Jordyn Dias-McGown is currently IGNITE’s manager of operations, but if you happened to stop by the IGNITE office to ask about how your insurance works even a few short years ago, you just might have spoken to her. Starting her student life on IGNITE’s helpful and steadfast Customer Service Representative team, today, she works toward shaping the very experience of working at IGNITE.
I had the opportunity to chat with Dias-McGown about her journey at IGNITE, and it’s safe to say that our conversation was nothing short of inspiring. Keep reading if you want to learn about not only what you can do to improve your chances of working at IGNITE, but also all the things you can expect from being a part of the team.
Starting out as a CSR
Wanting to be more involved on campus but with no previous customer-facing experience, Jordyn was nervous about applying for the CSR role, much like everyone is with their first job. However, she took a leap of faith and applied anyway (psst… you should too!).
“I was definitely nervous, but I was excited to expand my skills and have always been a people-person; I love socializing, so I think that’s what initially attracted me to the role. However, I think being a part of the student union really gave me the confidence within my program to become even more involved on that front as well,” says Dias-McGown.
Transitioning to HR and operations
After her third year of working as a CSR, Dias-McGown stepped up to assume the team lead position and guide the rest of the team. As lead, she says she took every opportunity to do and learn more. Eventually, when the opportunity for a full-time role presented itself, she was more than ready with a track record that attested to her capabilities.
“At IGNITE, because it is such a small team, all part-time staff are very lucky in regards to the relationships we are able to build with the team of full-time staff. I was always encouraged by my manager and my director at the time to build my connections.
“I think it’s about really putting yourself out there and showing where you can step up and go above and beyond just what’s asked for you. It’s about showing you can handle responsibility. It’s about showing how your skills can work not only independently, but dependently throughout the organization,” she says.
Gaining valuable skills from working as a CSR
Our chat really underlined how even a part-time student-job can offer valuable skills that you can transfer throughout your career. In fact, most employers are always looking for transferable skills that transcend education or academics.
From basic necessities like email etiquette and phone etiquette to honing her communication and conflict resolution skills, there’s a lot she learned from being a CSR, Dias-McGown says.
“I think communication is a huge skill. We help students that come from different places around the world, so we’re always adapting. Being able to honour those relationships and those conversations, and to ensure that all students leave the office with the same impact… that’s something I’ve learned for sure. I also learned a lot about having difficult conversations and navigating them. Working in a post-secondary institution, there’s going to be some stressful environments.”
How you can work toward joining IGNITE’s team
Okay, so clearly, working at IGNITE is awesome and everyone plans to apply. What can students do to boost their chances of being picked? Having joined as a student herself and now working on the organization’s hiring policies, Jordyn had a lot of practical tips.
“I would encourage anyone applying to do your research. Go to the company’s website, look at their socials. What are their missions? What are their values? And what services are they offering, what events are they hosting? I think having a holistic understanding of the organization is so important,” Dias-McGown says.
“My second piece of advice is to be yourself. I think it’s really leaning into being yourself and showing off the amazing things that you can offer and highlighting skills or attributes that you are confident in. For myself going into the CSR position, I had zero background in insurance. But I knew that I had great people’s skills and Microsoft Office skills. So reviewing the job requirements and finding attributes of yourself that best match those is key.”
Bonus tip? A great cover letter is underrated
Cover letters are really getting slept on, Dias-McGown says. In fact, polls show that even in situations where the cover letter is optional, most hiring managers expect one, and a majority will move your resume up a notch if you submit one. Most recruiters even said a cover letter could land an interview even if the resume isn’t good enough.
“Your cover letter is where you could really hook a recruiter. I think personalizing cover letters for each job or internship or co-op is key. Do not just do the copy and paste from the last one. Highlight your skills and and how they can best apply what’s needed; do not repeat anything on your resume, but show them why they need you.”
What you can expect from working at IGNITE
“No day is the same, and that’s something I love. It is such a social and fun place to work and I think we as full-time staff really get to access our inner child when we are here,” Dias-McGown says.
“IGNITE also does a great job at looking at your future life and working toward it, whether that’s offering co-ops or just preparing you all for what’s to come. We really want our students to succeed. And that doesn’t necessarily have to mean at IGNITE. We want you to succeed no matter what. And I think that’s how we look at the students as well.”
As someone who has been at IGNITE since I began my education at Humber College, I can easily say that working here has had an incredible impact on my student life. In fact, having done stints as a CSR, sleep lounge attendant and content writer, I can attest that there’s immense space for growth and self-discovery here. Do you want to give it a shot? Check out the many roles IGNITE is hiring for Fall 2024 on the job portal.
Curious about what the CSR team does? Check out this article on all the things IGNITE’s CSRs can help you with!