News

Equals6 launches Top Talent Scholarship Crowdfunding for student members

Equals6 members can now create and promote their own scholarship campaigns via Equals6, the online community where students compete for scholarships, make valuable connections and discover exciting career possibilities.

Halifax, NS, Canada, July 22, 2013 - Recognizing that many students today face serious financial roadblocks to education, Equals6 today launched a new crowdfunding service to help its members pay for school. Students can now create online scholarship campaigns at equals6.com that include contribution levels as low as $10 and rewards for campaign backers. Students can easily promote their campaigns through Equals6 and social networks.

Equals6 has awarded more than $40,000 in scholarships to students across North America since 2010 and will be contributing a $50 bonus to successfully funded campaigns. The company will send net proceeds from the campaign directly to the student’s school thereby ensuring that contributions are used for academic costs.

"Our new scholarship crowdfunding service fits perfectly with our mission to help students succeed," said Andy Osburn, CEO of Equals6. "With student debt and loan defaults hitting record levels, it’s clear that the student loan model is broken. Students are looking for creative ways to pay for school and we are excited about the potential for our Top Talent Scholarship Crowdfunding to fill that void. It takes a lot for today’s student to make it and Equals6 is there every step of the way, from scholarships through to networking and getting hired."

According to Equals6 member Evan Phinney, Top Talent Scholarship Crowdfunding is just one of the benefits of the website. "As a part of the Equals6 online community I have already seen the academic, networking and career benefits of membership. I’m excited about this new crowdfunding service and look forward to launching my own scholarship," said Phinney, a student at Acadia University.

About Equals6:
Equals6 is the online community where students compete for exclusive scholarships, make valuable connections and discover exciting career possibilities.Equals6 also serves as a social meeting place where students form groups, share ideas and hold lively discussions. As a social recruiting platform for student talent, Equals6 partners with select employers to provide its student members with career opportunities. The company has offices in Halifax, Canada and Boston.


Equals6, the professional social network for students, launches scholarship crowdfunding

Company adds innovative fundraising approach to its Top Talent Scholarship Program. Equals6 has awarded more than $40,000 in scholarships to date.

Halifax, NS, Canada - Equals6, the professional social network for students, today announced the launch of its Top Talent scholarship crowdfunding platform, where supporters can help students get much-needed financial support by contributing to a pooled scholarship in the state or province of their choice. Supporters can even name a scholarship and target it toward a specific school and program, and will be given recognition on Equals6.com. Equals6 will contribute $50 to successfully funded scholarships, manage the application and selection process and ensure that the funds are sent directly to the winner’s school.

According to Andy Osburn, CEO of Equals6, the company sees a strong need for crowdfunded scholarships. "We are excited to launch this new service which fits perfectly with our mandate to help students get the resources that they need to succeed. With US student debt topping $1 Trillion, it’s time to look for innovative funding solutions. We are thankful for the strong support for our Top Talent scholarships from private donors and corporate partners and look forward to awarding more scholarships to deserving students. In the coming weeks we will be adding new crowdfunding features so that even more students can get much-needed financial support." said Osburn.

For Top Talent Scholarship winner Carrie Lai, Equals6 is about more than just scholarships. "Participating in the Equals6 community is rewarding whether one wins a scholarship or not. I enjoy connecting with members, sharing ideas and attending interesting online events. And of course I feel fantastic about this scholarship that will help me with my tuition fees," said Lai, a commerce student at the University of British Columbia.

Since 2010, Equals6 has awarded more than 140 scholarships worth in excess of $40,000 and managed scholarships on behalf of many organizations. The company also provides opportunities for student members to connect with each other and with top employers.

About Equals6

Equals6 (www.equals6.com) is the professional social network where students make valuable connections, compete for exclusive scholarships and discover exciting career possibilities. The Equals6 community also serves as a social meeting place where students share ideas and hold lively discussions across a wide range of interesting subjects. Equals6 partners with select employers and schools to provide its student members with career and academic opportunities.

Media Contact:
Jeremy Bernard
jeremyb@equals6.com
1-877-647-3356

Equals6, the professional social network for students, joins Boston technology hub

Equals6 CEO Andy Osburn takes residence at the Cambridge Innovation Centre as part of the Canadian Technology Accelerator program. Company focused on US growth.

Halifax, NS, Canada - Based on the strong growth potential for the company’s social networking platform for students, Equals6 was recently selected to participate in the Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA) program in Boston. This program is an initiative of the Canadian Government that connects high-potential small and mid-sized Canadian technology companies with access to valuable business connections and expertise. Participating companies also benefit from strategically located office space at the Cambridge Innovation Centre, overlooking the campus of MIT.

According to Andy Osburn, CEO of Equals6, the program will help the company accelerate its growth during a key time. "We see tremendous potential for Equals6 in the US and the CTA program will help us capitalize on this opportunity. The timing is ideal as we are preparing to launch several new services for our rapidly growing student membership. We are grateful to the Canadian Government for selecting Equals6 and look forward to connecting with new customers, partners and investors through this exciting program," said Osburn.

"The Government of Canada is taking every opportunity to provide the right tools and business connections to help our leading Canadian entrepreneurs succeed abroad," said the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway. "The Canadian Technology Accelerator program has already proven to be an effective way forward for ambitious, innovative Canadian start-ups to tap into new, dynamic markets in the United States. Congratulations to Equals6 on being chosen as one of the first start-ups to participate in the Boston accelerator program, which gives the company unique access to investors, innovators and the research community hubs in New England."

Osburn will spend the next three months in residence at the Cambridge Innovation Centre in Kendall Square, which features one of the highest concentrations of technology and life sciences companies in the world as well as leading venture capital firms. This part of the greater Boston area is widely recognized as a technology epicenter. "The Consulate General in Boston is delighted that Equals6 will be participating in Canada's Technology Accelerator (CTA) program in Cambridge, MA. Equals6 has demonstrated the innovation and dynamism necessary to be extremely successful globally and the company's participation in the CTA will no doubt provide the opportunity to grow business and collaborate in a global technology hub," said Canadian Consul General to New England, Pat Binns.

About Equals6

Equals6 (www.equals6.com) is the professional social network where students make valuable connections, compete for exclusive scholarships and discover exciting career possibilities. The Equals6 community also serves as a social meeting place where students share ideas and hold lively discussions across a wide range of interesting subjects. Equals6 partners with select employers and schools to provide its student members with career and academic opportunities.

Media Contact:
Jeremy Bernard
jeremyb@equals6.com
1-877-647-3356

Equals6 and YouTern Team Up to Help Young Career Seekers

Companies announce partnership to help students and young careerists obtain the skills and connections needed to succeed in today’s difficult job market

Halifax, NS, Canada and Carson City, NV, USA – December 4, 2012 - Equals6, the professional social network for students, and YouTern, the online community that connects young talent with internships, mentors and career advice, today announced a partnership designed to help top, young job seekers find meaningful employment.

The Equals6 and YouTern communities will benefit from this partnership in several ways. With mutual strengths in student recruiting and internships, the companies will deliver expert career advice, joint online learning sessions and shared employment opportunities. Furthermore, the members of both networks will be able to connect with each other and with potential employers.

"At Equals6, we are constantly looking for ways to help our student members get the resources, advice and connections they need to crack the job market,” said Andy Osburn, CEO of Equals6. “By partnering with YouTern, our members will gain exposure to a remarkable source of internship and early career opportunities."

According to Mark Babbitt, CEO of YouTern, this partnership is a natural fit. “Both companies focus on helping motivated young professionals get off to the right start in a difficult job market. We look forward to collaborating with Equals6 to deliver the best advice and career opportunities to our community,” said Babbitt.

About Equals6

Equals6 (www.equals6.com) is the professional social network where students make valuable connections, compete for exclusive scholarships and discover exciting career possibilities. The Equals6 community also serves as a social meeting place where students share ideas and hold lively discussions across a wide range of interesting subjects. Equals6 partners with select employers and schools to provide its student members with career and academic opportunities.

About YouTern

YouTern (www.youtern.com) is a community that enables young talent to become highly employable by connecting them to high-impact internships, influential mentors and contemporary career advice. YouTern has been named a "Top Online Community for Launching Your Career" by Mashable and a "Top Career Site" by Forbes; their blog, The Savvy Intern, has been included in many "Top Blogger" lists and is featured on Huffington Post, Alltop, and Innovation Daily.

For More Information:

Andy Osburn
CEO, Equals6
andy@equals6.com
1-877-647-3356

Mark Babbitt
CEO, YouTern
mark@youtern.com
1-775-230-6194


Social Network Equals6 Announces 40 "Top Talent" Scholarship Winners

Halifax, NS, Canada, July 18, 2012-- Equals6, the academic and career social network for students, today announced the awarding of 40 Top Talent scholarships to students from across Canada. In addition to the scholarships provided by Equals6, employers seeking to recruit Equals6 student members also offered scholarships.

"We have so many remarkable members that make Equals6 an exciting place for students to connect with peers, employers and schools,” said Andy Osburn, CEO of Equals6. “The Top Talent scholarship winners not only excel in the classroom, but also make strong contributions to the Equals6 online community."

Industry partners SimplyCast, Canadian HR Press, WBLI Chartered Accountants and TeleTech also awarded scholarships to Equals6 members. These partners and many other employers look to Equals6 as an innovative and efficient way to find and hire top students.

Equals6 also announced that 40 new scholarships are now posted on  Equals6.com. Equals6 Top Talent scholarships are available to high school and university/college students and are awarded based on academic achievement and Equals6 online community participation. Since 2011, Equals6 and its partners have awarded 100 scholarships valued at almost $30,000.

About Equals6

Equals6.com is a social network that helps students achieve their career and academic goals by connecting with employers, schools and scholarship opportunities. Employers and schools partner with Equals6 to identify and recruit top students.

Andy Osburn
Equals6
1-877-647-3356
E-mail: andyo@equals6.com


Social Network Equals6 Announces Software Development Competition Winners

Equals6 connects top students with leading companies

Halifax, NS, Canada, July 18, 2012 -- Equals6, the professional social network for students, today announced the winners of the company's Tech Idol software development contest. With participation from industry partners, Tech Idol provided students with the opportunity to tackle real-world software challenges, with cash prizes provided by sponsoring companies. Each sponsor chose a winner based on the best solution to that company's challenge.

"Our student members responded to Tech Idol with enthusiasm, providing creative and high-quality software solutions," said Andy Osburn, CEO of Equals6. "We appreciate the support of our industry partners in helping us connect students with great companies."

"J.D. Irving, Limited was a proud sponsor of the Tech Idol Program and congratulates all participants in this innovative technology event!" said Mary Beth Tingley, Director, Human Resources, J.D. Irving, Limited.

The winners are as follows:

  • Sponsoring Company: J.D. Irving – www.jdirving.com
    Winners: Mehrdad Pazooki, New Brunswick Community College; Jeremy Miller, Memorial University
  • Sponsoring Company: CGI – www.cgi.com
    Winner: Hari Gudigundla, Dalhousie University
  • Sponsoring Company: NTT Data – www.nttdata.com
    Winner: Evan Lowry, Saint Mary's University
  • Sponsoring Company: T4G – www.t4g.com
    Winner: Kassym Dorsel, University of Waterloo
  • Sponsoring Company: Equals6 – www.equals6.com
    Winner: Andrew Redden, Nova Scotia Community College
  • Sponsoring Company: Lixar IT – www.lixar.com
    Winner: Evan Lowry, Saint Mary's University

Tech Idol is part of Equals6' efforts to support top students and help them connect with employers and other students. The company also offers Top Talent scholarships, with more than $25,000 awarded through the program.

About Equals6

Equals6.com is a social network that helps students achieve their career and academic goals by connecting with employers, schools and scholarship opportunities. Employers and schools partner with Equals6 to identify and recruit top students.

Andy Osburn
Equals6
1-877-647-3356
E-mail: andyo@equals6.com


Equals6 Secures $250,000 in Venture Capital Investment

Halifax, NS, Canada, May 8, 2012 -- A Halifax company that has built a career development social networking platform for students is enhancing its product and developing new markets with an investment from the province.

Equals6 has secured $250,000 in venture capital financing from Innovacorp.

The company has launched an online career development community that connects students with employers. The site allows students to build a professional network, then helps them use it to enter the workforce and develop a career path.

"Innovative start-ups like Equals6 are vital to our economy," said Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Percy Paris. "This company provides a unique way for local employers to target students at our colleges and universities, engage them, hire them, and keep them working here, a priority of jobsHere, the plan to grow our economy."

Equals6 lets university, college, and high school students, as well as recent grads connect with employers, academic institutions and other students. Students build an online portfolio to showcase their goals, accomplishments and talents, and then network online with employers. Employers get to identify and recruit bright and motivated grads.

"Equals6 has developed a compelling offering that leverages the power of social networking with the very real challenge companies face in finding and engaging the best and brightest graduates looking to start a meaningful career," said Greg Phipps, Innovacorp's director of investment. "The platform bridges a gap between the purely social engagement offered by Facebook, and the more experienced, professional communities leveraged by LinkedIn."

More than 13,000 students from across North America have joined the Equals6 network, and the company has already secured 125 employers, including Atlantic Central Credit Unions, Nova Scotia Power, Bell Aliant and SimplyCast, as local examples. Universities and colleges looking to attract students to their programs are also using the site.

The site is free to students. Equals6 and corporate partners are offering scholarships to identify, engage and support top student talent. The company is also building an extensive online library of articles and videos that student members can access to learn about career development, academic topics and more. Students can also publish and share work with other Equals6 members.

Andy Osburn and Mark Boyle founded Equals6 last year with fellow technology entrepreneur Michael Sanderson. The team expects to add four employees in the next six months and target new markets in the U.S.

"Equals6 lets us engage students before they graduate, get to know them, and promote the benefits of working with Lixar. By the time we make the hiring decision, we know it's a great fit," said Emmanuel Florakas, president of Lixar IT, a technology company that develops web and mobile applications, integration and specialized design solutions, with offices in Halifax and Ottawa.

Andy Osburn
Equals6
1-877-647-3356
E-mail: andyo@equals6.com


Student Social Network Equals6 Announces Marketing Idol Competition Winner

Equals6 continues to support top students through academic competitions and scholarships

Halifax, NS, Canada, May 3, 2012 -- Equals6, the professional social network for students, today announced that Hartley Rogers, a Commerce student at the University of Winnipeg, has won the Equals6 Marketing Idol competition top prize. Marketing Idol is a business case competition where Equals6 student members tackle real-world business challenges. The company awarded more than $4000 in prizes to the top respondents.

"We were impressed with the quality of the student submissions," said Andy Osburn, CEO of Equals6. "Our members showed great enthusiasm and creativity during the competition. The top prize winner, Hartley Rogers, impressed the judges and Equals6 management to such a degree that we hired her as an Equals6 Campus Ambassador at the University of Winnipeg."

According to Rogers, the competition was about more than prize money. "I enjoyed the learning experience of taking on a business challenge and coming up with a creative solution. I am also thrilled to be working with Equals6 as a Campus Ambassador," said Rogers.

Marketing Idol and other competitions and contests are part of a broader Equals6 effort to support student engagement on the social network and to reward top students. The company also offers Top Talent scholarships, with more than $25,000 awarded through the program.

About Equals6

Equals6.com is a social network that helps students achieve their career and academic goals by connecting with employers, schools and scholarship opportunities. Employers and schools partner with Equals6 to identify and recruit top-talent students.


EQUALS6 SURPASSES 10,000 MEMBERS MILESTONE, STRONG GROWTH CONTINUES

Membership at Equals6.com, the professional social network for students, up 75% so far in 2012.

Halifax, NS, Canada, March 1, 2012 -- Equals6, the professional social network for students, has seen its membership grow dramatically, recently surpassing the 10,000 student-members milestone. The company focuses on helping students achieve their academic and career goals by connecting them with employers and peers, job opportunities and exclusive scholarships.

"We are pleased to see the growth in our Equals6 community," said Andy Osburn, CEO of Equals6. "Not only are more students joining equals6.com, but they are also becoming involved in the online community, as students connect with each other and with employers and schools. Our members are participating in competitions, winning scholarships and contributing to a wide range of discussion topics and groups."

According to Osburn, the company has devoted its early efforts primarily to the Canadian market, but is already seeing students join from across the US and overseas.

Recognizing that students everywhere are facing a challenging job market, Equals6 has focused on helping students bridge the academic and professional worlds. For example, Tech Idol, a software development competition taking place through equals6.com, allows employers to post software challenges with cash prizes and potentially job opportunities awaiting the student winners. Equals6 also offers exclusive scholarships to help students pay for post-secondary studies, with more than 30 currently available to be won.

"Based on our rapid growth, our efforts are clearly resonating with students," said Osburn. "We will continue to enhance Equals6 based on feedback from students, schools and employers. Our members can look forward to more competitions, employment opportunities and scholarships, along with continuous site enhancements, including mobile access and deeper social media integration. For employers and schools, we will continue to refine our recruiting tools to allow them to easily find and connect with top student talent."

About Equals6

Equals6.com is a social network that helps students achieve their career and academic goals by connecting with employers, schools and scholarship opportunities. Employers and schools partner with Equals6 to identify and recruit top-talent students.


EQUALS6 ANNOUNCES 20 "TOP TALENT" SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS

More than 30 new scholarships available at equals6.com

Halifax, NS, Canada January 20, 2012 - Equals6, the academic and career social network for students, today announced the awarding of 20 "Top Talent" scholarships to students from across North America. In addition to the Equals6 Top Talent winners, industry partners SimplyCast and Ambir also contributed scholarships.

"We are excited to reward the academic achievement and equals6.com network contributions of these top students," said Andy Osburn, CEO of Equals6. "They help make equals6.com an exciting place for students to connect with peers, schools and employers. We are also pleased to recognize the generous support of SimplyCast and Ambir."

Equals6 also announced that more than 30 new scholarships are now posted on equals6.com. Equals6 Top Talent scholarships are available to high school and university/college students and are awarded based on academic achievement and Equals6.com online community participation. The scholarship award winners are chosen by the Equals6 Advisory Board and industry partners that contribute scholarships.

About Equals6

Equals6.com is a social network that helps students achieve their career and academic goals by connecting with employers, schools and scholarship opportunities. Employers and schools partner with Equals6 to identify top-talent students.

For more information:
Jeremy Bernard
info@equals6.com
1-877-647-3356


Students win big in Equals6.com Top-Talent Scholarship program

Halifax, NS - July 11, 2011 - Equals6.com, the Halifax-based student professional social network, announced today the winners in its Top-Talent Scholarship program.

Top-Talent Scholarships are distributed to high school and university/college students and are awarded based on academic achievement and Equals6.com community participation. "Equals6 is dedicated to supporting students in their academic and career pursuits," said Andy Osburn, President and CEO of Equals6.com. "I want to congratulate all the scholarship winners and wish them the best of luck in their studies."

Students receiving scholarships are:

  • Jane Gomes - Acadia University
  • Shaker Jamal - University of Toronto
  • Ashish Ranjan - Dalhousie University
  • Alyssia Blenkin - University of Alberta
  • Sara Rahimi - Dalhousie University (Simplycast.com Mr. Bill Ritchie Scholarship)
  • Alicia Kuzio - Grant MacEwan College
  • Jonathan Gabriel - Nova Scotia Community College
  • Adam Harding - Nova Scotia Community College
  • Mariam Wilson - Nova Scotia Community College
  • Madison Lehti - University of Calgary
  • Jesse Cresswell - University of British Columbia
  • Paloma D'Silva - University of Western Ontario
  • Jordan Daniels - Central Kings Rural High School
  • Meng Zhao - Western Canada High School
  • Sheena Gillis - Sacred Heart School of Halifax
  • Maura Woodman - Sacred Heart School of Halifax
  • Robyn Latimer - Dr. John Hugh Gillis Regional High School
  • Amitoz Saini - Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts
  • Jessica Lohnes - Prince Andrew High School
  • Celeste Tremblay - Prince Andrew High School
  • Rachel Lowe - Annapolis West Education Centre
  • Mark Wilson - Georgetown District High School

How to Apply: Go to Equals6.com and register as a student. Navigate to the Scholarships section and fill in your application. Scholarship applications in the current round of awards must be submitted by November 1st, 2011 for award date December 1st, 2011.

About Equals6.com
Equals6.com is the student professional social network connecting students to employers and resources that can help them achieve their academic and career goals. Equals6 is where employers go to identify and recruit top-talent students and new graduates. www.equals6.com.


SimplyCast Awards Ritchie Scholarship To Local Student

Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, June 23rd, 2011 - SimplyCast.com, a leader in multi-channel marketing Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solution for organizations worldwide, today announced it has awarded the first SimplyCast Ritchie Scholarship to Sara Rahimi of Dalhousie University located in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The SimplyCast Ritchie scholarship is awarded annually to one high school or university/college student and is based on academic achievement, community citizenship, and Equals6 network participation.

Each has been an integral part of SimplyCast's growth, either in an advisory role or as an educator. Several of the company's current employees, including CEO and President, Saeed El-Darahali, are graduates of Saint Mary's University.

"SimplyCast is dedicated to supporting the future leaders of tomorrow and that is why we feel it is important to provide student scholarships like the SimplyCast Ritchie Scholarship," said Saeed El-Darahali, President and CEO of SimplyCast. "I want to congratulate Sara on behalf of my whole team and wish her the best of luck in her studies."

The scholarship is just one of the awards given out every year in conjunction with Equals6.com, the Halifax based student career development network.

"I am honored to have such an award named after me," said Mr. Ritchie. "Sara is the perfect selection to be the first recipient of the SimplyCast Ritchie award and I wish her the best of luck in her future endeavours."

To learn more about what scholarships are available through SimplyCast, please visit http://careers.simplycast.com/Career-Network-Scholarships.

SimplyCast's 11-in-1 multi-channel marketing platform is a web-based solution designed to create, track and deliver targeted online marketing campaigns such as email, survey, event, autoresponder, fax, SMS, Twitter and link tracking services.

About SimplyCast

SimplyCast.com is a leading provider of interactive marketing software and services for organizations worldwide. The company's multi-channel marketing platform is a feature-rich solution used by thousands of customers in over 175 countries, including many of the most recognized brand names around the globe in retail, non-profit and hospitality industries. With thousands of organizations using SimplyCast solutions to automate email, survey, event, SMS, Twitter, fax, and autoresponder marketing needs, they now have the power to effectively reach customers on their preferred mode of communication.


Equals6 Launches Top-Talent Scholarship Program

 

Halifax, NS - February 28, 2011 - Equals6, the Halifax based student career development network, announced today the launch of its Top-Talent Scholarship program.

Together with private industry partners, Equals6 is providing scholarships to high school and college/ university students. "The Equals6 Top-Talent Scholarship program is a great way to encourage and support bright, well-rounded and motivated students across all disciplines," said Andy Osburn, CEO of Equals6.

Together with industry partners such as SimplyCast, there are over 25 scholarships totaling close to $10,000 being offered. "It is our objective to recruit smart and talented employees and providing student scholarships through the Equals6 Top-Talent program is a great way to identify and engage future star performers," said Saeed El-Darahali, president and CEO of SimplyCast.

Top-Talent Scholarships are distributed to high school and university/college students and are awarded based on academic achievement, community citizenship, and Equals6 network participation. The scholarship award winners are chosen by the Equals6 Advisory Board and companies offering scholarships.

How to Apply: Go to www.equals6.com and register as a student. Navigate to the Scholarships section and fill in your application. Scholarship applications must be submitted by May 1st, 2011 for award date June 1st, 2011.

About Equals6

Equals6 is a student academic and career development network connecting students to people and resources that can help them achieve their academic and career goals. Equals6 is where employers go to identify and recruit top-talent students and new graduates. www.equals6.com.

About SimplyCast

SimplyCast.com is a leading provider of interactive marketing software and services for organizations worldwide. The company's multi-channel marketing platform is a feature-rich solution used by thousands of customers in over 175 countries, including many of the most recognized brand names around the globe in retail, non-profit and hospitality industries. With thousands of organizations using SimplyCast solutions to automate email, survey, event, SMS, fax, and autoresponder marketing needs, they now have the power to effectively reach customers on their preferred mode of communication. www.simplycast.com.

 

 

Equals6 adds top-tier executives


Halifax, NS - January 25, 2011 - Equals6, the Halifax based student career development network, announced the appointment of three new executive team members today.

Joining Equals6 are John Gibbons as vice president of sales, April Macleod as vice president of customer care and Michael Sanderson as vice president of education and training. "This is an exciting time for Equals6. John, April and Michael bring proven expertise and passion to lead the rapid growth and expansion of Equals6," said Andy Osburn, CEO of Equals6.

April Macleod is a career development expert with over 14 years experience in career coaching, recruiting, entrepreneurship, education and training. She has developed and implemented innovative student recruitment programs while working for Dalhousie University, Innovacorp, and as a Principal Consultant with Talentlogix.

Michael Sanderson has over 14 years of experience in entrepreneurship, economic development, professional training and teaching. He has extensive leadership and project management experience from his role as manager of skills development and training for the Saint Mary's University Business Development Centre. Michael is a seasoned entrepreneur and also serves as a part-time professor in the department of management at Saint Mary's University.

About Equals6

Equals6 is a student academic and career development network connecting students to people and resources that can help them achieve their academic and career goals. Equals6 is where employers go to identify and recruit top-talent students and new graduates. www.equals6.com.

 

 

Equals6 Portal Helps Students Find That First Job


by Pat d'Entremont, Partner as published in the Halifax Chronicle Herald, 24th January 2011.

There has been a lot of talk in business circles of late about the problem graduates have in finding employment. A Halifax firm believes it has an answer.

Equals6 is an online portal that students can use in their academic and career development, to connect with like-minded individuals and also with potential employers. It is the brainchild of Haligonian Andy Osburn, who stresses that this is a "professional" network, not a "social" one. If you want to exchange photos go elsewhere, but if you want to build an online portfolio of your goals, experience, skills, work samples, etc., then this is the place.

Osburn likens it to LinkedIn, a professional network typically used by people who are already employed. Like LinkedIn, members can join groups, showcase talents, and outline their interests. And like LinkedIn, they can build an online profile, share it with others and communicate with their contacts.

But unlike LinkedIn, Equals6 is targeted for people as young as kids in Grade 11. Osburn is hoping to attract the right audience: bright, motivated high-school and post-secondary students who want to make good decisions about their academic progress, which educational institutions to consider, and what potential employers might be out there. It also has an online portfolio component based on the model followed by NSCC.

The main problem Equals6 hopes to solve is of getting that first job. Osburn hopes that if enough students sign up (for free), they will not only help each other out, but they will also form a base of potential employees. And it is the employers who are seeking the best and the brightest who pay for the service via such features as job postings and scholarship management.

The next six months will be crucial to building the critical mass needed to make the network fly, and Osburn is not taking any chances. He has instituted a "student ambassador" program, whereby he pays students to promote the network, starting with Nova Scotia and in Massachusetts, locations with many universities graduating people who have a challenge finding work.

He is also offering scholarships, based on site usage, academic merit, and community involvement. The first set of high-school and post-secondary scholarships is set to be awarded on June 1, 2011, so kids sign up and be counted! The goal is to have 10,000 users by the end of 2011.

The site itself is very easy to traverse. There are two main parts to it: one for students and educators, and one for organizations. To find the site, Google "Equals6" and it will be the top entry. Don't expect anything like Facebook - the site is intentionally designed to portray a serious, professional look.

Equals6 is self-funding, with five equity partners, designed after holding many focus groups, and largely developed by students. A board of advisors, with members from business and academia, keeps things on track and also chooses the Equals6 scholarship winners.

Plans in the works for the network include an "Equals6 certification program", where achievements are measured in such things as education and training referrals, ethics training, and group facilitation.

Asked about the name, Osburn explained it as the last part of the phrase "Two plus two equals six". Huh? Well, as it turns out the real phrase is "One plus one equals three", the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, but the name Equals3 had already been taken.

"Equals6" sounds better anyway maintains Osburn, and who am I to argue.