Spring 2010 Issue II
SHINING BRIGHT See how Waterlooâ€™s co-op students are radiating success
INSIDE sCO-OP: CONTENTS The Inside sCo-op is a bi-monthly student e-publication released through Co-operative Education & Career Services at the University of Waterloo
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Read how Margaret McBeath balances work, academics, and family commitments, all while discovering the world of Human Resources
Sometimes actual jobs seem to wander from their job descriptions. See how Mo Du made the best of his suprising situation
MAKING CONNECTIONS A little networking can go a long way. Learn about Merwyn Rosario’s networking experience, and his advice to all other co-ops
WHO’S WORKING AT THE TATHAM CENTRE THIS TERM?
TURN ON THE LIGHTS Learning on campus isn’t reserved for classrooms and labs. Learn what Career Services is teaching YOU in their many workshops
CREDITS: Editor: Deidra Urbonas Staff Editor: Olaf Naese, Communications & Public Relations Administrator, CECS Contributor: Jayne Hayden, Career Services Supervisor, CECS Photos: Merwyn Rosario, Mo Du, Margaret McBeath
EDITOR Hello Fellow Co-op Students! Although my weekdays are spent inside the Tatham Centre, I am certainly aware of the glistening sun, chirping birds, and warm summer breeze that exist outside. Likewise, employers are becoming, if not already, conscious of the high caliber of co-op students at Waterloo. I once had a bookmark I picked up from a school book fair which said “I’m so bright, I gotta wear shades,” and featured a picture of Garfield with big, shimmering sunglasses. I think this bookmark reflects the brightness of Waterloo’s co-op students, so I have dedicated the theme of this Inside sCo-op to illustrate how Waterloo’s co-op students are radiating success.
Deidra Urbonas Media & Publications Associate, CECS 3A Speech Communication
Have a suggestion for the next Inside sCo-op? Think you have a sCo-op worthy co-op experience? E-mail email@example.com now! We’d love to hear your ideas!
You just might need your own pair of sunglasses when reading this issue, as it explores a multitude of ways in which Waterloo’s co-op students are shining bright. Read Margaret McBeath’s story, and learn how she balances work with academics, all while raising a family. Also, meet Mo Du, an AFM student who worked for Deloitte, but found himself doing nonfinancial related work. You won’t want to miss the article on Merwyn Rosario, a first time co-op student who secured a job outside of JobMine all on his own, and made a lasting impact. Also make sure to check out the Career Corner article to learn what workshops are being offered by Career Services, and how they can help you sharpen skills and prepare you for both interviews and life on the job. I had a great time listening to the experiences of the students featured in this issue. I hope you will find their stories as inspiring as I did. Enjoy,
Deidra For Students On Co-op
For Fall 2010 Co-op Students
Stay On Track
Have you let your supervisor know about the Employer’s Evaluation form and confirmed your final working day? Click here for the Guide to a Successful Work Term.
Writing these reports can be time-consuming and daunting, but the Work Report Guide is a big help. Also, due dates are faculty-specific, so be sure to check yours!
Sign up online before the first day of classes for your return-to-campus interview with your field co-ordinator if they are expecting to meet with you.
August 30, 2010 is the official start of the work term – but be sure to check with your employer for when your start date is. Check here for other important dates.
Pre-Work Term Information
Be prepared for your work term before it begins. Review Section 7 of the Co-op Student Manual to make sure you know everything you need to about your work term.
Get your résumé ready for another round of interviews. Click here for some useful tips, or arrange a résumé critique appointment with Career Services.
A BALANCING ACT By Deidra Urbonas Group projects, presentations, and exams can make for a stressful academic term, which is why many students look forward to work terms where responsibilities reside within a nine to five zone, and stay clear of home life. If you think it’s hard to manage an academic term, you haven’t met Margaret McBeath, a third year Honours Psychology student who performs the ultimate balancing act.
argaret is on her third work term at AMEC NSS, a company that conducts nuclear safety analyses and provides consulting services. Although the 450 employees are mostly engineers and scientists, Margaret found her role in the Human Resources (HR) department. “It’s a great place to work,” she says. “There is always a lot going on.” Despite the monotonous reputation HR departments sometimes have (think Toby Flenderson from The Office), Margaret loves her involvement with many projects covering all HR functions, her role with new hires, developing new programs for the company, and the learning she experiences every day. Margaret plays a big role in co-ordinating the company’s recruitment programs. She screens applicants, and sees them through the entire selection process, from application to a job offer (if they are lucky!). “It’s a really interesting process to see what an applicant looks like on paper and then to meet them for an interview,” she says.
Margaret (left) developed a Mentorship Program
Helping new hires with their orientation is a fun process Margaret is also involved with. She says that during the recruitment process she forms relationships with new hires, and because she is the first person they know in the company, she enjoys welcoming them to AMEC NSS and seeing that they get off to a good start when they begin work. In order to do that, Margaret helps managers determine where new employees fit into the company, what type of work they should complete, and what level they should start at.
“The most challenging part of my job has been the ever-changing nature of the work that I am presented with. Unique situations arise all of the time that warrant the involvement of HR, such as an unforeseen issue with an employee’s work permit or an urgent rush to help a business unit quickly reorganize so they have enough staff to tackle a new or expanding project,” she says.
photo credit: Wikipedia
Margaret also co-ordinated an ESL program for employees, which gave her experience in employee training and development too! Additionally, Margaret developed a new Mentorship Program, which works to ensure valuable knowledge is retained within the company. “The HR department is like a customer service department, where our customers are the employees,” she added, but admitted it can be quite stressful at times.
Toby Flenderson, from The Office
“I don’t always know exactly how to help, which can be stressful,” she shares, “but I’ve tried to embrace each new situation as a learning experience and a chance to help come up with creative solutions.” (Continued on Page 7)
By Deidra Urbonas Mo Du, a 2B AFM student, was eager to bring his knowledge of financial management to Deloitte, a powerhouse in the industry. Little did he know that within the next four months he would write and direct a movie, create a presentation on cloud computing, and work co-operatively to add value to Deloitte’s high value clients.
o says he got lucky when he landed his first co-op job with Deloitte. Well aware of the prestigious reputation of his new employer, Mo said he felt “20 percent nervous, and 80 percent excited.” Going into his first work term, he said he was looking forward to networking opportunities, interesting client interactions, and a good experience overall. “You hear so many good things about co-op at Waterloo, but you never know what to expect until you start work,” he added. In hindsight, Mo couldn’t have been more accurate. As a financial management student starting work with Deloitte under the job title “Enterprise Risk Services Analyst,” Mo said the work that awaited him was a pleasant surprise. A different learning experience greeted Mo through his involvement with some special projects. He wrote and directed a twelve minute movie on Waterloo recruitment for the company, which he said was a lot of fun, but required a ton of hard work and patience.
Mo learned about new technology and diversified his skill set
He also represented Deloitte in numerous business interactions, including one with a multibillion dollar company. “That required a lot of thinking on the spot,” Mo said. “A lot of training happens while you are already on the job. Learning from past experiences is crucial to succeeding in Enterprise Risk.”
It came as another surprise to Mo when he was asked to create a presentation on cloud computing. “Two weeks into the job, I wasn’t expecting to produce a presentation for one of the firm’s partners.” With cloud computing, little to no software or files are stored on a user’s own computer. Instead, users employ the internet by accessing the programs and files they want from servers.
Two weeks into the job, I wasn’t expecting to produce a presentation for one of the firm’s partners Mo explains the concept with the metaphor of a water tap. “Just like you turn on and off a tap to control how much water you want, cloud computing allows you to do the same with electronic information,” he said.
“The technology is becoming more prevalent and is being regarded as the next great innovation in IT. It is very attractive to enterprises as it enables them to switch from a fixed IT cost structure to a highly variable one.” Mo’s cloud computing presentation focused on the security aspect of the technology, which is where Deloitte fits into the mix. His presentation was given by his supervisor to membersof the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA), the Internal Auditors Association (IAA), and many IT professionals. Although nervous about what the reaction would be, Mo received recognition from his supervisor in front of all the conference attendees, and was given many compliments following the presentation. (Continued on Page 7)
MAKING CONNECTIONS By Deidra Urbonas Meet Merwyn – motivated, meticulous, and memorable.
fter dozens of job applications on JobMine, and receiving three interviews, Merwyn Rosario, a 2B Mathematics/Chartered Accountancy student, realized he had to take explicit action. The last day to secure a job was quickly approaching, and the pressure was on. In this situation, some might have enrolled for another academic term or taken the term off. Instead, Merwyn took a proactive approach to finding his own job; a pretty big deal for a first-time co-op student. Although he described the process as scary, Merwyn remained calm. He attended the Professional Futures Conference, provided by the School of Accounting and Financial Management. He said this conference was valuable, as it provided information on networking, establishing a role in a work environment, and developing a personal brand. It also got Merwyn strategizing on how he could find his own job. “One of the key reasons I figured I hadn’t been able to secure a job was because I didn’t have a wide enough network,” Merwyn said. He had tried emailing companies his résumé, but he found more success in using his existing network of family and friends. “This helped me find the key contact that I needed,” he said. He learned of an opportunity at IA Clarington Investments Inc, a wealth management firm that specializes in investment solutions, and he set up an interview immediately.
Merwyn worked hard to make an impact in just three short months
Finding an Edge The conference taught Merwyn the importance of demonstrating knowledge of the company during an interview. “The first thing I did was research IA Clarington to find out what they do,” he said. “I also researched leaders within the organization and learned about their contributions.” This gave him an edge in his interview. “It allowed me to demonstrate what I knew about the company and that I was interested in their business.” Inspired by the conference, Merwyn was enthusiastic to develop his own brand, which required not only selling his skills, but also explaining how he could be a proper fit in the company. Because he faced the challenge of persuading a company that had never hired a co-op student that they needed him, Merwyn took this advice seriously. Merwyn succeeded, because he was extended a job offer on the final day to secure a work term commitment. (Continued on Page 6)
MERWYN SAVED HIS EMPLOYER
WORK HOURS ANNUALLY!
Inside sCo-op Continued from Page 5
Starting a month later than most other students, he felt the need to catch up. This got him thinking about how he could make a big impact in a short time. Merwyn exceeded everyone’s expectations by improving the company’s entire system for analyzing reports. In fact, he was able to develop a macro system whereby the original completion time of 15 minutes was cut down to two minutes. With roughly 70 reports received every day, Merwyn essentially saved the company 3944 work hours (or 236, 600 minutes) annually!
Taking Care of Business What started off as a Reports Analyst position turned into a revolutionary role with the Operations and Processes Team. Not only did Merwyn transform the way IA Clarington handled their investment reports, he also automated processes for funds assessments, gain/loss reports and client service reports. For his first work term, Merwyn had to secure his own job, outside of JobMine. He also worked under the pressures of tax season, developed his own path in the company, and saved the company countless hours of work. Merwyn also gained an understanding of a corporate work environment – both the work itself and the culture. “Through this whole process,” Merwyn said, “I learned the importance of networking. By the end of the work term I exceeded my expectations for the number of contacts I would have, because working within one company substantially increased my number of contacts.” Although Merwyn faced a stressful start to his first co-op term, he succeeded in making a lasting impact on a company that was also new to co-op. Evidently, the risk paid off for both Merwyn and IA Clarington. Merwyn plans to return to the firm for his next work term.
MERWYN’S NETWORKING ADVICE Advice for students seeking jobs outside JobMine? - “Widen your network and really get to know the people in your network.” - “While the quantity of contacts is important, the quality of relationships makes a big difference. If you can’t communicate with your contacts, you won’t be able to utilize them.” - “Expand your network by starting off with the people you know – family and friends.” - “Stay in contact. In order to keep a strong roster of contacts, maintain relationships with them.
If you’re interested in learning how to expand your network of contacts, check out the Networking 101 workshop put on by Career Services every month. Click here. Want more information about the School of Accounting and Finance’s Professional Futures Conference? Click here.
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With four months at Deloitte, Mo improved his communication skills, learned how to network effectively, and gained confidence. “What you put into a work term is what you will get out of it,” he concluded. “It depends on you.” Although the job wasn’t exactly what he thought it would be, Mo took his own advice, and made the best of it. Even though he humbly attributed some of his success to mere luck, he clearly played a big role in finding the silver lining of his own cloud.
I certainly have a lot to juggle, but the opportunities provided... have been extremely worthwhile
“It was great to know that my co-workers respected me, and made me feel like a full-time employee.” The recognition served as motivation to work even harder. “It’s great to feel like you’re making a difference in a reputable firm like Deloitte.”
… And Life! “During my first work term I found that I really got involved right away, and it seemed strange to leave things at the end of the term,” says Margaret. She chose to stay on board at AMEC NSS during her academic terms, and carry on as a part-time employee until her subsequent work term, giving her the opportunity to stay connected. “It keeps the momentum going,” she said. With three children (ages five, three and one), Margaret must also attend to family commitments on top of working and going to school. “I certainly have a lot to juggle, but the opportunities provided by the Co-op program at Waterloo and AMEC NSS have been extremely worthwhile.” In order to manage all her responsibilities, Margaret says she stays focused and organized. “It’s about trying to determine how much I can manage, not taking on too much, and finding a delicate balance.” Since Margaret lives in Toronto, she commutes to Waterloo during her academic terms. “Sometimes it’s a bit of an ordeal,” she says, but adds: “So far it has worked out really well.” Even with her weekends spent in the library, Margaret likes her busy schedule. “I’ve been lucky to find a job that I really enjoy, and I work with great people.” Working at AMEC NSS has opened Margaret’s eyes to the possibility of a career in Human Resources. “I hadn’t considered all of the interesting functions that HR groups perform” she says. “I’ve learned what the expectations are of someone who works in Human Resources, and also what the opportunities are. It has been such a valuable learning experience, and I feel prepared for when I graduate.” Margaret hasn’t just learned and experienced the many facets of human resources functions; she has also found the all-important work-life balance, and it seems as though she isn’t just managing her balancing act – she’s mastered it.
Have you ever wondered if you stood out after an interview, especially if the interviewer saw eleven other students before you? One way to add an edge to your interview process is to include an official Waterloo business card. For only $5.00 you will get 45 cards. Leave one with your interviewer, and be rest assured that you’ll be remembered. Order your own on the CECS website.
WHO’S WORKING AT THE TATHAM CENTRE THIS TERM?
Back row: Tony Zhangm, Web Developer; Jerry Zhao, Marketing Assistant; Deidra Urbonas, Media & Publications Asscoiate; Emma Balmforth, WatCACE Research Assistant; David Yin, Research Analyst/Business Analyst; Scott Dion, JobMine Technical Support Representative Front row: Chantal Jandard, Web Content Analyst; Rachael Bell, Events Assistant/ES Advisor; Faridah Thomas, Student & Faculty Relations Assistant; Irene Hawkings, Marketing Associate, Richie Vuong, Business Analyst
From left: Matthew Piazza, PD3 Teaching/Program Assitant; Olivia Ng, PD6 Teaching/Program Assistant; AlaniVan, PD7 Teaching/Program Assistant; Kathleen Harbison, PD2 Teaching/Program Assistant; Jennifer Tabar, PD1 Teaching/Program Assistant; Adrienne Corbett, PD4 Teaching/Program Assistant; Brennan Wilson, PD2 Teaching/Program Assistant; Jonathon Mollon, PD5 Teaching/Program Assistant
OUT WITH THE OLD... We’ve all experienced frustrations with JobMine, whether it be issues with formating or automatic signouts. CECS has been hard at work developing a whole new system. Architecture students are currently testing the system, and all students can expect to be using it within a year. Stay patient, and keep your eye out, because Waterloo Works is on its way! Here’s a sneak peak for now:
By Jayne Hayden
TURN ON THE LIGHTS Career Services offers a comprehensive array of resources and workshops covering a wide variety of topics, designed to assist you with all aspects of the career development process. Here are a few highlights of what we offer. For a complete list and to sign up for these workshops visit us at careerservices.uwaterloo.ca.
Not sure where you’re headed? Our Career Exploration and Decision Making workshop offers an overview of the necessary steps in successful career decision-making, and includes hands-on exercises to give you immediate input to your self understanding. Attending the Career Interest Assessment (Strong Interest Inventory) and Exploring Your Personality Type (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) will help you find out how your interests and personality type relate to specific career opportunities. These popular tests have been used for years to help people understand where there interests lie, and what careers those interests will fit well with. These workshops won’t only help you learn about career paths that you will enjoy and quite possibly excel in, they will also help you learn about yourself! As well, Career Services subscribes to three online career guidance systems, available to you 24/7: Type Focus, Choices Planner, and Career Cruising. (To access these and obtain passwords, go to careerservices.uwaterloo.ca, and select Career-related Websites then Occupational Information).
Optimizing success in landing that job Our Interview Skills workshops will help you improve your performance in the job interview. Preparing for Questions offers viewing and discussion of video clips of actual interviews, while Selling Your Skills provides the opportunity to practise. These workshops will help you learn how to ace your interviews, and will improve your confidence in the process. Being prepared for questions, and knowing how to sell you unique skills will allow you to impress employers and stand out in the interview process. If you’re looking for a job outside of the JobMine process, our Work Search Strategies and Networking 101 workshops will help you improve on key communication strategies that are essential to a successful job search in the current job market.
Contact us Monday to Thursday 8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. Friday 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Tatham Centre, Room 1214
Do you have the necessary business knowledge and skills to succeed on the job? In our Success on the Job workshop learn how to polish your professional image and avoid making simple mistakes that may result in a bad start to your career. Proper etiquette is crucial to a successful job search – and to your career. The Business Etiquette & Professionalism workshop covers dining etiquette as well as appropriate behaviour at interviews, employer receptions and other networking activities. With the helpful hints you’ll learn at this workshop, you will notice an improvement in your professional conduct, and others will notice and appreciate it as well.
Dreaming of going abroad to study or work? Topics covered in these workshops include how to make the most of your international experience, what documents you will need and how to get them, and understanding the impact of culture and intercultural communication. Whether it be “Hola”, “Bonjour”, or “Ciao,” Career Services is there to help you get prepared for your experience abroad, so you can venture off to a “bon voyage.”
Thinking of going to grad or professional school? To help you better prepare for the application process to graduate-level programs and professional schools, our workshops provide information and advice on program requirements, what to consider when choosing a program, as well as advice on personal statements, references, admission tests, and the interview process. Programs addressed include medicine, dentistry, optometry, law, MBA, teaching, and pharmacy. In addition to our workshops, you also have the option of booking an individual appointment relating to the above topics.
Phone: (519) 888-4047, fax (519) 746-1309 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Find Career Services on Facebook