A recent graduate of Dalhousie’s Bachelor of Commerce Co-op program, Molly Marcott, shares what it was like to compete in the in the #HireMeHalifax pitch competition and explains why current students and fellow recent grads should challenge themselves to participate in it this year.
Students who enter the #HireMeHalifax pitch competition are asked to submit a 30-second video pitch by Monday, March 4, on why Halifax employers should hire them. A panel of business leaders will select the top ten finalists to deliver their pitch live at an exclusive networking event attended by 100+ Halifax employers. Everyone who submits a pitch gets to attend the networking event, and three winners will be awarded cash prizes. In previous years, many participants have landed interviews and some were even hired as a result of connections made at this event!
Motivated by the desire to secure a full-time opportunity in Nova Scotia, and seeing the competition as a way to generate job prospects, Molly submitted a pitch to last year’s competition and couldn’t believe it when she advanced to the final round.
“When I first walked into the #HireMeHalifax finals I was terrified at the thought of getting on stage and talking about myself to a room full of people. But the staff and volunteers at the Halifax Partnership were so kind and supportive! Though it was a formal event, it felt more like a celebration than a competition. We were all there for the same reason – to connect talented youth with employers in our city.”
Looking back on this unique experience, Molly believes that participating in the competition benefitted her in multiple ways.
“The most valuable skill I gained through #HireMeHalifax was confidence! It can be very difficult to step out of your comfort zone and participate in something like this, but it is absolutely worth it. The self-reflection involved in creating the pitch alone is so valuable – it helped me create a clear picture in my mind of the career I wanted. By going through the process of creating a pitch, you will have an answer ready the next time an interviewer asks “Why should we hire you?” And who knows, maybe you will land your dream job!
Having majored in Marketing Management, Molly’s first work term took her to Ottawa where she worked as an Operational Engagement Assistant with the Government of Canada, which was followed by a work term as an Account Coordinator at Halifax advertising agency Chester & Company. Molly completed her final co-op at Thinkwell Shift, a resource conservation company based in Halifax. This experience, combined with the sense of career clarity that was sparked by her #HireMeHalifax pitch, helped solidify her goal of working with the organization after she graduated.
“I learned that I wanted to work for a small business that did meaningful work. I had worked with Thinkwell Shift during my last co-op term and knew they were the perfect fit. They stand for resource conservation and environmental education – I get to come to work every day knowing that I am making a positive difference for Nova Scotians! I crafted the pitch around the work they did, and here I am!”
Her current role as a Program Coordinator for Thinkwell Shift involves facilitating Efficiency Nova Scotia’s Efficient Product Installation Service in Hants, Kings, and Lunenburg Counties of Nova Scotia. It’s a role that Molly describes as, “very much a mixed bag of marketing, HR, logistics, and customer relationship management. No two days are alike!”
Although only having graduated in 2018, she is already in a role that affords her the chance to come full circle from her time as a co-op student by recruiting students from Dal’s BComm program.
“I am very proud to say that Thinkwell Shift was nominated as Best Youth Employer at the Halifax Partnership Game Changers Awards – an annual event that honours Halifax employers who have gone above and beyond to mentor, hire, and support youth. We’re looking to hire a Commerce Co-op student for the upcoming summer term as a Customer Service Coordinator. The posting is up on myCareer now [Editors note: the posting closes on Thursday, Feb. 28 at 11:59 p.m.]. We have a lovely co-op student right now from Dal – she’s been an excellent addition to the team.”