The University of Winnipeg



MDP emerging professionals show their skills at annual networking event

Three people sit at a table with coffee and chattting.

Melissa Morrisseau and Eddie Mendoza from the Province of Manitoba meet with MDP student Eric Lewis.

The Master’s in Development Practice (MDP) program, based in Global College, hosted its sixth annual Emerging Professionals Networking Event earlier this month. The successful event brought together MDP students and 17 community partners engaged in Indigenous development, including the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.

This was an ideal opportunity to learn about career opportunities that exist within the broad area of Indigenous development and offered students the chance to showcase their skills and interests with prospective employers. 

Like speed dating, students moved from table to table to chat with future employers to explore their interests and experiences to help find their ideal employment match. This unique platform deepens the student’s understanding of their chosen field through meaningful dialogue that also benefits the employer. 

“This event takes the awkwardness out of employer-student meetings ,” said Dr. Shauna Labman, Executive Director of Global College. “It was clear that employers were excited to be at The University of Winnipeg to meet our students, and by the end, many were excited by our students and thinking through potential employment. The connections and community building in one morning were exceptional.”

This event also mirrors the core principles of the MDP program that integrates theory and practice of development seamlessly, with the focus on Indigenous culture and knowledge in meaningful ways. 

“The MDP Employee Networking Event offered us as a way to connect with other development practitioners from varying organizations and backgrounds across Manitoba,” shared MDP student Stacey Woods. “This event is an important way for students to ask questions and receive feedback on what employers value, especially from the perspective of students who are seeking to explore potential career opportunities and networks.”

Many of the employers attend each year. They serve as community partners and professional mentors who generously share their experiences and insights. 

“I eagerly anticipate the annual Emerging Professionals Networking Event as it provides an excellent opportunity for me to engage in mentorship,” said Millie Acuna, Manager, Asset Building Programs, SEED Winnipeg Inc. “Meeting students and gaining insight into their aspirations in Indigenous development is truly inspiring. Additionally, I find great satisfaction in discussing SEED’s impactful initiatives and their contributions to community economic development.” 

The list of potential employers included the Public Civil Service Commission, Morning Breeze Healthcare Inc., SEED Winnipeg Inc., Manitoba Association for Rights and Liberties, Leading4Impact, Manitoba Hydro, Waapihk Research, First Nations Health and Social Secretariat of Manitoba, and several departments from the Province of Manitoba (Indigenous Reconciliation and Education Unit, Climate and Green Plan Implementation Office, Manitoba Indigenous Economic Development Unit, and Treaty Land Entitlement).

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