New Grads Driving Global Business Growth

New Grads Driving Global Business Growth

< Back to Articles | Topics: Skilled workforce

A thriving, Dartmouth company is creating games that are helping children improve their literary skills in over 160 countries around the world.

Year over year sales have been soaring since the business – Squiggle Park – created its first product in 2016, and Co-Founder and CEO Julia Rivard Dexter says this growth is being driven by recent graduates the company employs.

“We’re building something completely new, so no one has experience in this,” says Rivard Dexter. “It’s agility and innovative thinking that are helping us grow, and its our diverse team of young graduates who embody these traits and make this possible.”

Hiring recent graduates was made easier for Squiggle Park by the Graduate to Opportunity (GTO) program. GTO offers 25% of a grad’s first year salary – 35% if the grad is diverse – and 12.5% of their second-year salary.

GTO is available to small businesses, start-ups and non-profit organizations. Complete applications are typically approved within three to five days.

“For a small business like us who doesn’t have a lot of time to commit to applications, this program made it easy,” says Rivard Dexter. “It’s incredibly accessible, fast and rewarding.”

Rivard Dexter hired Acadia University graduate Samantha Sproule and Saint Mary’s graduate Dereka Thompson to propel the launch of their second literacy program, Dreamscape. As a result of their client expansion efforts, more than 20,000 students registered for the program every week during the first month after its release.

“I feel lucky to be working for an organization that aligns with my core values,” says Sproule, Customer Success Manager. “We are helping kids learn how to read, while supporting teachers who have such a difficult job. We are doing more as a business than simply making money, and that’s why I see value in this work.”

Hiring young people like Sproule makes sense for a company that is moving at such a fast pace.

“Hiring recent grads is ideal because of their high energy and motivation to do exceptional work,” says Rivard Dexter. “There is no shortage of work in this environment. Also, the diversity of culture in our organization brings a lot to the table and creates an atmosphere where youth can do their best work.”

She recommends the GTO program to other small businesses in Nova Scotia.

“The value of young people may seem difficult to measure because it’s not just in their tangible results, it’s those soft skill traits that might have the biggest impact on your company,” says Rivard Dexter. “It’s their approach to innovation, their appreciation for change and their unique perceptions that will take your work to the next level.”

To date, more than 600 organizations like Squiggle Park have hired more than 1,000 recent graduates across Nova Scotia using GTO funding.

Graduate to Opportunity could save you money on the next person you hire. Learn more at

< Back to Articles | Topics: Skilled workforce

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