Now employers, grads reflect to mark National Co-op Week
During National Co-op Week (March 14 – 18, 2016) and throughout the year, the Mount is grateful for the invaluable connections and support that co-operative education employers provide to students. Below, you’ll meet a number of employers who were once co-op students themselves.
With a reciprocal commitment to growth and enrichment, these employers understand better than anyone the unique experience of a co-op program. These full-circle relationships highlight Mount alum who completed co-op programs firsthand and know the value in preparing graduates for the workplace. As employers, they continue this legacy – not just to benefit students, but for the betterment of their organization.
For over five years, the team at NTT DATA Canada Inc., has hired Mount students from the Bachelor of Business Administration program. Now spearheading the student hiring is Brittany Thompson, Program Coordinator, having completed the degree herself with a Major in Economics. She sees clearly the benefit hiring co-op students has at her workplace, saying: “There is a growing, talented pool of recent graduates with training and experience from NTT DATA.”
Brittany believes curiosity is essential in the workplace, and values co-op students for their fresh perspectives. “Their inquisitive nature forces you to re-think exactly why you do what you do, and helps to increase efficiency in processes,” she explains.
“My co-op experience was a conduit to my career.”
– Aaron Bower, Mount Co-op Employer
Mount students often find full-time employment with their co-op employers and become valued and trustworthy connections in the industry. As a graduate of the Mount’s Bachelor of Public Relations degree (BPR), Aaron Bower completed three co-op terms within Public Works and Government Services Canada (recently renamed as Public Services and Procurement Canada). Ten years later, Aaron is now a Senior Communications Advisor with the department in Atlantic Canada.
Aaron believes long-term co-op relationships help organizations stay connected to the next generation of employees and retain talent. “Word of mouth is still very popular,” Aaron says. “If you can provide a great co-op experience it makes you an employer of choice.”
“I always find my clients really enjoy getting to know our co-op students and love having them throughout the planning process.”
– Katelyn Hipson, Owner, Elegant Productions
For Katelyn Hipson, BPR alum and Owner of Elegant Productions, hiring co-op students influences the culture of her boutique wedding coordination and design firm. Katelyn takes pride in knowing she is teaching young professionals how to succeed within the local workforce. Conversely, she says, “I myself have learned a great deal from my interactions with our co-op students on how to be a fair and compassionate leader.”
Co-op Employers of the Year (2015) Announced
Each year, Mount students are invited to nominate employers for the Mount Co-op Employer of the Year Award, acknowledging those who have displayed commitment, excellence and support of the Mount’s Co-op program.
An employer from each of the Public Relations, Business Administration and Tourism and Hospitality Management programs were recently announced as winners for 2015. Congratulations to the recipients!