When I graduated from the Master of Public Administration program at Dalhousie University in 2011, I envisioned my next 10 years as that of a typical public servant, perhaps working in different branches of government; maybe moving to a different province.
Spoiler alert: that did not happen! Instead I began a journey of working for various non-profit organizations in various roles, becoming what I see as a Jack of all Trades – but with the expertise that comes from experience!
I worked for many years concurrently as an education policy analyst, as well as a program manager, running what is perhaps one of the most well-known youth focused career programs in the country: Take Our Kids to Work Day. However, working in a non-profit environment, it is simply the nature of the beast to naturally pick up skills and responsibilities that go well beyond your job title – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The dynamism of working in the charitable sector means you’ll roll up your sleeves to get the job done to serve the mission and your stakeholders. I’ve been a video producer, event planner, fundraiser, web designer, podcast host – you name it, I’ve probably done it; and had a blast doing so in the process. My years in K-12 education, running programs, and an “anything-goes” career pathway even led me to run (unsuccessfully) for school board trustee in the City of Markham municipal elections in 2018 on the platform of increasing more experiential learning opportunities for students! As the old saying goes, “Follow your passion, kids!”
Fast forward a few years, and in the middle of a global pandemic, I found myself applying a unique opportunity – working for TRIEC. While I’ve never worked in an agency before that served the newcomer community, as a child of immigrant parents myself, this certainly hits home, and for me, it is a noble cause worth working for.
And that brings us to today. As the Program Coordinator, Employer and Stakeholder Relations & Mentor Recruitment for TRIEC Mentoring Partnership (TMP), my role is to support the TMP’s program delivery, mentor recruitment and retention, and relationship management of TRIEC’s employer partners. The TMP program is one with a lot of moving parts, and working together with a team of passionate, talented individuals to help impact the lives of newcomers is truly a fulfilling experience.
So the moral of the story is, follow your passion – you never know where it will lead, and it might surprise you. It certainly did with me!