Taking the initiative

Taking the initiative

< Back to Articles | Topics: Guest Post | Contributors: Heather Laura Clarke | Published: January 3, 2019

Allison Thorne, a recent graduate, decided to send a cold email to a company that wasn’t hiring.

Maria Calcano, vice president of Kisserup International Trade Roots Inc., says they were surprised when Thorne reached out.

“She’d heard about our company and really wanted to work with us,” says Calcano. “We weren’t looking to hire anyone, but she was so enthusiastic.”

Luckily, Kisserup International Trade Roots was one of the first companies to participate in the Graduate to Opportunity (GTO) program, which offers eligible employers up to 35 per cent of a grad’s first year salary and 12.5 per cent of a grad’s second-year salary.

Calcano says hiring a recent grad was a smart move for Kisserup International Trade Roots because it’s expanded their team’s talents and opened them up to new opportunities.

“It’s helpful to have the perspective of an employee who’s just starting their career,” says Calcano. “They’re coming to the table with fresh ideas and a lot of energy.”

The GTO program helped more than 720 grads get jobs in their fields in Nova Scotia over the past three years alone. For the first time in 32 years, more youth are moving to the province — or moving back — rather than leaving.

“Halifax is a really nice city — a good size with lots of opportunities, but with that East Coast feel,” says Thorne, who is from New Brunswick and holds a Masters in Global Business from the University of Victoria.

Calcano says without the GTO program, hiring Thorne would have been “more of an obstacle.”

“When you hire a new graduate, they’re new in the field and you need to invest in their professional development,” says Calcano. “The GTO program allowed us to have these activities in place for Allison to do in the beginning, so she was able to hit the ground running.”

Thorne started in February as an International Trade Coordinator. “I love that Kisserup is based in Canada but works in more than 90 countries,” says Thorne. “Our office in Halifax is like a little United Nations — six people all with different nationalities, which is the greatest way to learn about different cultures.”

Calcano and Thorne believe that more companies could benefit from the GTO program and save significantly on the first two years of a new hire’s salary.

Learn more about how GTO can help you hire fresh talent by visiting novascotia.ca/programs/graduate-to-opportunity.

< Back to Articles | Topics: Guest Post

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