It’s a great time to be a co-op student or new grad at GM Canada! We recently had the chance to sit down with Tyler Jamieson, one of our Engineering Specialists, to discuss an exciting new program that he launched to promote networking, learning, and development amongst our upcoming disruptors who are entering the workforce.
1) Can you provide an overview of the program and what’s involved?
The Soft Skills development sessions started with the intention of providing students and new hires with direct access to leaders within GM. We wanted to create an environment where students could sit down in small, intimate group to discuss career development and emotional intelligence.
Students or recent graduates have developed skills in their field of study, but they are far less exposed to things like building relationships, personal branding and communicating effectively. Our goal was to engage young employees to have conversations with leadership to help them succeed in their own careers.
2) Who can participate in the program?
All GM employees!
3) How often do you meet?
Currently, we have one presenter per month speaking about a different topic.
4) What topics are discussed?
We encourage everyone in the program to be involved and periodically send out polls to make sure we have a wide variety of topics! Some of our previous sessions include:
- Communicating technical information effectively
- Understanding and defining your Personal Brand
- Developing your Career Path at GM
5) What inspired you to start this type of program?
Our leadership team has a wealth of experience and knowledge that they can offer to our students and young professionals. Providing our students and new hires with exposure to our leaders and the opportunity to discuss their career paths has a lot of value in helping them grow and is a real confidence booster.
6) What type of impacts and results are you seeing from the program?
Here is some great feedback that we have received from two of our co-op students who participate in the program:
“These sessions have done a lot for me; Not only have they helped me develop my non-technical skills, but they have also allowed me to network with employees at various levels of the organization. I’m always looking for opportunities to involve myself in the GM community and culture, and this was a great way to do just that. The program has also allowed me to build relationships with the managers that present, and now I feel like I have multiple mentors to turn to.”
—Pauline Kress, Coop for Active Safety & Autonomous Controls
“An excellent program for young professionals to learn and be inspired by leadership.”
—Andy Le, Coop for DEF/Alternative Fuel Systems
Careers @ General Motors Canada