"Leadership is not about the next election, it's about the next generation" -Simon Sinek.
We all know this to be true: it is the next generation that will drive technology, demand innovation, and find solutions. At CANA, we see it as our responsibility to help pass the torch from one generation to the next through mentorship, training, and professional support.
Our CANA Futures Program is the culmination of several years of effort and tinkering, finding the right mix of community outreach, deciding what knowledge to impart, and making it all come together. CANA’s goal is to continue its deep support of veterans hiring programs while also embracing universities’ student up-and-comers. We very specifically want to encourage diversity in this program, seeking out opportunities to work with people from different walks of life, different experiences, and different talents.
This past year found us kicking off an official program in the midst of some trying months. Many outside agency programs came to a standstill as they tried to navigate restrictions. We found our years of virtual work came in handy, as we had something to offer that didn’t need much adaptation to the times. It also gave us the opportunity to dive deep into special aspects of our program with fewer outside competing interests.
Our Veterans Program is the most established element of the CANA Futures Program. We have engaged with the Hiring Our Heroes and SkillBridge Programs for a number of years, actively seeking to bring in transitioning veterans and/or their spouses into CANA as Fellows for up to 12 weeks at a time. These programs provide CANA with a limitless and diverse pool of talent. Applicants are eager, versatile, and more than capable of juggling their military transitions with civilian career exploration.
Engagement with college students and graduates has matured this year into a cohesive, fully articulated Corporate Internship Program. We are actively recruiting for college students, freshman through senior, as well as young adults exploring the professional community. Part of this effort includes participating in outreach efforts such as resume reviews, virtual lectures, and Q&A sessions with college Career Services. CANA has also created both paid and unpaid internships of varying lengths, to include collaboration with universities for internship credits.
We are thrilled that of our most recent interns, one is graduating in May 2021 with a degree in Sports Management from Loyola University, and the other is starting a George Mason University practicum to earn credits with us over the summer. In their time with CANA, these two individuals will be able to see the culmination of a remarkable project they were involved in from every aspect of development, research, execution, and analysis.
Our CANA interns helped to plan, market, and run the first-ever CANA eSports Tournament in April 2021. Independent, virtual teams signed up to compete in a live, multi-round, elimination tournament of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege. On top of their many other responsibilities, the interns performed as tournament hosts, sharing the game action with competitors and spectators. Afterwards, they are assisting CANA in its deep analysis of the collected data, building insights into esports analytics. We are excited to see how projects like this increase the interns’ professional scope.
We think the CANA Futures Program is a great opportunity - for us as a company as well as for the young men and women who join us. To them, technologies and processes have always evolved and advanced at an exceptional rate; it is their normal, even if it feels new to many of us. There is an inherent belief that innovation is a given. This is a mindset we intend to embrace - there is always a better way to do things, and we can do it.
If you’d like to learn more about the CANA Futures Program, please reach out to Cherish Joostberns, CANA Resource Lead, at email@example.com.