Tag Archives: University of Toronto

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! 🙂

Maybe you should just take some responsibility

1 Dec

Recently, I participated in an external review of the University of Toronto Scarborough’s Management (B.B.A.) Program. In a nutshell, a bunch of students gave their feedback to three representatives from Harvard, Dalhousie, and Sauder. The whole point is to improve the status and quality of the Management Program. There was some great feedback about the program as well as some constructive criticism on how to improve it.

My issue was that some of the students at the review seemed to blame the university for their misfortunes or lack of effort. There were students complaining that the Management Program does not provide enough support for graduating students, yet, our campus has a Career Centre and online job postings available. Some students proposed that Management students should have a separate career centre to focus on business-related jobs. Seriously? That’s a lot of resources for a segment of our campus. Not really worth it’s weight in resources. My honest opinion is that the university actually does a great job of preparing graduating students. There’s seminars and workshops to prepare you as well as individual appointments with career counselors. While this information is usually not specific to management students, you can definitely take the overall content and use it in your applications. Plus, there are tons of professors at UTSC who would be more than willing to help you target your resume for a specific industry or provide advice.  I’ve met professors who would literally sit down and go through a 30+ page business plan for you if you asked! In life, no one is going to spoon feed you, university should be no different. It’s up to you to actually find the information that you need. Anyone can jump online and search “finance resumes” for tons of advice. Combine that with general advice, knowledge from industry professionals, and you’ve likely got a stellar job application.

Someone I worked with once told me not to take my lawn chair out just yet, to stay hungry.  Great advice. If you’re always looking for the next opportunity, you’re always learning and absorbing information. If you really want to break into a career in marketing/finance/accounting/etc., you’ll do whatever it takes to get there. That is taking responsibility for your own destiny.

BMO Money Diary #3: The Bank of Mom & Dad

24 Nov

Here’s our last group webisode where we discuss gaining independence from “the bank of mom and dad”. Let me know what you think!

BMO Money Diaries #2: Back to School

19 Nov

Here’s our second BMO Money Diaries group webisode where we discuss upfront semester expenses, stretching our budgets, and how we have money to spend on fun stuff!

How do you make your money last all semester?

BMO Money Diaries #1

26 Oct

On of the projects that I’m working right now is with BMO and Cossette. Basically, BMO is going to give me $1000 to share my student woes and thoughts about saving money. I swear, out of everyone in our U of T group, I seem to be the SAVER! I’m also making three personal diaries to document this, which will be posted shortly. Let me know what you think! Can students and money get along?

Five students – five perspectives. All coming together to chat about how to financially survive the school year, share tips and tricks on how to make your money go further and — most importantly — how to break free from the bank of mom and dad.