Tag Archives: co-op

Thoughts from a co-op student at Nestlé

13 Feb

I’m spending this semester on a co-op term at Nestlé Canada working with their Customer Development team. It’s about a month into the term and I figured that I would share more experience so far as well as a few tips for fellow co-ops.

First impressions at Nestlé? I absolutely love it there! Yes, it’s only been a month, but I could really tell that Nestlé was a company that valued its employees and that they wanted to make sure that this was a valuable learning experience for me. It was the little things that stood out to me. Like random jokes at meetings to employees who would make sure to explain acronyms and terminology to me in meetings. Plus, people were so willing to grab lunch or go for coffee to share their career advice (If you have no idea what you want to do, take the time to learn about your co-workers’ career paths, it helps a lot to just listen to other people sometimes). Some of the people I’ve talked to have spent around thirty years with the company. There were also plenty of people just starting their careers at the company who liked it enough to stay. You can tell that Nestlé’s a company where people can have their fun but still work hard.

The learning curve? I’ll admit, it was kind of overwhelming to come into a team where there were so many acronyms and new tools. There were definitely times where I felt like I was asking a silly question. But, everyone assured me that there’s no such thing as a silly question and people were more than willing to take time out and explain things. I definitely got my money’s worth out of my notebook! (If you’re a co-op, get used to carrying a notebook and get comfortable taking notes while people are talking to you, it might feel strange at first, but it’s completely normal!). So, a month later, things are making a lot more sense. What I really appreciated was that people intentionally challenged me. I was literally given projects and told that I probably wouldn’t know exactly how to do it, but to take a stab at it and we’d discuss it after. It was a great way to learn because I was forced to think for myself. Normally, people teach you things step by step and you learn from there, but being left to figure things out once in a while was a valuable learning opportunity.

I also like the variety in the work I have. Some of it is pretty routine, but I also get lots of ad-hoc projects as well as a few larger, longer-term projects. It keeps me interested and challenged.

Favourite moments so far? During my third week at Nestlé, I attended a 3-day sales conference with my team (my very first work conference!!). It allowed me to get to know the team outside of work and sit in on meetings and workshops. While a lot of the material was like a foreign language to me, it was good to see some of the people that our team interacts with. Plus, I had the opportunity to hear the Nestlé Canada CEO, Tim Brown, give a closing keynote! Let’s just say that so far, Nestlé’s been much more than “just your average co-op term”!

Btw, the views expressed above do not represent the views in any way of Nestle Canada or its affiliates. They are simply my own individual thoughts.

If you’ve been on a co-op term or internship, let me know your experiences, tips, and tricks in the comments! 🙂