One of the best things about being an American in Canada is gaining a second Thanksgiving. I’ve seen a lot of posts about the differences between American and Canadian Thanksgivings but, from experience, I can say they both still boil down to two things…pie and family, two things we should all find more time to celebrate.
So Happy Thanksgiving, again, New Brunswick. I’m thankful for having the opportunity to celebrate with you.
With graduate courses usually calling for several PowerPoint presentations each that account for a large percentage of the overall marks, it is an asset for students to be able to create engaging presentations that allow them to communicate effectively. Most students, however, have never been given instruction on how to do this beyond simply being shown PowerPoint. During my MBA I often had other students asking how I put together my slides for presentations and many expressed interest in learning themselves. This past summer I participated in Adobe’s Train the Trainer program which provided me with the wonderful experience of creating a training series that addressed this need. During the development of this training I realized that not every graduate student will want to become a design and Photoshop expert. Because of this, I identified key visual design principles and Photoshop functions, that could have the greatest impact on image enhancement and presentation quality, and used them to create the training.
The four design principles I selected to focus on were colour, text, white space, and balance. I created this 8.5 x 11, center fold handout to use within the training session, but also for students to have as a quick reference guide when designing slides. You can download a copy of the handout from the links below or check out examples of my PowerPoint presentations from my MBA courses here.
I met Zach Brown, a Seattle based headhunter, last Friday during the Twitter chat OpenMicCareerChat (@OMCchat), a no-holds-barred career/job search chat for both recruiters and job seekers. As a job seeker, the advice and support I have gotten from this group of top notch recruiters and HR professionals has been wonderful.
My goal in creating hiremeNB for my career search, is to build a brand for myself that showcases both my skills and my individuality. In his latest blog post “Build Your Personal Brand If You Want To Reach Your Professional Goals”, Zach relates my development of hiremeNB.ca as an example of how to “turn real heads with a virtual presence…”
Kathryn Basham has used her job campaign to make sure that someone who has never met her in person can feel comfortable forwarding along her video, her link, or her blog to anyone connected with the possibility of a job in Moncton. That is personal branding — building an impression in the minds of people that you have never met that will drive them to endorse or at least mention you.
He also muses on why someone would ever leave Bourbon Country for the Great White North. I considered titling this post “New Brunswick is Better Than Bourbon!” but was afraid my family might disown me! I may miss the bluegrass and bourbon sometimes but I have found a home in the province and people of New Brunswick that I am in no way ready to leave.
You can read the full post by clicking the ZBWrites banner below!
Make sure to snag a copy of this week’s The Coast in Halifax and check out the Career Minded supplement, or click here for the digital edition!
The article linked above is part of a special feature in this week’s The Coast about local education and employment options. Although the majority of the feature focuses on Halifax and Nova Scotia, the Université de Moncton was included and I was asked to speak about my experience in their MBA program and how it influenced the creation of my hiremeNB campaign. I am grateful for this opportunity and excited to share my story and my desire to live and work in New Brunswick.
The timing for this article was perfect, as I just this week received my diploma, and The Coast’s questions prompted me to reflect on my experience.
Below are the 10 questions I was emailed for the feature and my full response.
1) What pushed you do go from Kentucky to taking an MBA at UdeM?2) What was the most challenging part of the program?3) What did you get the most personal satisfaction/fulfillment from while enrolled at UdeM’s MBA program?4) How did your MBA help you launch your website?5) How do you see hiremeNB.ca being more successful than a standard resume/online portfolio?6) How has the website been received so far?7) Tell me about a time during your program at UdeM that you’ll never forget.8) If you had any advice for future students looking to do an MBA, what would you tell them?9) What is your dream job?10) Is there anything else you would like to add?
I have over a decade of experience in retail management and training, with an undergraduate degree in Creative Writing and Marketing. Thinking about returning to school I realized it was the perfect chance to bolster my real world experience with a foundation of business strategy and analysis. I wanted to gain a more complete perspective that would help broaden my opportunities.
In 2011, with the closing of my employer Borders Books & Music in the US, the timing was right for me to make a change and I moved from Kentucky to New Brunswick. The MBA program at the Université de Moncton stood out as the right fit for my goals, with the added bonus of learning French.
My first course in the MBA program, Marketing Strategies, was a subject I was passionate about because of my interest in visual communication. Going forward I sought to enhance both my theoretical and practical knowledge of Marketing throughout all aspects of my studies. In developing my hiremeNB.ca campaign I focused on using the tools learned during my MBA, combined with my skills in Photoshop, Illustrator, and Captivate, to create not just an online portfolio but a brand for myself. Instead of a static resume my goal was to create a platform that both showcases my skills and acts as record of my job search process for others.
hiremeNB.ca has been a great conversation starter and wonderful experience. It has been well received and I am grateful for all of the support I have gotten. Through other websites such as CreativeResumes.net that have run features on hiremeNB.ca, to local entrepreneurs and recruiters, and even CBC Information Morning Moncton, I have met engaging people who have reached out and helped tell my story.
One of the learning methods used by the Université de Moncton is collaborative learning through group discussion, project work, and presentations. One of the challenges of their MBA program, because it is comprised predominately of adult learners, is the coordination and time management needed to organize and complete group work. The final result, however, from a truly collaborative team makes it all worthwhile.
The moments I will always remember from my program occurred when a team I was working with came together to create a case study or analysis and the accompanying presentation that was better than any of us could have constructed on our own. It is these adaptive skills of critical analysis that makes the process of the MBA program so important and that I feel gave me the most sense of personal satisfaction and fulfillment. I am grateful to my classmates through whom I learned so much.
The advice I would give future MBA students is that the program and process of learning is as much about the people you meet and work with as it is the courses themselves. Network early and make the effort to build lasting relationships with both your fellow students and professors. As an MBA student you have the opportunity to interact with and learn from a diverse mix of professional backgrounds and lay the groundwork for future business connections. With the Université de Moncton I was excited to find an internationally diverse classroom as well, and enjoyed the additional perspectives of students from China and Africa.
I am looking now to join a team that is as passionate about continuous learning and customer service as I am, a team that will celebrate with me when I create the perfect presentation for a project, and a team that that’s ready for me to help them grow. My dream job is less about the job title and more about finding the role in which I can best utilize my unique skill set of management and training experience, visual communication and graphic design aptitude, and now my MBA. I recently received my Post-Graduate Work Permit and am seeking employment that I will be passionate about.
More information about my social media, job search campaign as well as my portfolio, examples of recent work, and contact information can be found at hiremeNB.ca. Additionally you can follow me on twitter @hiremenb.