Tess

Q1. 

What program were you in?

BBA, Marketing Management.

Q2. 

Where did you have your co-op work placement?

I was a Marketing Executive and Program Coordinator for a start up called Work.Travel.Learn. Their mission was to help people who were travelling on temporary working holiday visas find work while they are in Canada. My role involved contacting companies to see if they would be interested in hiring our clients. I also coordinated business development workshops and events for prospective clients, as well as events for our current clients. As it was a start up, I also got heavily involved in the implementation of their CRM software, SalesForce, website development, and helping design marketing collateral. I also worked with the travellers to see if their resumes met Canadian standards and helped them through the application process.

Q3. 

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

About half way through my co-op semester, the company ended up laying off half of the staff and my position was one of the jobs that were cut. I called my co-op instructor freaking out because I didn’t know what to do. They helped me get in touch with another company that was looking for an administrative assistant. It wasn’t a co-op but rather a full-time position so I had to apply formally. I got the job, was promoted to receptionist, and stayed there for a year and a half. Six months prior to my departure, I became involved in assisting the marketing team. Because I was a co-op student, people were more open to letting me try new things. 

Q4. 

What work are you doing now?

I work at Tableau in the London office as a Sales Programs and Events Specialist for the EMEA region. When I first came to London, I didn’t have any job prospects. I posted my CV on a job search website and ended up getting contacted by a recruiter. They had done a keyword search on SalesForce, which is a software program that I learned how to use at my co-op. They called me a few times, but I wasn’t really interested in the position because it was an admin role but they kept saying, “No, trust me. You’re going to love it. The company’s great and very fast growing.” And I said to myself, “Yeah right, I’ve heard that before". I didn’t really want to talk to the recruiter anymore but they convinced me to go for an interview. Once I learned about the company, the culture, and how fast it was indeed growing, I ended up taking the job. I did some admin work at first but, I learned fast and quickly began taking on new challenges and even supporting our VP of Sales for EMEA. I was supposed to be in London for one year and now it’s been nearly five. When I started, I was the 16th or so employee in London. Now we have about 300 employees in London and have opened three other offices across Europe. So we've been experiencing insane growth! Currently, I organize our sales programs and events for the region. This involves organizing sales training, program rollouts, managing conferences, and generally making sure the sales team has what they need to succeed.

Q5. 

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

Co-op helps you get your foot in the door. Vancouver was, and still is, an intense job market. If you have no professional experience at all it’s very difficult to get a job. If I hadn’t done my co-op term at Work.Travel.Learn, getting another job would have been a lot more challenging. My co-op also taught me how to deal with tough situations right away and really boosted my confidence.

Q6. 

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

My role at Tableau has evolved into managing internal events, which has really developed my skills in project management. I always wanted this kind of role so I’m very happy about it. Moving forward, I will continue to push to specialize in large-scale event and project management.

Q7. 

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

I would say definitely do it. If you’re a student, it means so much more if you can pair what you’ve learned in class with hands on experience. It will definitely set you up for more and faster success when you are ready to get your second job when you graduate.