Laurence Ling

Q1. 

What program were you in?

Diploma in Financial Management.

Q2. 

Where did you have your co-op work placement?

My first placement was at Lohn Caulder as a Junior Accountant. I started this role before completing my tax class, so there was a lot of on the job training.

My second placement was at Peak Products as a Junior Accountant. There were several Langara alumni working with the company which helped me succeed in the role. Having the chance to work closely with company executives early in my career was very educational and set me up for success in my current role at TELUS.

Q3. 

What is the biggest takeaway from your co-op experience?

I think there’s a misperception that if one focuses on office politics, there’s a chance of getting ahead. Thankfully, early in my co-op I learned this was simply not the case. By observing the executives at work, I noticed they responded more to hard work, humilty, and those willing to listen.  

Q4. 

What work are you doing now?

In my role as a Senior Manager at TELUS, I advise our division executives on staffing, planning, and risk management. In addition, I help with negotiation preparation and figuring out how to invest our money effectively. I’ve also been given to privilege to hire and manage analysts that develop the reports we use to run the division smoothly.

Q5. 

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

Working in small business and with executives early in my career was insightful. It turns out that many of the softs skills in demand, like hard work and listening, are also applicable in the corporate world.

Q6. 

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

I have a broad set of interests and honestly not really sure. I’m currently working on a Master’s degree in the Arts that finishes next year, but I love school and might continue. A start-up, the legal profession, and academia, also capture my imagination. I enjoy working on long-term projects that take time to build. There’s usually a lot of work up front, but once established – pay growing dividends that are hard to disrupt.

Q7. 

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

Co-op should be a major part of any student’s education plan. It makes the transition into the working world much easier. When I hire financial analysts to join our team, education is secondary to experience. Co-op helps students get real experience on their resume.