YES Employment + Entrepreneurship Client of the Month
December 2020 / January 2021
Christopher Bent was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. After winning at the MIT Creative Arts Competition in 2018, he relocated to Montreal to be part of the creative and entrepreneurial ecosystem that exists here.
Chris’ company Piccles is taking online meetings and events to a whole new level. This creative engagement tool is adding more fun and interaction to virtual gatherings by letting audiences of any size draw their thoughts and feelings and then giving them an opportunity to visualize the collective sentiment together.
Soon after relocating here in Montreal, Chris found out about YES and since 2019, he has been receiving guidance from his YES Business Coach, Robert Therriault. At the time, his goal was to enter the Live Events industry, yet when COVID-19 hit, the pandemic subsequently wiped out the market and cancelled essentially every in-person event. Working to adapt, Chris and his YES Business Coach created a strategy to quickly pivot in this new landscape.
But it wasn’t always smooth sailing. “Everyone was thrown into virtual events all at once,” Chris says. “The bar was low, yet we were doing something new and different. The challenge we faced was that our market wanted something proven, not the new and different 'nice-to-haves' like we were offering.”
Chris is more comfortable in the creative side of the business, which was balanced by his YES Coach’s help to establish a sustainable business model. The words “but are they going to pay…” still echoing through his head.
“Navigating the business world during a pandemic is hard,” he continues. “Our recurring YES sessions felt like escaping a storm and pulling our ship into a calm harbor to catch our breath and make a plan before heading back out into the hurricane.”
And they stuck with it, surviving without any outside funding and having their first profitable month in November!
Exercise your creativity with this custom Piccles activity that Chris created for the YES community.
For more information on Piccles, click here.
Daniel Amato graduated from the John Molson School of Business in 2017 with a Bachelor of Commerce degree majoring in Supply Chain Operations Management. While his education opened up many career opportunities for him, finding a fulfilling job that made him feel satisfied has always been a challenge.
Soon after graduating, Daniel began his search for work by putting himself out there and being resilient. His hard work soon paid off. After a few months, he was able to achieve his goal of finding his dream job in Supply Chain/Logistics, however, due to COVID-19, Daniel was laid off. He was left unemployed and was exceedingly worried that he was facing an uphill battle. Not only was he trying to find another job, but he was trying to find a job during a pandemic, one that has impacted industries across the board and created what seemed like a global hiring freeze.
He immediately began working on updating his resume and started interview prepping, but felt that something was missing. “I was in need of advice from a career coach,” Daniel says.
After hearing about YES at a University Career fair a few years ago, he reached out to YES. “I was fortunate to be coached by my YES Career Advisor who gave me invaluable advice, tips, and coaching.” Each session helped him better prepare for upcoming interviews and gave him the confidence he needed to face any obstacle. Within a few visits, Daniel landed another position, as a Transportation Operations Coordinator at Airbus.
"My career advisor’s personalized coaching helped contribute to my success in securing another position in little time,” he says. “I was amazed to have received many interviews and a few job propositions within a few weeks of being laid off due to the pandemic. To this date, I consider this my greatest and proudest achievement.”
“Reaching out to YES was a great decision and should be a no-brainer for anyone looking to obtain career or entrepreneurial assistance or mentorship."
Filiz Yildiz studied Communications at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver before moving to Europe where she studied jewellery design in Istanbul and worked in fashion for 8 years. In 2017, she settled in Montreal and continued her studies at École de joaillerie de Montréal. During her travels Filiz was inspired by the strong connections she made with women around the world and wanted to infuse this collective female empowerment into her works. For this reason all of her works are inspired by heroines from history. A few years later, she learned about YES Employment + Entrepreneurship when a friend suggested one of our grant-writing workshops. After the workshop, she became a YES client and has been working with Artist Business Coach, Gonzalo Coloma as her mentor ever since.
“I have learned so much in the meetings I’ve had with my mentor,” Filiz says. “Not only was I successful in receiving a grant after having three failed attempts prior, but I have also been able to find manageable strategies to grow my network."
With the guidance of YES, Filiz has developed short-term and long-term strategies to achieve her goals for her company, The Bow Jewelry. Currently, her work has grown from a local reach to an international one. Her works have recently been published in Clin d'oeil and Vero Magazine.
“I am so thankful for my mentor and the programs of YES in helping me achieve my growth,” she says. “The guidance they have given not only helped me in growing my network but having a mentor also gave me a sense of security when making important decisions about my strategies. As a solopreneur having an experienced mentor who truly cares about my growth to discuss ideas with has been an invaluable part of the experience and I am grateful for all his guidance”.
Find out more about The Bow Jewelry.