By Aunie Edwards
Special to the Toronto Sun
Fast cars, beautiful women and macho celebrities -- is it any wonder that Toronto's Molson Indy is so wildly successful?
Compelling features aside, they are not enough to consistently rank the Indy one of Toronto's hottest events. Nor can these ingredients alone generate the staggering revenue and growth opportunities that Toronto businesses have come to expect from the event.
What is needed is a professional, dedicated, quick-minded and personable team, working around the clock to create the seamless, safe and fun extravaganza that is trademark Molson Indy.
Working at the Indy is exciting say Molson interns Matt Scrimshaw, Andrea Nisbet and Adam Kirk.
Meet Adam Kirk, Andrea Nisbet and Matt Scrimshaw, three young dynamos who play a part in Molson's successes and who epitomize the professionalism and exuberance of a Molson event.
Matt Scrimshaw has spent five summers working as a Molson Indy communications/promotions assistant. Engaged in radio, print and TV promotions, Scrimshaw also takes the Molson Indy Display Car on tour. It's a Viper -- he's had tougher assignments. Helping to organize the Miss Molson Indy Sports Model Competition -- another Scrimshaw task -- isn't one of them!
But the job isn't all glamour and Molson demands more than a fun-loving personality. It requires an understanding of business and the ability to communicate effectively with the entire hierarchy of the corporate world.
That's why Scrimshaw bolsters his inherent talents with the right education. Currently a student of Business Marketing at George Brown College, his summer experience is an excellent forum for his studies.
"The opportunity to apply my education to a platform like Molson Sports and Entertainment is exceptional," Scrimshaw says.
"Assisting in planning and logistics of various promotions, including the Indy, is not only exciting work that I love, it provides me with career-related achievements and a priceless network of industry connections."
A longtime sports and racing fan, Scrimshaw has also reveled in personal connections -- such as chatting with Toronto-born NBA star Jamaal Magloire during Indy "celebrity drop-ins."
"When you work for the Molson Indy, you're living and breathing the electric atmosphere of the crowds, high-performance machines, competition and celebrity," Scrimshaw says. "It's an unbeatable job perk."
The Indy atmosphere is also an attraction for Andrea Nisbet, a summer sales assistant for the famed Molson Indy hospitality department.
In her fourth year with the Indy, Nisbet has enjoyed a summer contract throughout her Administration and Commercial Studies Degree at the University of Western Ontario.
Nisbet works with companies that wish to entertain clients or employees. "We sell suites in various price ranges, for organizations in Canada and the U.S.," she says. "We determine corporate customer needs and proceed to make the Molson Indy a memorable experience."
After planning for and selling a variety of executive suites, Nisbet forwards the details to a contractor who then builds the temporary viewing box overlooking the track.
The Molson work environment, though fun and upbeat, also demands long hours and hectic schedules.
Menus, catering, linens, even flowers and colour schemes are meticulously arranged in accordance with corporate requirements.
"We're selling more than front row seats -- we're selling an entertaining experience," Nisbet says.
Such statements of dedication to the Molson philosophy are prevalent in each conversation with these young professionals. And rightly so -- the Molson work environment, though fun and upbeat, also demands long hours, hectic schedules and the ability to multi-task with multiple personalities, both internal and external to Molson -- anything less than total commitment would not survive.
"You need the right attitude for this work because every contact you make -- for live events and for corporate relationships that you establish and maintain -- has to be professional and positive," says Adam Kirk, Molson promotions co-ordinator. "There's no room for a headache or a bad day when you're in the business of making people happy."
And Kirk would know -- after seven years working as a summer student with Molson in Sports and Entertainment Promotions, and having completed his education in marketing at George Brown College, Kirk has been signed on full time.
Responsible for promotional events with the Leafs, the Rock, Grey Cup Football and the Raptors, Kirk is also involved in summer beer festivals including Molson Indy events. "I love this job -- there's nothing better than a successful live event."
Applicants must have a degree or diploma to be accepted into the Human Services Programs at Durham.
The one-year program will take 25 students this September.
Classes are about two-thirds women, one-third men.
Pay for graduates is better in the public sector.
Tuition fees are just over $2,700.
With above-average commitment, work ethics and skills, Molson boasts an exceptional trio of up and comers. But such professionalism doesn't grow on trees and one wonders by what process Molson secured such powerhouses.
A big part of it is the foresight of training individuals with the right personal traits straight from a relevant education stream. Nisbet is one such protege whose recruitment reads like a hiring manual.
"During my first year at university, I sent resumes out -- Molson was one of my few responses -- there were no summer positions available but they'd keep my resume on file. It was a courteous gesture, but I assumed I'd never hear from them again. At the end of that April, Molson did call -- I got an interview, and the job! They mean what they say and I've never looked back."
The Molson Indy will hit Toronto streets on July 9, 10 and 11. While you're enjoying the sizzling celebration of speed, be assured that Molson has a large and talented group of professionals such as Scrimshaw, Nisbet and Kirk, delivering excitement and watching your back.
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