Last December, after almost two years of hard work, Bloom communications launched its job offer platform “PropULsion.” The platform now displays more than 200 jobs, and internship offers adapted to the student body.
Funded and coordinated by Laval University, PropULsion is a global project involving multiple Cégep including Garneau, St-Foys and Trois-Rivière. Paul Bleau, a Business teacher here at St. Lawrence and one of Bloom’s mentors involved in PropULsion, indeed shares how this service is gaining in popularity: “It becomes the one go-to place, and now there are like five or six Cégeps on the platform. I talked to our friends at Cégep Beauce-Appalache, and they said, ‘Oh yeah, this sounds interesting!’ so why not?”.
Even though Laval had developed the programming and design of the platform, Bloom Communications still had a crucial role to play in this project: adapting the platform to St. Lawrence’s specific needs, and most importantly, promoting it, so the students make use of this new tool and. Together with the IT department, Bloom members Hypatia Behar-Gryl, Laurent Cadet, Anabelle Gingras, Jacob Lavoie and Spahr Salomon, all working on the project, also had to render the platform accessible directly through Omnivox. However, this raised another issue. As Derek Lee Dagenais, Bloom’s marketing manager, mentions, “You are not necessarily looking for job offers on Omnivox. You usually are looking there for your grades, and mio’s from your teacher!” To ensure the accessibility of the page, Bloom also created a video tutorial to help students navigate the platform and find all the information they need. This short “how-to” film is currently available on Youtube.
According to M. Bleau, PropULsion fills a need accentuated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the forced shutdown of hotels, restaurants and non-essential services, many students lost their job. Indeed many of them worked as servers, cashiers or receptionists, and the lockdown caused, for most, either a fluctuating revenue or no salary at all. Moreover, unlike Québec city’s big cégeps and Laval University, St. Lawrence doesn’t have a Student Placement service which made the process of offering jobs and internships lengthy and laborious. “All the offers would come in for the business students and, literally, we would send a Mio every time there was a new offer. The students could get like thirty Mio’s. All we say now is ‘keep going to PropULsion’” recalls M. Bleau.
While the job offers were more directed towards business students in the past, PropULsion’s server displays company offers ranging from camp counsellors to accounting technicians, providing valuable work experience for students from any St. Lawrence’s program. The platform also shows high-paying student jobs that are otherwise hard to find when typically looking for a position. “It gives us hope that there is a place for us on the market. Because sometimes it can be a bit hard to look by ourselves. Where do I look for a job? As a student, it’s more difficult,” Catherine Dufresne, Bloom’s coordinator, explains.
Even with its 200 entries, PropULsion has a rigorous regulation process for presenting offers. Companies must first apply and become official advertisers before sending their job descriptions, which are verified as well by a committee of four St. Lawrence teachers and administration members. About 180 companies are now approved and are sending an average of ten proposals a day. Quite a lot of work for the reviewers.
While Bloom usually charges companies when offering services, they carried out this project as a non-profit case. As M. Bleau mentions: “ This one was not for profit and was really just to help St. Lawrence!” When fully operational, the platform will allow setting up a job alert and informing the students when new positions are available.
The launching of PropULsion is an incredible achievement, especially helpful with the Covid-19 pandemic bringing its share of problems in a student’s life. With Summer coming at an ever-faster pace, this service will allow students to gain precious minutes of sleep, integral calculus catch up, or English literature essay polishing that would otherwise be spent on job hunting.
To access the new platform PropULsion, simply go to your Omnivox and scroll down to the external link section.
To watch Bloom Communications’ “how-to video” on PropULsion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnSwCv5BN_w
To learn more about Bloom Communications and how to get involved: https://www.bloomslc.org/