Gavin Randhawa

Q1. 

What program are you in?

BBA, Marketing Management.

Q2. 

Where did you have your co-op work placement?

I did my co-op in the place that I’m sitting in now, in almost the same desk, with The Vancouver Whitecaps. I was a Marketing Intern. It was another Langara grad who was working here in the office that tipped me off about this position. I had just interviewed at another place and didn’t get the job, so applied for the position here and got it. I really liked it, so I decided that I wanted to stick around one way or another. After the internship, I volunteered for six months and then was asked to apply for a permanent position.

Q3. 

What’s the biggest takeaway from your co-op experience?

People always ask why I took an unpaid internship and it was because of the opportunity that I was doing and not the money. Sometimes you get lucky and you do end up with a pay cheque as well, but the experience that you get is what ends up separating you from other grads. Not the money. Your work experience is what makes you employable. I wouldn’t have even considered not doing co-op. Every single student should be doing it!

Q4. 

What work are you doing now?

I’m a Marketing Coordinator with the Whitecaps. I started working here full-time while I was finishing my classes.

Q5. 

How did your co-op jobs prepare you for the work that you’re doing now?

It was such a clear set-up. Not everyone gets into a situation like this, but I was literally working for the person I’d eventually succeed. In this case I got to see exactly what the day to day was, what level I needed to get myself to in order to get a job there, how important networking was, and really got to understand what this workplace was like.

Q6. 

Looking forward, where would you like your career to go?

With the Leaders of Tomorrow (LOT) Program, I met with a mentor who had his own experience working with different marketing agencies, who did a lot of non-profit work and who eventually opened up his own marketing agency. He provided a lot of valuable insight on what the industry was like, helped me to set my goals, and encouraged me to push forward to get the job. He told me to work here, do the job, get to know the industry better, and eventually have the experience to move on to some other marketing agency role. That being said, I’d love to see myself working in an ad agency where I get to work with different clients. 

Q7. 

What would you say to someone who asks you about co-op?

Go for it and try it out. It might seem scary, but co-op sets you up for the real world. This is going to be the only time that you can work in a job with your student hat on. People will recognize this and willing to teach you a lot more. When you become a full-time employee your co-workers may just expect things from you, but when you’re a co-op student they try and share all the knowledge they can with you.