After our first year we put together an information booklet to raise awareness
I structured, branded and oversaw This is My Niagara while working for Niagara Economic Development Corporation. After our first year, I presented it to Niagara city counsel for full funding. It was accepted and Brock University included it as a full credit, 4th year honours program, which still runs to this day.
This is My Niagara is a proactive initiative, set in place to inspire a movement towards connecting young talent with small and medium-sized businesses. At its root, This is My Niagara built greater Niagara awareness at the educational level through a coordinated Internship program, interactive digital media platform and stakeholder events
Niagara was seeing an emergence of small and medium-sized businesses but the region was failing to attract or retain a fraction of the 70% of students attending post-secondary education from outside the region. Understanding that there needed to be a better connection between economic development and young people we set out on a three-year journey that moved much faster than Niagara anticipated.
Mike - Video Team
I feel that TIMN has already had a huge impact on my perception of the Niagara region. It is the students who want to see this city grow and become better because it’s a great place to live - it just needs the attention.
Diana - Social Media Team
“This is My Niagara” is the perfect set-up to establishing yourself in the real-world. I have watched it grow from a simple campaign into a full-fledged initiative, which is currently gaining support from various regional and institutional standpoints.
Chris - Events Team
At the start of this internship, I thought we were going to do small things, intern things. I was relatively shocked that we got to do so much and gain so much experience.
This is My Niagara second year interns
We believed that students in 4th-year Communications already held extremely valuable insights that small business could benefit from. We set up 6 teams. 2 teams focused on supporting and growing the initiative while the 4 remaining teams working inside the community. They contacted businesses that could benefit from consulting and worked with them for 20 hours each to help them set up a social media schedule, a short video portrait or visual communication pieces.
This was extremely valuable for both the regions small businesses but also for students to make connections bringing retention through future career opportunities. We partnered with local digital ventures and brought the students to visit entrepreneurial businesses, inspiring them to think about a career path they can influence.