A foot in the door
Interns starts their careers at chamber of commerce, Science North and Cinefest
As a Sudburian born and raised, Matti Scherzinger is well aware that adults in their early 20s are often hard-pressed to find jobs and a career locally.
So, Scherzinger jumped at the chance, along with two others, to be beneficiaries of the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario. Three organizations — the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce, Science North and Cinefest: The Sudbury Film Festival Inc. — were able to hire three young graduates with expertise in various fields such as science, communications, social media and marketing.
These projects, which will be advanced with the addition of the interns, are a result of a $94,500 investment from the federal government.
The announcement was made a press conference at Dynamic Earth on Monday.
“I’m really appreciative of the opportunity,” Scherzinger, 23, said. “It’s great that funding can be released to businesses or organizations that allow for young people to gain experience right out of school. I’m really appreciative of it and I think it will help me out a lot.”
Science North will receive $31,500 in FedNor funding to hire an intern in support of its efforts to have the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization declare the Sudbury basin a global geopark.
The UNESCO Global Geoparks are single, unified geographical areas representing sites and landscapes of international geological significance. There are 127 such designated areas in 35 countries.
The Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce is also receiving $31,500 to hire a communication and digital content intern to develop communication tools and implement a social media strategy. The new hire will also work to create alliances and partnerships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous businesses.
The remaining $31,500 will be used by Cinefest Sudbury to hire an intern to help expand its programming, attract new audiences and promote Northern Ontario film production. While on the job, the candidate will analyze consumer data to identify audience and economic trends, and develop a strategy to help maximize the social and economic potential of Cinefest Sudbury.
“This FedNor program is critical to make sure that we have our youth, who are able to have these opportunities,” Sudbury MP Paul Lefebvre said. “There’s many opportunities to have here in the Sudbury area, but we need to assist these institutions like Dynamic Earth, Cinefest and chamber of commerce to have the means to be able to hire somebody to develop their skills.
“It’s a win-win for the individual, for the youth intern, as well as the institutions who is hiring them.
Such hirings can have a big impact on Greater Sudbury, Lefebvre believes.
“The funding for the youth intern at Dynamic Earth is the possibility of having a UNESCO designated site,” Lefebvre said. “Without that, we wouldn’t be able to do it.”
Scherzinger, a graduate of Cambrian College’s graphic design program, has been on the job for about a month now.
“It’s been excellent,” Scherzinger said. “It’s been really good, a really good experience.
“Overall, being able to do design work and expanding my skill set to do a variety of different things from more communications-related fields to kind of coordination between speakers for an event, and stuff like that, I think it’ll be a great learning opportunity.”
Gillian Bond, hired by Science North, is looking forward to working at Dynamic Earth and working on the geopark project.
“I’ll be pulling together all of the background material for that to get the application ready, citing out the 50 different sites,” said Bond, 25, of Nova Scotia, who recently received finished her masters program in science communication at Laurentian University. “This opportunity is fantastic because it’s often difficult to find successful employment when you finish a university program.”
For 31-year-old Kjell Cawsey of Toronto, an intern with Cinefest as the customer relations data analyst, being able to work in an environment where her arts background — she has a degree in theatre — can flourish, was an opportunity she couldn’t pass up.
“There’s no guarantee in career opportunities,” Cawsey said. “So I think the best part is actually being able to work with an established arts organization. Otherwise, I don’t know how I’d get that opportunity. So many arts organizations are unable to hire a lot of staff because they don’t really have the funding, so getting in with Cinefest is such an incredible opportunity.”
Kjell Cawsey, Gillian Bond, Sudbury MP Paul Lefebvre, and Matti Scherzinger at a press conference at Dynamic Earth. Cawsey, Bond, and Scherzinger are recently hired interns thanks to a $94,500 investment.