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Silver Linings of Pandemic Hurdles

CFN has a tradition of hiring summer students and despite the current situation facing the world, things are no different this year. Summer students bring diversity of thought, experience, skills, culture, and age beneficial to any work environment. CFN firmly believes hiring summer students can bring a unique perspective to a challenge that our team has been grappling with or fresh ideas to improve company culture and boost morale. Even with them posing questions about the business, they can inspire us to look at the big picture through a different lens.

Although many students have been hired over the years for summer positions, this year cites the first time CFN’s Communications & Marketing Department has a summer student of its own. Georgia Perry, a Bachelor of Communications 2020 graduate from Mount Royal University’s Information Design degree program, will be working in CFN’s COMMS Dept for the next two months. A great program for those with a passion for design and communications, CFN has worked with students from the program before, and have always been impressed. Among other assignments, she will be posting to the blog during her time with us and as her first assignment was asked to write about being a grad in the time of COVID.


Silver Linings of Pandemic Hurdles

by Georgia E. Perry

It was late January when the rumours of a pneumatic flu virus were beginning to catch attention in the media. Myself and many of my colleagues were not convinced that it was anything too serious. Given that we are communications students, we are aware of the ways in which media frame, set agendas and inevitably misconstrue news content for audiences.

We live in an age where the flow of information is quick, and in most cases can be congealed into brief fads and memes, the rumours of world war 3 seemed to be more significant at the time. It wasn’t until mid-March when fear of a potential pandemic was beginning to be laid out for the world.

Attending school abruptly came to a halt, public places shut down due to the fears and unknowns of this novel virus known as COVID-19. It was recommended that all people were to refrain from leaving their houses. In the midst of these unknowns, people were losing jobs right, left, and centre including myself.

I worked retail once a week on average just to stay (somewhat) on top of my rent. Although I knew with the economy already in the state it was in, I wouldn’t be able to go back to work to that same retail job.

After four long anxiety filled months, I was finally able to get a job with the Centre for Newcomers. I feel fortunate to have this position for the relevance it carries in an ever-evolving diverse community like Calgary.

In the COVID-19 climate, topped with the discussions of Black Lives Matter on everyone’s mind, it is more important than ever for newcomers to Calgary to have a place of resources and understanding to help them to ease more seamlessly into our community.

I am mindful that even when things do return to normal with the development of a vaccine, there will always be obstacles that hinder the progress of newcomers. I feel this position is also relevant in the social and political climate of our time considering the shift in how social media has let individuals bring to the light the issues they feel are the most important.

However, the importance of delivering this information lies within the needs of the individual, and it’s not always easy to sift through a plethora of web pages to find useful information. This is one more reason why it’s important to have a place like the Centre for Newcomers where the correct information is conveyed to individuals who need it most.

This is also the reason why I love what I do.


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