Career Progression with Jeremy Cormier
Career Progression with Jeremy Cormier
As an executive search and recruitment firm we see a lot of talent on the move. We decided to interview Jeremy Cormier, Product Design Lead at NS Sports Media Pros in Halifax, Nova Scotia who recently started a new role to get an understanding of his considerations for making the jump as well as his recent candidate experience.
Can you give us a breakdown of your career progression and how you have gotten to where you are now?
After graduating from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design (NSCAD) with a minor in Interactive Design and Major in Graphic Design, it was nearly impossible to find a job in Halifax fresh out of the cooker. After relentless emails and phone calls, I heard from a colleague that Black Dog Marketing was possibly in need of some graphic help.
I hopped on the next bus and headed out to Bedford where they were located. Sporting my Sears bargain basement dress pants and dress shirt, I offered to work the first week at no cost in a desperate attempt to separate myself from the other candidates. The offer was accepted and I eventually got on the payroll as a Junior Graphic Designer. From there, I managed to break off and work as a Freelance Designer for a few years, gathering much needed raw experience in the world of communication and project management.
I eventually worked my way into a full-time Graphic Design/Project Management position with Communications Nova Scotia, where I had the honour of working with some extremely talented and creative people. The problem was, the entrepreneur in me longed for something outside the public sector and I eventually pivoted to a position at Maplewave (telco software company).
Maplewave demonstrated a true sense of family and cooperative execution - it was stacked with pros. I was fortunate enough to land my position just as the company was going through a rebrand - which at the time ended up being the most challenging and gratifying project I had ever taken part in. One of my core responsibilities was acting as a communication bridge between the marketing and product departments, where I really started to develop an interest in the world of product and UX.
Later down the road, I received an email from a friend that mentioned there was going to be an opening with a Halifax-based sports information company; NS Sports Media Pros, and the position would be product related with a need for web-design and UX knowledge for their ProSportsDaily.com & Covers.com web properties. It wasn't an easy decision, but my love for sports took over and I reached out and connected for an interview.
The minute I walked through the door for my first meeting, I knew that it was a perfect fit. It was the complete package and the energy that I felt after my first interaction with the company was undeniable - NS Sports Media Pros felt like home.
What was the determining factor that made you consider the new opportunity?
Having been brought in a sports focused family, I am naturally interested in the industry. When you're naturally interested in something, it doesn't feel like work which makes it easy to constantly be focused on tasks and ties you emotionally to the final product. It's an easier transition to imagine myself as a user/client, which makes my decision making and suggestions more effective and relevant to the company. The other side of things is the team here at NS Sports Media Pros. Hard to imagine myself surrounded by a more driven, knowledgeable and positive crew. It's the perfect balance of entrepreneurial mindsets and hardcore passionate sports fans - which makes "teamwork mentality" automatic.
What did you do to prepare as a candidate?
In order to prepare for this position, I had to do the usual resume, portfolio, Linkedin updates and I dove as deep into the logistics of the company as I possibly could. Having an online presence and keeping that updated is imperative in today's world. Linkedin is the organic resume, your resume is now the cover letter and an online portfolio is your proof of ability. If you can manage all 3 of those aspects efficiently and have the skill set a company is looking for, you usually get an opportunity to present yourself in an interview. I think the most important part of the interviewing process is linking your story and personal goals – with that of the company and explaining those parallels as clearly and as honestly as possible.
What did the hiring process look like?
The hiring process was pretty typical - online application followed by a few rounds of interviews, then waiting anxiously for a final decision.
Why do you think you were the successful candidate over other qualified candidates?
I would assume that a high level of interest in sports and skills which are focused on product and design aren't commonly packaged together and may have given me a bit of an edge. Having prior experience working with a product team in an agile environment, also helped promote certain conversations and topics.
What onboarding have you done at your new company to get you up to speed?
The onboarding at NS Sports Media Pros has been amazing. Within the first couple of days I was explained how all the different teams are interconnected and how my position impacts the company goals, mission, and vision.
Documentation was shared with me and guided me along as I discovered and realized the process of all the moving parts. In the past, I have found onboarding to be far too detailed or irrelevant to my position and makes the process feel drawn out and boring. The team count is roughly 40, so meeting and getting to know all my colleagues was easy and super comfortable. I was confidently integrated within the first few days and felt like I hit the ground running. Management was super responsive and effective in getting any information or resources I needed to get aligned with the entire company.
What tips would you give a candidate looking at new opportunities?
Don't underestimate the value of your online presence. It's the world we now live in and if you aren't maintaining and updating your profile(s), you're falling behind. Be creative with the application/interview process but stay true to who you are - think outside the box but inside the circle.