Gareth Gransaull

Gareth Gransaull is employed as an Associate Director at Re_Generation headquartered in Ontario. The internship lies within the ImpAct program stream, funded by Employment and Social Development Canada, and implemented via Career Launcher.

In this experience, he had a high degree of creative autonomy in driving the development of several major projects, in helping oversee the management of 18 volunteers and part-time staff, and participating in a strategic rebranding and the launch of a new website for the organization that will host a variety of new youth empowerment tools. He enjoyed being able to adopt a leadership role for such high-impact initiatives, and he is grateful to have had the opportunity to work on projects of his choosing aimed towards systemic change.

During this internship, he led several main initiatives such as overseeing a policy campaign to work with key legislators for regulations related to sustainable finance in Canada, where he helped to initiate and manage a strategic rebranding of the organization. He singlehandedly wrote a 150-page ‘Transition Toolkit’ intended for companies (and activists within companies) to advocate for more ambitious social and environmental initiatives within their organizations. He also helped expand the team to 20 total individuals, and aided in the general management of the organization in partnership with Executive Director, Maxime Lakat.

The funding from the Career Launcher program helped him in mobilizing resources and turn his passion into a full-time career. The internship provided him with the avenue to network extensively and build relations. He feels that his learning curve has been a high one. Though he has managed organizations previously, but this is the largest one and it came with its challenges. He has been able to take up these challenges and has been involved in working to create a brand, getting more people involved to build capacity, and securing support from the community to co-create the vision.

Interview Questions

  1. What was a problem or task that you were assigned at work and how did you overcome it?
    • As a volunteer organization, we have an ambitious goal to expand our operations and impact. We recently launched a new website and are in the process of developing and leading a public advocacy team. The objective to build and run an organization can sometimes seem overwhelming for someone like me in a managerial role. But I was able to take up this challenge and have been working to create a brand, getting more people involved to build capacity, and securing support from the community to co-create the vision.
  2. One tip you could give employers on how they should onboard their intern.
    • The most important thing is to make new employees or interns feel a part of the community. As an intern, you can feel out of place with a new employer, or the tasks may seem mundane. Employers (or managers) should create a sense of vision, connection, and encourage a culture of mentorship and growth. Integrating the intern and making them feel valued is the most important aspect of the onboarding process.
  3. Did the internship make them feel prepared from school/academics to the professional space?
    • The funding from Career Launcher let me transition from working for an organization to building the organization. The internship provided me with the avenue to network extensively and build relations. When opportunities are limitless, there is freedom to do a lot which has facilitated the process of growing a team and organization. The learning curve has been high. It’s a very entrepreneurial thing to do even though it’s a nonprofit organization. Even though I have managed organizations previously, but this is the largest one and it comes with its challenges.
  4. How inclusive is the workplace or the team?
    • We have actively tried to have an inclusive team in the organization. We have a values-contract that members and volunteers sign. We have a Decolonizing Coordinator whose role is to ensure that there is openness and honesty with the space to ensure that everyone is heard. The Coordinator helps to see that operational programs/projects reflect the diversity. The team is constituted of people from different profiles which is great way to share perspectives and learn from each other. An inclusive team or workplace is a key factor to serve the public as widely as possible.
  5. Are there any new skills that you developed/are developing while you are at the worksite and what are they?
    • As a result of my work, I was able to build relations and network extensively. This aspect is highly important for a youth organization to be taken seriously in the social impact space. We have been good at doing that so far and have networked with other organizations, thinktanks etc. and collaborated as well.
    • I have also learned to oversee individual and multiple teams, and how they cohere in respect to the organization. This also means I have a lot of ongoing projects and the need to balance them together.
    • On an individual level, I have become more confident in terms of putting myself out there in sharing ideas and understanding there is a demand for the work we do at Re_Generation. I learned that my voice matters and it’s a useful perspective to have.
  6. How will your work with Re_Generation make a difference to the community?
    • The work done at Re_Generation will positively impact the community in the following three broad ways:
      • Reimaging schools: changing curricula and working with professors to understand………
      • Repurposing careers: collaborate in interdisciplinary ways, a lot of people have prestige culture
      • Remodeling companies: helping people advocate in the organization, clean and just transitions, put forward a vision that is ethical. As part of this we have a policy advocacy team with a regulatory mechanism to help the sector.
    • The website has a suite of tools and other interesting reading resources (RE-Generation)
  7. How did the Career Launcher internship program encourage you to begin/ grow a career?
    • Career Launcher helped me turn my hobby into vocation. The funding from the program helped in mobilizing resources and evolve my passion into a full-time career. It has been an incredible experience so far, particularly the last six months where the response from the community has been huge.

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