TalentEgg Trends

Today’s Talent, Tomorrow’s Leaders

Knowledge Hub For Employers, Career Educators And Coaches

Stephanie Harper – Supporting Students in the Hybrid Era

Opportunities to help students prepare for the school-to-work transition are essential for personal development and career growth. As an Associate Director, Engineering Co-op & Career Services at McMaster University, Stephanie Harper is committed to utilizing her resources to support and provide students with enticing opportunities to navigate their career paths confidently.

We recently interviewed Stephanie to learn more about her work with students and soon-to-be-grads in this hybrid era!

studentsQ. Tell us a bit about yourself!

A. I lead an exceptional team of career/talent development and student engagement professionals in the Faculty of Engineering at McMaster University. My role involves delivering a growth strategy that supports engineering students in building their experiences, advancing their skills and achieving career success through robust career development programming and various curricular and co-curricular experiences.

With a track record of delivering efficiencies and leading teams to achieve change, my career includes 15+ years of experience in talent development, recruitment, training, career education and program management for large, multifaceted organizations. I have led small and large teams, new initiatives, program expansions and organization-wide projects that have helped support and connect the career development needs of post-secondary students with the evolving world of work. 

Q. Why did you decide to go into Career Education/Coaching?

A. I never pictured this as my career path. Truthfully, I never even realized this was a career path until I found myself in it! I chose to pursue this as a career, and I continue to love what I do because of the meaningful impact I get to have on students during a critical time in their early professional lives. My job is to help students build experience, discover their talents, realize their potential, make industry connections and successfully navigate the world of work. It’s a pretty cool and rewarding job. 

Strategies to Support Students in the Hybrid Era

Q. What do you think employers can be doing to best support students and new grads in hatching their careers in the age of digital recruitment and hybrid work?

A. Find ways to make meaningful connections (in real life) with students before and during the recruitment process. It can be more challenging in a digital/hybrid world for students to get a real sense of the workplace and feel a sense of connection, community and belonging once they’ve joined your team. Also, remember that the transition from school to the work world can be intimidating and overwhelming for students and recent grads, especially when most of their interactions with you are behind a screen. Having empathy and delivering kindness can go a long way. 

Q. How do you help students in making their school-to-work transition? What new services or strategies have you employed to support students in a hybrid environment?

A. I believe the school-to-work transition is a practice that starts long before a student graduates. I often encourage and coach students to involve themselves in various opportunities where they can meet people, find mentors, build experience and develop their skills. The notion of “relevant experience” is misleading at times. Hence, I encourage students to worry less about what’s perceived as “relevant” and more about opportunities where they can learn and develop themselves as people. 

Transferable skills and experience exist even in the most obscure opportunities. At the core of all of this is the practice of building relationships and keeping your head up because opportunities will pass by you frequently. If you’re too focused on the end goal or an “ideal” state, sometimes you miss out on things that can add real value to your development along the way. In a hybrid environment, it can be easier to access different opportunities but harder to build relationships. I encourage students to find a balance between virtual and in-person opportunities and leverage their strengths. 

Some of us are more comfortable (and effective) in a virtual environment, and others are more comfortable (and effective) in person. Find a good balance for yourself, and step out of your comfort zone now and then!

Additional Advice and Insights

Q. What do you think is the best way for employers to connect with and attract top students right now?

A. Dedicate intentional time and energy to understanding your talent strategy and your organization’s value proposition. Be clear about your definition of “top students” because this will dictate your engagement strategy. Some best ways to connect with students are through student clubs/groups/associations, at student conferences/competitions and by leveraging your connections with faculty and staff at post-secondary institutions!

Q. What’s your best advice for fellow Career Educators?

A. Find a good balance between listening and advising/educating. Frequently the thing students remember most is that we listened to them, showed genuine interest and care in supporting them, and encouraged them. You won’t have every answer for every student; your role is to provide guidance and support, not answers. 

Q. What is your best advice for students looking to start their careers in this current environment?

A. Build relationships as much as possible, say “yes” now and then to things that push you out of your comfort zone, and give back to others when you are in a position to do so. 


Stephanie Harper is an Associate Director for Engineering Co-op & Career Services at McMaster University who has 20 years of experience in career coaching. She is passionate about leading small and large teams, new initiatives, program expansions and organization-wide projects that have helped support and connect post-secondary students’ career development needs with the evolving work world.

Connect with Stephanie on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephharper/ and visit https://www.eng.mcmaster.ca/ to learn more about McMaster University and how their Engineering Co-op program remains one of the most successful programs in the country.

A People First Approach At Evolution Mining

Evolution Mining is leading the way with a hands-on approach to learning and success for the company’s graduate program. We at TalentEgg had the chance to hear from Bianca Baghdassar, an Advisor for Organisational Development at Evolution Mining. Bianca shared what trends the company believes are important moving into the future. She also explains how its graduate program prepares students and graduates for future success within the mining sector. Lastly, Bianca goes over how diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives help create a more supportive workplace within the company and its new Inclusion Awareness Committee.

Keep reading to learn how Evolution Mining measures success in the industry and how they balance the company’s world-class graduate program in Canada and Australia!

People & Relationships at Evolution Mining

“My experience working as an Advisor at Evolution Mining has been extremely rewarding and positive. From the moment you step foot on an Evolution site, you get a sense of a people-centric and relationship-driven workplace that welcomes everybody, which (in my experience) you don’t just find at any company.” Bianca told us. The company is full of opportunities, especially for those who want to excel, push themselves out of their comfort zone and be agile, backed by Evolution Mining’s leadership team and fully supported. 

Graduate Success In The Mining Industry

The company’s graduate program aims to support the growth and development of the future workforce of Evolution Mining, in addition to addressing hard-to-fill and hard-to-retain roles. Graduates have the opportunity to develop personal, technical and commercial skills throughout a two-year program. The graduate program has been in full swing since 2013, and they still have representation in their business from every cohort, which is a massive achievement for Evolution Mining. In addition to their grad program, the company offers students opportunities for summer vacation work while completing their studies. This benefit is to give students a taste of what the mining industry looks like and hopefully gives them an experience which will persuade them to apply for the graduate program when they’re ready to do so.

Success in the mining industry is tough to narrow down. Still, success at Evolution means a high-performing culture where people are clear about the types of behaviours that we want to see and hear, in line with the company’s values. As part of its strategy, Evolution Mining aims to be a business that prospers through the cycle by generating superior returns from the company assets. It also is building a reputation for sustainability, reliability and transparency, embedding financial discipline across the business, maintaining an active pipeline of quality exploration and development projects and being open to all quality gold, silver and copper-gold investments.

Connected Across Borders

We at TalentEgg asked if there was a difference between The Canadian and Australian Graduate programs and how they are run. “The Red Lake Alberta and Australian Graduate programs are the same. We bring our graduates in for a structured two-year development program with opportunities for regular coaching, mentoring and support from leaders at our sites. The only real difference is one time, meaning we’re dialling in pretty early in the morning from Australia to connect with our Red Lake colleagues. Still, it’s all worth interacting with such awesome grads!” Bianca told us enthusiastically! 

Career Path With Evolution

Evolution Mining operates off a very successful 70:20:10 model of learning, recognizing that about 70% of a graduate’s learning is done daily by providing the graduate with meaningful and value-adding project work. 20% of learning is done through other people in a formal and informal mentoring and coaching capacity. The final 10% of learning is done through formal learning by offering opportunities for graduates performing well to complete certifications or attend external conferences, in addition to their quarterly internal workshops hosted by Evolution to develop their soft skills.

Post Pandemic Recruiiting

Evolution Mining saw the post-pandemic lifestyle as an opportunity to leverage technology in more innovative and interactive ways while recruiting new graduates. Although they had to shift to a virtual approach, the company could work with external providers to launch video interviews, psychometric assessments and host assessment centres using breakout room functions on MS Teams. Even though the process was virtual, Evolution still found ways to increase its levels of interactivity and provide candidates with an approach which was not only fun but efficient.

Future Hiring Trends & Workplace Bias

With an industry as large and expansive as mining, Bianca shared what the team at Evolution Mining believes to be at the forefront of the company’s hiring process’ moving forward.

  • Increased female representation within the industry
  • Larger graduate cohorts entering the business to further build on its approach to hiring the future leaders of Evolution
  • Increased use of virtual recruitment tools
  • Candidates looking for a workplace that will offer flexibility
  • Candidates who are open to international secondments and opportunities across all our operations

Evolution works diligently to ensure its hiring process is fair for all applicants by providing multiple data points to assess candidates and their suitability for the role. This process includes resumes and cover letters, video interviews, psychometric assessments, and face-to-face interviews with a diverse panel of hiring staff.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Evolution Mining

Evolution is passionate about creating a workplace that’s inclusive and supportive, a place where everyone can indeed be themselves. In 2021, the company’s Inclusion Awareness committee was formed to play an essential role in connecting, informing and educating their employees about inclusion and diversity, including the benefits, barriers, mindsets, and conscious and unconscious biases. It is vital for Evolution Mining to constantly improve Inclusion and Diversity as they’re committed to creating more accountability and ownership as a business and from their employees. This improvement is to support the company goals for greater collaboration, more innovation and ideas, greater productivity, more revenue, more profit, and greater shareholder returns. A diverse and inclusive company is a stronger, more successful company.


Check out Evolution Mining’s profile on TalentEgg! You’ll be able to watch an overview video of the Red Lake site and learn about the company culture at Evolution and the company’s graduate program here in Canada and Australia!

Eliminating Recruitment Bias Through Diversity

Bell is packed full of superstar recruiters who find and hire hundreds of high potential students every year, including Minami Alguire, Senior Manager for Talent Acquisition. TalentEgg had the chance to hear how the Bell recruitment team is passionate about welcoming students, helping students find their fit, eliminating bias and seeing students’ potential to contribute meaningfully straight out of school. Finding one’s path after school can be daunting, and it makes Bell proud to know how the company’s recruiters show up for students. Recruiters make connections and share their expertise with students at recruitment events and work with hiring leaders to make matches between students and teams that are great for business and key post-graduation milestones for the student hires. 

Bell is a space where recruitment and development merge. The company recognizes that there is so much opportunity for student hiring to bring fresh ideas and skills into the organization and invest in future generations. With solid support from its executive team, Bell has the passion and the commitment to make great things happen in the campus recruitment space!

Please keep reading to learn more about how Bell welcomes new grads and students and what opportunities are available after joining the company. As well as Bell’s commitment to mental health & what steps are being taken to create an inclusive workplace.

Bell’s Main Initiative for Students and New Graduates 

Bell welcomes students and new graduates into the telecommunications, media, and retail industries via the company’s award-winning internship and recent graduate leadership programs. Bell knows precisely how important the transition from school to work is and has over ten years of experience successfully launching new grads into leadership positions.

Commitment to Mental Health in the Workplace

Bell Let’s Talk partners with schools across Canada to equip post-secondary schools with digital tool kits to engage students in conversation around awareness and self-care. Last year, Bell announced the launch of the $3.1M Bell Let’s Talk Post-Secondary Fund to support Canadian colleges and universities in implementing the National Standard of Canada for Mental Health and Well-Being for Post-Secondary Students.

One of the four pillars of the Bell Let’s Talk campaign is workplace leadership, and Bell is proudly committed to leading by example in this space. Since 2010, more than 18,000 Bell employees and 13,000 Bell leaders have completed mental health training. Bell’s initiatives to improve mental health awareness, training and benefits have reduced short-term disability claims related to mental health by over 20% and reduced relapse and recurrence by more than 50%. Earlier this year, Bell has enhanced its psychological care benefit to provide unlimited coverage for mental-health services! 

Essential Aspects of the Career Path

Bell is a leader in taking care of its employees, and it shows through the mentorship and experience provided.

  • Executive Mentorship –  Bell helps students and recent grads gain exposure to exceptional leaders throughout the company. Minami’s executive mentor was paired with her during her time in the graduate leadership program, and they still meet regularly! 
  • Real experience – Whether a student joins Bell for the summer or a full-time role after graduating, they can expect to work on real projects that impact how Canadians communicate with each other and the world. 
  • A sense of community – Bell’s cohorts have many opportunities to bond during onboarding and stay connected as they move through their careers. For new hires, this means joining a company with a built-in network of over 1500 alumni that finished the program before them!

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Initiatives

For Bell, diversity, equity and inclusion are more than a seat at the table; it’s the key to the skills and innovation that make the whole more significant than the sum of its parts. Everyone benefits from a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment! Sometimes DE&I shows up at work in meaningful ways – like Bell’s 2020 announcement to hire a minimum of 40% BIPOC talent in its new grad and intern programs – sometimes it shows up in the little things, like colleagues eagerly learning how to pronounce someone’s name. At Bell, they don’t just accept difference – they celebrate it!

#TeamBell is also passionately committed to DE&I. Bell currently has three employee resource groups run entirely by employees to support its members and allies. These include Women at Bell, Pride at Bell, and Black Professionals at Bell.

Taking Steps to Eliminate Bias in the Hiring Process

Bell has several steps to reduce and eliminate bias in its hiring process. These include conscious inclusion training to help employees and leaders better understand unconscious bias and their critical role in fostering an inclusive workplace. Bell also ensures hiring decisions are made with various thoughts and inputs to guarantee that Bell continues to be one of the best companies to work for in Canada. 

The best way to help students and new graduates get involved with Bell opportunities is for them to speak to recruiters directly! Bell publishes its events calendar on its career site and its TalentEgg page throughout the year. The company’s virtual career fair is one of the highlights of the recruitment calendar. Students will meet some current grads, hiring leaders, and recruiters, hear from executives, participate in speed interviews, and access exclusive webinars and resources from the recruitment team. In the meantime, you can read more about Bell HERE!

Navigating Careers Post-Grad

No one should expect to come out of school and land their dream job on the first try. In this new world of hybrid job opportunities,  the allure of remote careers and, for some, working in an office or on-site, we all need a little help in navigating the murky waters of our wants and needs. As a Career Advisor for International & Graduate Students at the University of Windsor’s Career Development & Experiential Learning (CDEL), Stephanie Dupley and her department serve students through appointments, workshops, events, and resources.

We had the opportunity to speak to Stephanie about her career and best practices for coaching students to land their first post-grad jobs and launch their careers!

Careers AdvisorQ. Why did you decide to go into Career Education/Coaching?

A. I didn’t initially decide to work in career development. Like many in the field, it was something I fell into. I graduated with my Bachelor of Education and landed a role at our local workforce development board. Lucky for me, they had some funding to hire an inexperienced new grad, so it was fantastic timing! My role there was to learn about career counselling and create a career education program for the youth in our community – something that was rather daunting for me at first, as I didn’t have any experience with career development in the past.

After learning more about the field, this feeling of intimidation about the subject became a genuine interest as I realized the importance of career development. I grew motivated to help people connect their education and training to the workforce and use all their unique skills. I started to develop this enthusiasm – “passion,” so to speak – that I didn’t know I had.

This first-hand experience with discovering a field I grew to love helps me when re-assuring students that it’s okay if they haven’t “discovered their passion” yet. I’ve met with students who have heard the “do what you love” and “follow your passion” cliches and are worried that they haven’t found that passion. I enjoy recounting my story to them and reminding them that passion is something that is developed.

Q. What is one of your most outstanding achievements in your work with students?

A. something that I love about my job is that I sometimes get to see the tangible results of my work. When students contact me to tell me good news (“I got an interview!”, “I got the job!”, “I got into medical school!”), it feels super rewarding. I actually keep a file in my email box dedicated to emails such as these from students. On days when I am feeling unmotivated or stressed (let’s face it, we all have those days sometimes), I look at these to help me remember why what we do is essential, and it energizes and motivates me.

Q. What would you like to achieve as a career coach in the future?

A. something I have been trying to become more educated on issues in career development regarding equity, diversity, inclusion, and decolonization (EDID). It’s essential to recognize that every career journey will look different, and many factors can affect that journey. I want to provide the best service possible to all student populations, meaning I need to learn as much about them as I can.

In CDEL, we are all in the process of learning more about this, as the department has provided professional development sessions on this topic. This has prompted us to review some of our resources to ensure they are more accessible and inclusive and has inspired us to want to learn more about and take actions to help equity-deserving populations.

Q. How do you help students in making their school-to-work transition? What new services or strategies have you employed to support students in a hybrid environment?

A. When the pandemic hit, we had to move all our services online, and we did so rather successfully (if I do say so myself). Now that we are transitioning to providing in-person service again, we have opted to provide online and in-person options for students. This way, students can get the information, resources, and support they need in a way that is most efficient and comfortable for them. We have had many discussions about how we can best provide service in both ways, and we have come up with some great solutions, such as allowing students to choose the mode of their appointment (online, phone, or in-person).

Some of our programs that heavily relied on in-person interactions had to be modified. Our Job Shadow Experience program, for example, is one. We used to have students visit professionals in their place of work to job shadow them but had to replace this with an online option during the pandemic. This worked well and made us realize that once the pandemic has calmed down, we will continue to offer this program online and in-person to make it more accessible to both students and hosts and best suit everyone’s needs. We realize that the more options we provide for accessing our services, the more people we can reach effectively.

Q. What do you think employers can be doing to best support students and new grads in hatching their careers in the age of digital recruitment and hybrid work?

A. something that I would love to see from more employers would be more transparent job postings. I appreciate how employers will list the required qualifications and the preferred assets in many job postings. This is because smart, capable new graduates often will shy away from applying for a job because they don’t meet all the requirements and are unable to discern which qualities would be an asset to the position and which are firm qualifications and requirements. This will also clarify for new grads and students which qualifications they must have and will hopefully eliminate unqualified candidates from applying if they do not meet the basic qualifications.

Including a minimum salary and a salary range would be beneficial as well. If students are job searching effectively, they are likely spending a significant amount of time tailoring each application to each position. After the interview, finding out that the job cannot feasibly sustain them can be incredibly frustrating for both the candidate and the employer.  

In this new world of hybrid work, making it clear on the job posting whether or not the job will be fully remote, full in-person, or hybrid and making some of the flexible work policies available could also be beneficial. Some new grads/students enjoy working from home and seek those opportunities but are still hesitant to apply to them if they are out of the city. Some students are craving some in-person experiences, as this is something they may not have had much of in the past 2 years.

Q. What is your best advice for students looking to start their careers in this current environment?

A. I tell students that the first job after graduation will often be the most challenging job for them to get. It will likely take time, and they will probably not find the perfect job right away and will have to work their way up to it.

I know how disheartening it can be to apply for so many jobs and not hear anything back. I understand how anxiety-provoking this is. Despite this, I encourage students to continue applying and tailoring every application to the position to best demonstrate the skills the job posting is requesting. It can be difficult, but persistence is key. Having some fun and healthy hobbies to engage in during this time can help them to stay positive.


About Stephanie

Stephanie is a Career Advisor – International & Graduate Students at The University of Windsor’s Career Development & Experiential Learning (CDEL). She has over 8 years of experience in career coaching, with 5 in her current role. She is passionate about helping students through appointments, workshops, events, and resources. She’s continuously looking for ways to help improve herself, the department & the students.

Connect with Stephanie on LinkedIn and visit the University of Windsor’s site to learn more about the university and its Career Development & Experiential Learning (CDEL)!

« Older posts