Speakers & Schedule

2019 Schedule: 

9:00-9:30 AM Registration & Breakfast | Unilever Lounge
9:30-9:50 AM Opening Remarks | Unilever Lounge
10:00-11:30 AM What Does the Future Hold For Me?: Emerging Industries | Panel & Networking (Unilever Lounge)
11:45 AM-1:00 PM Future Proof Your Career in the Age of Disruption | Liza Macdonald, Keynote Speaker (Unilever Lounge) & Lunch
1:15-2:15 PM Stay in Nova Scotia | Leanne Bartlett, Nova Scotia Department of Immigration (L174)
1:15-2:15 PM How AI is Impacting the Future of Work | Oliver Kirsebom, Dalhousie University (L283)
2:30-3:30 PM The Changing World of Work | Matt Thomson, P4G Recruiting (L283)
2:30-3:30 PM Dis-abilities Rock: How to Make your Disability Work for You & African Nova Scotian Job Search | Kim Penny (Saint Mary's University), Ashley Burke (Career & Experiential Learning) & Andre Anderson (Saint Mary's University) (L174)
3:45-4:45 PM Graduate to Opportunity | Margaret Schwartz (Department of Labour & Advanced Education) & Ashley Burke (Career & Experiential Learning) (L174)
3:45-4:45 PM Confidence and Competence: What Employers Are Looking For In New Hires | Carmen Burke, Career & Experiential Learning (L283)
4:45-5:00 PM Closing Remarks  

2019 Speakers & Sessions:

Liza Macdonald, Keynote Speaker | Regional Vice President, Financial Planning, Atlantic at RBC

Future Proof Your Career in the Age of Disruption: In the coming decade, half of all jobs will be disrupted by technology and automation. Some will change dramatically. Others will disappear completely, replaced by jobs that are yet to be invented. We are living through an era of radical change, with the latest advancements in artificial intelligence and automation transforming the way we work, even in unexpected fields such as law and customer service. Join Liza and learn how to prepare for the workplace of the future!

Liza is currently the Regional Vice President, Financial Planning, Atlantic at RBC. She is recognized as an enterprise leader who has spent her 20+ year career at RBC delivering results that count.  She is a masterful coach skilled in leading people through change, motivating teams to achieve superior results and fostering strong relationships through authenticity and trust. She understands the marketplace through her work in bringing life RBC’s vision, values and strategy through strategic collaboration and partnership. Currently, she oversees the stewardship of the Financial Planning business, ensuring that RBC delivers the highest standards of financial planning and advice to clients.


What Does the Future Hold For Me?: Emerging Industries: Cannabis. Renewable energy. 3D printing. Blockchain. Digital Nomads. Join us for a series of roundtables with professionals working in these exciting and emerging industries! Each of our 5 guests will talk about their successes and challenges and will provide information and tricks of the trade on entering these fields. This event is open to students who are interested in exploring their career options and having an informal chat with successful people in trending fields.

Mrugakshee Palwe, BSc. Computer Science (Acadia) | Co-Founder of Atlantic Blockchain Company

Mrugakshee combines her years of teaching, facilitation, and coordination with a formal technical degree in Computer Science allowing her to lead the Atlantic Blockchain Company into exciting new projects that have real-world, tangible benefits.

Kendal Burtch, MRT(R) (Algonquin College) | Clinical Analyst, Telus Health

Kendal Burtch is a Clinical Analyst working remotely with Telus Health in Ottawa. She is trained as a Medical Radiation Technologist and has been working in the hospital setting for over two years. Through her experience in healthcare, she discovered her passion for improving health outcomes for Canadians. At Telus Health, she teaches doctors and other healthcare professionals the functionality of their own electronic medical records which contain all of their patient data. She provides solutions to clinic workflow issues which allow doctors to spend less time on administrative tasks and more time with their patients.

Akram Al-otumi, MTEI (Saint Mary’s), MA (Royal Roads), B.Comm (Dal) | Lecturer in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Dalhousie University 

Akram Al-Otumi is a serial entrepreneur and a passionate supporter of Nova Scotia’s innovation ecosystem. He is a lecturer in innovation and entrepreneurship at Dalhousie University and the Manager of Shiftkey Labs, an innovation Sandbox within Dalhousie’s Faculty of Computer Science. Previously, he worked as a faculty member in entrepreneurship and marketing at NSCC. Akram has founded multiple businesses including Spritely, a platform to support tourists and newcomers in their transition to Canada, and 3D Next, a 3D printing technology firm and Alotumi Consulting

Corey Mattie, Environmental Science Certif. (Ryerson), Energy Systems Management (UofT), B.Comm (Saint Mary`s) | Program Development & Partnerships, Clean Foundation

Corey Mattie is Mi’kmaw from K'jpuktuk and a member of the Aboriginal Professional Association of Canada. He has a Bachelor of Commerce from SMU, Energy Systems Management from the University of Toronto, a Certificate from the Foundation for Environmental Stewardship, Climate Reality Fellow, and he has LEED Green Associate Accreditation. In addition to being an elected board of directors for Scotian Wind, A renewable energy company. Corey is Program Development and Partnerships at the Clean Foundation in Dartmouth, NS. He also supports various NGO’s including United Nations Association in Canada (UNAC), Toronto Renewable Energy Co-op (TREC) Education and Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA).

Priyanka Mehra, MSc. Food Science and Chemical Engineering (Dalhousie University) | Director, Quality & Compliance

Priyanka comes to Aqualitas with more than a decade of experience in food science and technology research focusing on food chemistry, fermentation technology, brewing science, new product development, food processing and food quality. She has prior compliance experience in the cannabis industry as a Quality Assurance Manager under the former Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulation. She has experience in quality control in cannabis, food processing, and agricultural environments. She also has a pharmaceutical audit and GMP experience with lean training and organizational controls. She has extensive experience with hygienic system design for overall operating conditions and proficiency for product planning, processing and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). Priyanka is developing, implementing and managing procedures and protocols at Aqualitas to ensure our practices and products are of the highest quality. She is also leading the team on our EU GMP certification. Priyanka has an undergraduate degree from A.D. Patel Institute of Technology and Masters degrees from Jiwaji and Dalhousie universities.


Leanne Barlett | Stakeholder Liaison Officer Nova Scotia Office of Immigration

Stay In Nova Scotia: Are you an international student who wants to stay in Nova Scotia after graduation? Learn more about the pathways to permanent residency.

Leanne has worked with the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration (NSOI) for 12 years.  In her current role as Stakeholder Liaison Officer, she works closely with diverse stakeholders to enhance their understanding of immigration and the use of immigration programs.  Prior to this position, Leanne was a Nominee Officer with NSOI, assessing applications to provincial immigration programs and nominating people for permanent residency.  Before joining NSOI in 2007, she worked with the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters in Nova Scotia.  She is passionate about immigration and has established strategic partnerships in private, public and academic sectors to increase immigration to the province. Leanne holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Co-op) degree from Memorial University of Newfoundland. She lives in Eastern Passage with her husband and two sons.


Oliver Kirsebom | Lead Acoustic Data Analyst at MERIDIAN and Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Computer Science, Dalhousie University

The Rise of Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Work: Explore what artificial intelligence (AI) is, and how its optimization can impact the future of work.  Drawing on examples from research as well as real-world applications, Oliver will explore these central questions about AI and discuss where he envisions AI heading in the coming years.

Oliver holds a Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics from Aarhus University, Denmark and was previously an assistant professor at Aarhus University between 2013 and 2018). He has also been a frequent visitor at large international accelerator laboratories such as CERN in Switzerland and led a number of successful experimental collaborations, which advanced the understanding of the nuclear processes that generate energy and transmutes chemical elements in the deep interiors of stars. Eager to apply his knowledge and analytical skills in a more applied setting, he accepted a new position in June 2018 at the Institute for Big Data Analytics at Dalhousie University where he now works with underwater acoustics data analysis and modelling as part of the MERIDIAN project. 


Matt Thomson | Co-Founder Placemaking 4G

The Changing World of Work: 21st-century innovation and evolution have affected nearly everything in our modern society - and the world of work is not immune. Freedom 55 and One Career / One Employer are things of the past. The 21st-century contributor must be innovative and continuously learning in order to remain current and productive. During this time together, we will explore how employees and employers are attempting to remain relevant - how flexibility benefits everyone - how priorities are shifting - and how you can set yourself up for success."

Matt Thomson is Co-Founder of Placemaking 4G (founded with Bradley Daye and Lauren Sears). Dubbed as "The New Generation of Recruiting", P4G serves as recruiters in residence at Saint Mary's University and Sobey School of Business. P4G is disrupting the recruiting landscape and works with employers to prioritize values-alignment, internal vision and corporate culture in their efforts to attract a new generation of the contributor. Matt is originally from Montreal, Quebec and lives outside Halifax with his wife Megan and 3 kids, Miles, Jacob and Dorothy.


Kim Penny & Andre Anderson | Accessibility Resource Facilitator, Fred Smithers Centre & Student, Saint Maryès University 

Dis-abilities Rock: How to make your Disability work for you: Do you or someone you know have a disability?  Are you confused about what kinds of disabilities there are? Are you wondering about how to disclose a disability or ask for an accommodation?  This is the place for you.  This presentation will not only look at the types of disabilities, disclosure and accommodation, but it will also help in confidence-building when it comes to both your work and life.  The future of our labour market means inclusivity, and this presentation will help you understand the what, how and why of the labour market and disabilities.

The African Nova Scotian Job Search Experience: Connect with Andre and gain insight to ensure a successful job search. Explore the African Nova Scotian experience in the workplace, including barriers faced. In addition, gain insider information about how to speed up the process to your new job through various approaches such as increased networking and visibility.

Kim has been working with students with disabilities for over thirteen years. She is currently employed with the Fred Smithers Centre of Support for Students with Disabilities at Saint Mary's University where she provides supports and services to students who have identified with a disability. Her background and experience in Adult Education help her understand the needs of learners in post-secondary and allows her to work with each individual student to put supports in place. Kim loves to see student success. Working with the Student Employment Initiative, a collaboration between Career and Experiential Learning and the Fred Smithers Centre, she gets the opportunity to watch students transition from academics to employment. In her spare time, she enjoys the outdoors, travelling and spending time with friends, family and her dog Shaylee.

Andre is the founder of FortyFour Consulting, a social enterprise based on economic empowerment and inclusive growth. He is a speaker, mentor, and educator in his community. With roots from the Preston and Hammonds Plains community, he is an advocate of equity for all black Nova Scotians. Andre aims to bridge the gaps between potential and opportunity within Nova Scotian communities economically, educationally, and continuously


Carmen Burke | Career & Employment Coach, Career & Experiential Learning

Confidence and Competence – What Employers Are Looking For In New Hires: Be hired faster than the competition by getting the inside scoop as to what employers look for when hiring new grads and recent alumni.  Identify those winning attributes in yourself, and learn how to articulate them on your resume, LinkedIn profile, at a networking event and in an interview.

Carmen currently has a dual role of working directly with students in supporting them to reach their career goals and focusing on Employer Engagement. Carmen has 10+ years of experience in supporting students and 3 years of employer engagement experience through her current role at Career Services and prior work with Co-op Education and the former Student Employment Centre at Saint Mary's. Prior to Saint Mary’s, Carmen has worked for financial organizations in banking and taxation, as well as business development initiatives in the not-for-profit sector. Carmen holds a Bachelor of Business Administration, Management from Mount Saint Vincent University.


Margaret Schwartz & Ashley Burke | Youth Outreach Coordinator, Department of Labour and Advanced Education & Job Developer, Career & Experiential Learning SMU

Grad 2 Opportunity: Not sure about the next steps after graduation? Learn more about available government programs that can kick-start your career-search! In this session, you will be introduced to NS Government’s Graduate to Opportunity program, which is designed to help soon-to-be post-secondary graduates attach to meaningful employment in their fields of interest, in Nova Scotia.

Margaret Schwartz, Youth Outreach Coordinator, Department of Labour and Advanced Education. An MSVU Public Relations graduate, now civil servant, Margaret promotes employment programs built to retain young people in Nova Scotia, who in turn, contribute to a stronger economy. In addition, a volunteer of the Halifax Partnership’s Connector Program and mentor in the EduNova Study & Stay program, Margaret dedicates time to the professional development of young talent.

Ashley has over 5 years' experience working in the career field, with most of her experience being in career centers and self-employment. She has gained an incredible insight into the diversity of both industries and its candidates. From these experiences, she has found adoration for people's skills and competencies. She is a glass half full kind of person and defines herself as a problem solver with an entrepreneurial spirit. She has also had the opportunity to work in Indigenous communities as an instructor with the Unama’ki College of Cape Breton University. She holds, a Bachelor of Community Studies from Cape Breton University and a Masters in Environmental Studies from York University. Currently, she is helping students with disabilities find meaningful employment opportunities, in collaboration with Career and Experiential Learning and the Fred Smithers Center of Support For Students With Disabilities.