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Develop and Advance Your Career

The 2021 Student Success Forum was hosted virtually on January 27 – and it did not disappoint!

An inspirational keynote, Alex Sheen of because I said I would, followed by three themed, streamed concurrent sessions and closing with a meaningful panel discussion of diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace hosted by CityLine host, Tracy Moore.

We hope you were able to take part in these sessions live, however the replay is available for four months. Catch the on-demand highlights here.

2021 Student Success Forum Program

9:00 AM

Rejuvenate: Yoga & Healthy Start

Kickstart your day with a guided yoga and meditation session. The class will get you to wake up, get centred and create vitality in your body. Combine this with a healthy start food demo and you’ll be set for a full day of learning.

Yoga hosted by: Yoga to You, Ashley Burton
Healthy Start hosted by: Shauna Lindzon

10:00 AM

Opening Remarks

Speaker(s): Ron Tite

10:15 AM

Because I Said I Would: Promises in a Changing World

Speaker(s): Alex Sheen

COMP: Learning and Development & Motivational

11:05 AM

STREAM: Branding & You

Burn Your Resume and Dig Into Your Stories

Your resume is not going to possess the energy it needs to land you ideal work if you’re sharing what you’ve always shared. This workshop will show you how to use stories and mindfulness to help you write an amazing resume, plus is a joy to create. Bring a pen (and index cards if you have them) and let’s get you looking amazing on paper.

Speaker(s): Kerri Twigg

STREAM: Diversity & Inclusion

U.G.L.Y. is Still Beautiful

Getting burnt as a 2-yr-old to most of her body, Kelly knows first hand how devastating it can be when people are so quick to judge someone without even knowing them. She has been shunned and lost job opportunities because people couldn’t look past her scars. Instead of judging her for her abilities, they shunned her for her looks. Kelly rose above the odds and decided to use her scars to become an international TEDx speaker, 5x best-selling author with a documentary about her life story called ‘Still Beautiful’ which has inspired almost 10 million people. And now she coaches people to becoming best-selling authors. In this presentation you will be inspired to look past the scars and see the inner beauty of everyone you meet.

Learning Objectives:

  • Not to judge the person by their physical looks
  • U.G.L.Y. is an acronym to empower people to love themselves and who they are
  • How to stop judging yourself and others by what you see in the mirror

Speaker(s): Kelly Falardeau

STREAM: Communications & Critical Conversations

The Unwritten Rules of Employee Communication: How to Decode What Your Manager is Saying

Do you find it difficult to be a team player and say what’s really on your mind? Are you reluctant to ask for a face-to-face meeting instead of sending an email? Do you have something to tell your manager but you’re not sure of the right way to say it? If so, this session is for you.

Let’s examine how to successfully navigate a workplace conversation. Discover why the human brain craves the connection an email or text just can’t give. Get inside the mind of your manager and get easy, practical tips to communicate effectively with leaders of all generations.

Learning Objectives:

  • Debunk old-fashioned “professional” communication tips that obstruct empathy
  • Discover the value of speaking to each person’s “mental gatekeeper”
  • Decode what an employer is really asking you
  • Know your personal value proposition
  • Learn the 3 things awesome employees ask in every conversation
  • Receive pre-written key messages to navigate a variety of challenging conversations

Speaker(s): Janet Hueglin Hartwick

12:00 PM

Virtual Hall & Social

Grab your lunch and get set for our Leaderboard Challenge. Complete tasks, engage with exhibitors and attendees and get points for prizes.

1:00 PM


STREAM: Branding & You

Are you LinkedIn? Brand Yourself and Network for Employment Opportunities

The founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, is famously credited with saying: “Your personal brand is what people say about you when you leave the room.”

Approximately 97% of recruiters will use LinkedIn during the hiring process. What does your first impression say about you?

Join Leslie Hughes from PUNCH!media as she provides you with tips and tricks to get your profile to 100% completion and share insights about how to reach out to recruiters and hiring managers.

Learning Objectives:

  • Why LinkedIn is so important for job prospecting
  • The key areas you need to focus on to optimize your profile.
  • How to use the proper etiquette to make the right kinds of connections.
  • Your next steps to uplevel your career.

Speaker(s): Leslie Hughes

STREAM: Diversity & Inclusion

Using Hip Hop to Build Mental Health into HR

Supporting employee mental health is a critical factor in increasing retention, impact and profit. It is also the right thing to do. Mental illness costs employers $50 billion each year in Canada. This presentation shares tons of cheap, easy and free strategies for employers to make mental health in the workplace approachable, practical and participatory. Learn how Michael and his team implemented innovative practices on a minimal budget to build a strong and caring culture empowering employees to take care of their mental health. This talk is jam packed with real examples on how to build strong culture while supporting mental health at work, beyond policy and beyond just spending money.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn to implement mental health policy that is affordable and realistic for companies
  • Understand the landscape of mental health in the workplace and why it is vital (cost, value, examples)
  • Gain insight into the upside of implementing strong mental health supports at work with creative examples

Speaker(s): Michael Prosserman

STREAM: Communications & Critical Conversations

Next Generation Leaders: How to Successfully Blend the 5-Generation Workforce

Around the globe and in Canada, today’s employees can have up to five different generations working side by side. Successfully blending the five generations in today’s workplace can be a tall order and productivity can decrease if you don’t understand the unique characteristics and talents each person/generation brings. It begins with open and vibrant dialogue and inclusion of all generations as we navigate our new normal. This virtual interactive presentation covers strategic methods of improving entry–level employee morale, improving operational efficiency, increasing employee retention and improving employee productivity: how to find it, how to harness it and how to keep it.

The goal is to connect with different generations, grow communications and maintain focus on a positive workplace culture. Millennials and Gen. Z – you get a special and positive nod in this fun, informative, interactive and fast-paced presentation. Join the discussion and you’ll see why you’ve earned it.

Learning Objectives:

  • Discover the virtual workplace needs, wants and aspirations of each generation
  • Identify the 7 most powerful actions (compiled from my 5-year study) we can take to successfully integrate generations in the workplace
  • Increase overall workplace communication, productivity and satisfaction
  • Improve employee/management engagement of each generation and great conversations

Speaker(s): Scott Lesnick


1:45 PM

Reboot & Recharge: Wellness Break

2:00 PM

STREAM: Branding & You

From Anxiety to Confidence: How to Rock Your Next Job Interview

So often we show up to virtual or in-person interviews, unaware of what our words and body say about us. It’s the element of uncertainty that stresses us out the most.

What if you felt confident any time you had to talk about yourself in front of a prospective employer? What if you knew exactly how to be your own best salesperson and win the hiring team over?

This session will spill the secrets of how to present your authentic self with natural ease, talk about what makes you unique, and never have to fear a job interview again!

Learning Objectives:

  • Interview prep done right – discover a proven action plan that gets you maximum results out of the time you have
  • Unleash your natural charisma and boost confidence with body language tricks
  • Master key principles of salary negotiations
  • Learn to rock the most challenging interview questions and tell compelling stories

Speaker(s): Ana Lokotkova

STREAM: Diversity & Inclusion

“I Don’t See Colour” and Other Lies We Tell Ourselves About Unconscious Bias of All Kinds

This engaging session illustrates how we all make unconscious judgements about people including about their gender, race and culture. Through a variety of interactive examples, we will identify patterns in how we evaluate others and understand how unconscious bias affects decision-making in recruitment, people development and leadership. We will also identify how unconscious bias leads to discrimination, and how to prevent it.

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn what neuroscience tells us about unconscious bias
  • Discover the meaning of “culture” and how we all view the world through our own “cultural lenses”
  • Learn how unconscious bias can influence workplace behaviour and lead to discrimination
  • Understand how unconscious bias affects decision-making in recruitment, people development, performance management and leadership
  • Review ways to speak up when we see others exhibiting bias in the workplace
  • Discuss practical ways to challenge our own bias, change habitual thinking and build inclusive teams
  • Review and formulate viable solutions for realistic dilemmas that may challenge our thinking at work

Speaker(s): Asha Rampersad

STREAM: Communications & Critical Conversations

Communicating with Confidence, Clarity and Persuasion

Communication is challenging in the best of times. Controlling our emotions, choosing the right words, regulating our verbal and non-verbal cues while trying to figure out if the other person understands us – is enough to make us frustrated and feel unheard. That is why we created this session. To shorten the amount of time it takes to get your point across, increase your confidence in your ability to be clear, concise, persuade and influence those around you. Build stronger relationships through dialogue and understanding to take the stress out of difficult conversations. As social beings we spend a lot of time and effort communicating with those around us.  You will explore the different Styles of Communication, Effective Listening Skills, Questioning Techniques and so much more.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand your natural communication style
  • Express your ideas assertively, confidently, and precisely
  • How to respond to aggressive people and get them on your side
  • Understand the non-verbal cues while communicating with others
  • Prepare for and have difficult conversations without stress.
  • Manage your emotions and those around you
  • Understand what causes misunderstandings and how to minimize them
  • Say NO decisively and politely
  • How to gain commitment without using power, position, or status
  • The must do steps to create instant rapport and gain commitment
  • Critique and change behaviour while staying friends and or colleagues
  • Disagree with the other person in such a way that helps them understand your meaning and not take it personally.

Speaker(s): Sherry Barron


2:45 PM

Reboot & Recharge: Wellness Break

3:00 PM

Reconnect: Social Activity

Engage and connect with fellow attendees in this fun networking activity. Teams will compete in friendly competition challenges, all in a race to the finish!

4:00 PM

HR Rebooted: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Panel

The  purpose of the panel discussion is to unpack the challenges and evaluate diverse perspectives and navigate the ambiguity and complexity that comes with multiple perspectives. HR professionals should leave with a greater understanding of the vital work that needs to be spearheaded to ensure workplaces are equitable for all.

Learning Objectives:

  • Demonstrate professionalism by working inclusively and co-creating an environment where each perspective is considered for the purpose of making progress toward common goals
  • Reassess one’s own personal perspective when appropriate, a process that frequently requires courage and/or humility
  • Recognize and critically reflect upon one’s own cultural biases
  • Listen and withhold judgement about the new or unfamiliar

Moderator: Tracy Moore

Speaker(s): Karen Fleshman; Karlyn Percil; Lily Zheng

5:00 PM

Closing Remarks

Speaker(s): Ron Tite