SMU Café helped Sounak perfect the answer to the timeless interview question: Tell me about yourself
Canada is facing a quiet crisis.
In the coming decade, half of all jobs will be disrupted by technology and automation. Some will change dramatically. Others will disappear completely, replaced by jobs that are yet to be invented. This is what the future of work looks like in Canada, and today’s youth are underprepared. In fact, while 83% of educators feel youth are prepared for work only 34% of employers and 44% of youth agree.
Ten Thousand Coffees, in partnership with RBC is working with over 60 post-secondary schools across Canada to provide our world class networking software to connect youth and alumni to facilitate career-changing conversations. Our goal is to enable every student and alumni to grow their network, navigate their career, and prepare for the future of work.
When you have a diverse network, it allows you to tap into other professionals’ smart thinking, accelerates your career, and helps answer important questions as you navigate current and future opportunities.
Sounak Sinha, 22, is Master of Finance student at the Sobey Business School of Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Canada. He joined the SMU Cafe in November 2018 and shares his experience of networking through Ten Thousand Coffees with us.
What skills do you feel you have developed on Ten Thousand Coffees?
I am naturally an introvert so I am more of a listener than a speaker, so gradually using Ten Thousand Coffees, I improved my speaking skills so that I can express myself better. I feel like I now have more confidence in reaching out to new people. Before joining Ten Thousand Coffees I had no connections and no confidence in how to communicate with business professionals in Canada either via email or any networking application. But now, I have talked to around 11-12 people.
Coffee chats helped me summarize my skills and experience in a 2 minute elevator pitch, and perfect the answer to the question, “Tell me about yourself” which is asked in every interview.
I feel that I have become more resilient because from time to time, when I reach out to someone on Ten Thousand Coffees, I don’t get a response. I could feel a bit nervous or think “Why have I not got a response from that person?”. But over time I’ve learned to think: “No problem!” because I know I have another connection coming into my inbox the next month so I can look forward to getting connected to that person.
What do you feel you will do differently as a result of what you have learned?
Before I joined Ten Thousand Coffees, I had some job interviews and although I did well, I was lacking in confidence and interviewing skills. Using Ten Thousand Coffees, has helped me to sharpen those interviewing skills and build my confidence.
I have also learned not to ask for a job on the first coffee chat! You would never ask someone to marry you on the first date, so don’t ask for a job on the first coffee chat!
What are some key learnings from this experience so far?
Being on Ten Thousand Coffees has helped me to consider different roles that I might be interested in. I was always open to different types of roles and companies that would hire me in the future.
I also feel less and less hesitant about reaching out to people in the future. Ten Thousand Coffees has helped me to talk to people personally and not just reach out to Companies via job openings.
After joining Ten Thousand Coffees, Sounak:
✓ Added someone to my network that I can reach out to in the future
Sounak, 22, is a Master of Finance student at the Sobey Business School of Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Canada. He completed a Bachelor of Electronics and Communication Engineering in 2018 at Waljat College of Applied Sciences.
To help young Canadians prepare for the future of work, RBC Future Launch and Ten Thousand Coffees have partnered to increase access to alumni networking and mentoring for students at more than 60 post-secondary institutions across Canada. For more information click here.
Ten Thousand Coffees offers students and alumni an exclusive online network platform, enabling them to share relevant career and life experience. Click here to learn more about how Ten Thousand Coffees can help your school or college today.