HSBC Social Innovation Academy - Storyline Creation for Youth Recruitment

Case study from the Riipen Level UP remote internship program

HSBC's Social Innovation Academy (SIA) is a national initiative for youth who want to solve pressing environmental, social, and cultural challenges through careers in social innovation or social finance. SIA offers two social innovation and social finance-focused fellowship programs and turned to the Level UP remote internship program to support its recruitment efforts.

Tyson Bilton is a multidisciplinary student at the University of Calgary working towards his Honours degree in Finance (B.Com) and a certificate in Sustainability Studies. Tyson partnered with the Social Innovation Academy as a Marketing Strategist. With a background in finance and sustainability studies, this Level UP project challenged Tyson to explore a new career field that was outside the scope of his previous experiences. Tyson is now employed as a full-time permanent employee at SIA as a Program Manager.

During his Level UP project, Tyson worked to develop a cohesive storyline to aid in the recruitment of youth from a variety of backgrounds and regions of Canada for SIA’s fellowship programs. SIA was conducting outreach to different organizations and publications with the aim of having a diverse applicant pool for their programs.


(Snapshots of the messaging behind SIA’s Fellowship (T) and Analyst (B) Programs.)

With no prior experience in the field of marketing, this project provided Tyson with the opportunity to explore a new potential career field. “The title of Marketing Strategist was actually pretty intimidating as I typically took on finance-related roles so this was a bit out of my comfort zone,” said Tyson. “Getting experience in high-level marketing strategy was really useful for me.”

Tyson reflects on the impact of the Level UP remote internship program, the project he completed, and how it allowed him to explore careers in a new industry.

Over the course of his Level UP project, Tyson developed his skills as an interviewer, storyteller, and project manager. “I interviewed 30 alumni over the course of the project and the logistics of creating an engaging storyline in a virtual setting helped me develop interviewer skills,” said Tyson. “For hard skills, project strategy and stakeholder management were important to this project. My role was largely as an intermediary, talking to SIA management and connecting their ideas to different publications and alumni.”

Tyson was in his final semester of school while completing his Level UP project and found value in using this project to connect in-class learnings to a real project. “It was really nice to do it [a Level UP project] in my last semester to experience working on a final project and really connect it with my studies. I have something I can put on my resume now, in an area that I didn’t have experience in previously,” said Tyson.

Since completing his Level UP project, Tyson has joined SIA as a full-time program manager. His work continues to support SIA’s Social Innovation Fellowship and Social Value Fund Associate Programs.

Cheralyn Chok, Executive Director of HSBC’s Social Innovation Academy, shares the impact of the Level UP remote internship program from the employer perspective, working with students, growing the organization’s national presence and building awareness among different stakeholders.

Thank you to Tyson for sharing his experience on Riipen. To learn more about how you can get started with the Level UP remote internship program as a student or employer, visit the website here. ‍Stay up to date with the latest in higher education, experiential learning, and the future of work, subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter, The Riipen Report.

Riipen Level UP program is funded by the Government of Canada's Innovative Work-Integrated Learning (I-WIL) Initiatives program. The opinions and interpretations in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada.

HSBC Social Innovation Academy
Business Services
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
11 - 50 employees