How do you recruit entrepreneurs? Think like one yourself!

Amanda WatkinsAs the Marketing and Recruitment Manager at the Conrad Centre I’m always looking for ways to meet budding entrepreneurs to tell them about the amazing opportunities for them at the University of Waterloo.

When I started in this role in 2012 I was overwhelmed by the vast entrepreneurship ecosystem both in Waterloo and across the country. I quickly began researching events, clubs, programs, and conferences, talking to the people in these spaces for their advice, and sorting out the best places to meet and engage with would-be entrepreneurs.

                                                         Register for one of my upcoming webinars.

The results have been overwhelmingly positive, but it also feels frustrating knowing how many smart and driven individuals are out there trying to make it on their own in the entrepreneurship space. I only wish I could reach each and every one of them to tell them about Conrad and how they can build and grow their startups and ideas at the Centre.

Thinking like an entrepreneur

It didn't take long before the entrepreneurial spirit at the Conrad Centre moved me to think of new ways to talk to prospective students. I began thinking outside of the traditional recruiting efforts to ways that we could reach budding entrepreneurs in a space that made sense to them: on their computers!

In December 2013 I launched our webinar series for people interested in the Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) and have been amazed at the results. Not only has the number of participants been encouraging, but the engagement with participants on the webinars, and the relationships established through this medium has been amazing. I get to meet our prospective MBETs from all over the world, in a personal setting, to tell them in my own words, from my office, right at the Conrad Centre, how we can help them launch their careers in a supportive environment and how we can set them up to be the best entrepreneur they can be. Best of all, I get to learn about the participants' ideas, fears, concerns, and excitement for this next big step in their lives.

  Webinar interface, "MBET is different. Are you?" on slide deck, Amanda Watkins on webcam.

A shot of my screen as I deliver an MBET webinar.

Give and take: what I learn at the webinars

I get so much back from the individuals I speak to about the Conrad Centre and the MBET program. They are courageous and driven and bursting with enthusiasm to pursue their ideas. They have given me so much these past seven months, letting me in on their dreams and aspirations, and have also literally given me so much content for an extensive FAQ about the MBET program and the Conrad Centre. At each webinar we spend 30 minutes on Q&A; I then take these questions and follow up with the group in a document where my answers are recorded. The result – every question you've ever had about the MBET has been answered, I swear! (View the MBET Webinar Q&A .pdf)

I truly look forward each month to my webinar and all the amazing future MBETs that I meet. I'm also taking a cue from these individuals, and the students I'm proud to share my days with at Conrad, thinking of ways that I can be more entrepreneurial, innovative, and creative about how I share the news of our programming that is all those things! Who knows how we will meet our next class of students, but rest assured I’m thinking outside the box so that I can meet individuals who do the same.

Webinars will be available indefinitely for our future students and I sincerely hope to see you at one of our sessions soon. If you can envision for yourself a life where you are building and growing your own venture, the Conrad Centre can support you. Let me tell you how…

Register for an upcoming webinar!

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