year to participate in their Associate GIS Program, and cultivate them towards filling a full-time, permanent position within the company. The CareerConnect project gives grads a chance to prove themselves in the work force, network within the industry and get necessary job experience which can be otherwise difficult to acquire.
Without this work opportunity, I would likely have struggled to find a position as fulfilling, exciting and challenging as I have with Esri Canada. CareerConnect is a phenomenal program, and I am so thankful for their efforts. Making the transition from school into the workforce was simple and less terrifying than I anticipated. Now, I’m able to participate in and make a contribution to one of the fastest-growing sectors in Canada and I love every minute!