Co-op

  • Sadie Evans posted an article
    UVic recognized as best Canadian comprehensive university see more

    Source: https://www.uvic.ca/news/topics/2019+employability-coop-ranking+media-release

    VICTORIA, BC (December 6, 2019) - Graduates from the University of Victoria are among the world’s most employable, according to a prestigious international ranking by Times Higher Education. 

    THE’s 2019 Global University Employability Ranking report identifies UVic as the best Canadian comprehensive university, and one of only nine Canadian universities overall, in preparing its students for the workplace, based on feedback from top international companies. 

    UVic prioritizes dynamic, hands-on learning as a core focus of its student experience, with research-enriched experiential programming that includes co-operative education (co-op) work terms, practica, internships, field schools, international exchanges, community service learning, research opportunities and more. 

    Seventy-five percent of UVic co-op graduates receive an offer of employment before they graduate, often returning to work for a former co-op employer in a full-time role. 

    “Students tell us that the hands-on work experience they gain at UVic is transformative,” says Andrea Giles, acting executive director of UVic’s Co-operative Education Program and Career Services. “They apply what they’re learning in class to solve real-world challenges, and in doing so, they develop confidence, connect with passionate professionals, and discover how they can positively impact the world around them.” 

    Student participation in co-operative education at UVic is on the rise, with 43 percent of eligible students taking part. Co-op integrates paid work experience with employers into students’ academic schedule. Last year, UVic co-op students completed 4,288 co-op terms with 1,350 different employer organizations around the globe, including 325 international work terms. Co-op is built right into programs for students in the faculties of engineering and business and available as an option for students in most other areas of study across the university. 

    Google, Tesla, the Canadian Space Agency, Global Affairs Canada and Western Digital Thailand are among the diverse employers who hired UVic students for co-op terms in 2019. Google and Tesla also regularly hire UVic graduates—currently, Google employs more than 50 UVic graduates, while Tesla has hired close to 20. 

    Here in BC, employers range from local small businesses to large-scale organizations. Companies such as AbeBooks turn to UVic to recruit new talent. Since 2011, the online book marketplace, which is a subsidiary of Amazon, has hired 84 UVic co-op students studying everything from software engineering and computer science to economics and global business. Amazon is likewise a long-time employer. 

    “AbeBooks has supported UVic’s co-op program for many years, integrating students into our technology and business teams,” says Arkady Vitrouk, chief executive officer of AbeBooks. “We take around 10 UVic co-ops each year and we are always impressed by their knowledge, skills and creativity. With around a dozen UVic alumni currently employed at AbeBooks, we appreciate having this institution on our doorstep.

    View a brief video on UVic and the ranking’s results.

  • Tessa Bousfield posted an article
    Is it French? Does it somehow involve weddings? Not quite. see more

    Source: Gustavson School of Business
    Author: Eve Olynyk

    I actually really struggled to write this “day in the life post,” because there are incredibly few “standard” days in my work at VIATEC!

    So to break the rules, in true VIATEC fashion, I welcome you to join me in “a week in the life” of an Engagement Concierge.

    But first, just what the heck is an Engagement Concierge anyways? Is it French? Does it somehow involve weddings? Not quite. In essence, the Engagement Concierge’s role is to make VIATEC’s Accelerator Programs (think bootcamp for tech startups) run smoothly and carry out the vision of the Program Director.

    Monday

    Mondays are almost always free from meetings, as if there is some kind of unspoken rule between the four Executives in Residence (past-CEOs of multiple successful companies who now mentor companies in the Accelerator). After our team stand-up, I’ll use this day to plan out the rest of the week’s meetings and events, and catch up with emails. If there’s time I’ll work on side projects such as redoing the Accelerator website or updating our resources folder.

    Tuesday

    Intake Presentation days mean an early 8am start. After making sure agendas are printed, the conference room is ready, and AV is working, I’ll see that the Executives in Residence (EiRs), and external mentors (CEOs, Investors, IRAP reps) are set up with coffee before welcoming the first candidate. Following a pitch and Q&A, the panel considers: whether the company is viable, the founder is coachable, and whether we have the relevant skills to truly help them. One thing I love about Intakes, or Quarterly Reviews (which follow a similar format but are used to assess the progress of companies already in the program), is our tradition of Tacofino for lunch!

    Wednesday

    Once new companies are onboarded into the program, I’ll schedule their first EiR meetings. In the afternoon I’ll head to our bunker boardrooms where existing companies and their EiRs will tackle unique issues; everything from getting their first customers, creating financial projections, preparing pitch decks for investors, and firing underperforming employees. I have never learned so much about business strategy in all my schooling combined as I do in these meetings. In addition to note-taking, I bring up relevant bits of advice from other EiRs and see if there are any good introductions we can make between companies. Startups fail notoriously frequently, but strong connections and the sharing of talent allows the community to quickly adjust.

    Thursday

    Back to back EiR meetings all day can be exhausting, but the networking events, fortside chats, or patio parties that Thursdays often bring make it all worthwhile! I’ve moved chairs from the Bengal Lounge, bartended, and even acted as a bouncer (at 5’1 this was more for show than anything). Beer is a must at VIATEC’s events, so I’ll finish off the night with a cold Phillips in my hand while watching a B2B company’s pitch or learning about a prominent local investor’s favourite spot to go running.

    Friday

    As if working at the VIATEC Awards earlier in the year wasn’t exciting enough, nothing could prepare me for the sheer joy of manning the VIATEC VIP Cabana with the rest of my team at Rock the Shores (shout out to our amazing server Erin; I don’t think I can ever wait in a food or beer lineup again). When I originally mentioned the idea as a joke to my marketing director, I never thought she would make it happen with just a few phone calls but… by the end of the weekend I was throwing several dozen whales off of a crane during Cat Empire! The crowd was screaming, the sun was setting, it was magical.

    To conclude, this all sounds pretty freaking amazing right? And it is. However, what I didn’t highlight as much are the slower days without much to do, the lack of sleep that comes with lots of evening and weekend events, or the ambiguity and confusion that comes with such a dynamic company. And here’s why: this role is utterly and completely what you make of it. Good ideas are welcomed and encouraged, and being self-directed isn’t only expected… it’s an absolute must.

    Sound like you? Then apply via LIM for Fall 2016!