Co-op Placements: A win-win for businesses and our Nova Scotia talent
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
At NSBI we are proud to offer co-op placements in areas such as marketing, research and financing. Although we are not a large organization, we feel it is important to the province that we offer opportunities for learners to gain meaningful and relevant experience. It’s a win-win really. The quality of the students we hire adds bench strength to our team. For the students, these are paid work terms that give them opportunities to apply their knowledge and increase their attractiveness to future employers.
“We challenge our students to bring ideas and their creativity to the table, just the same as we do our regular full time employees,” explains Joanna Facey, Managing Director, People & Culture. “They are valued members of our team. We also expect them to deliver tangible results, just as we do everyone else. These students are brilliant and they are the key to a successful future for this province. We need to set them up for success and we all have a role to play in that.”
During the Fall 2014 term. four co-op students joined us and they share their thoughts in the following story.
My Co-op with Nova Scotia Business Inc.
By: Madeleine Martin
My first week as a Social Media Coordinator co-op at Nova Scotia Business Inc. (NSBI) was an interesting one. The Marketing & Communications (MarCom) department is the most welcoming place I have ever worked. Right from the start I was given help when I needed it, I was always invited to lunch, and I felt really comfortable working here. This is an atmosphere that can be found not only in the MarCom department, but in NSBI as a whole. It’s evident that the work environment motivates employees and aids them in producing better work. It has made for an unforgettable experience and will be hard to match.
I’ve learned so much in a very short time. My favourite skills I continually develop are using analytics generated from social media and interpreting them to make the social media channels of NSBI more effective. This experience will definitely benefit me in the future as it has given me the opportunity to work with a distinctive firm and expand my knowledge of how businesses grow and prosper in Nova Scotia.
Experience is necessary for graduating students to enter the workforce. Coming to the halfway point of my second co-op, I’ve gained insight into what I want out of future employers. My first work term taught me how important it is to find a job you love. Working with NSBI, I’ve learned the difference it makes to work with enthusiastic people. I am sincerely impressed with the positive attitude people bring to work and the work environment they have created here – everyone is passionate about their job. You can tell they want to make Nova Scotia a better place.
The co-op program offers students a great advantage, and it also benefits companies. In my case, I already had one co-op placement where I worked with social media. It was very useful for NSBI to have a fresh pair of eyes to evaluate the social media front and improve upon it.
Not only do co-ops provide an opportunity for employers to get a different perspective on what they are doing, it gives companies many new recruitment prospects, an opportunity to give back to the community, and the chance to make connections with local universities.
I feel very fortunate to have worked with NSBI this semester and other co-op students have also benefited from their experiences. Here is what the other co-op students had to say about their Fall 2014 co-op term with NSBI:
At NSBI, people include the co-op students and make us feel welcome. Everybody at the company is focused on the same goal: making Nova Scotia the province it is supposed to be. I worked as a research assistant with the Corporate Strategy & Intelligence (CSI) group conducting research for Nova Scotia companies that are looking to expand into new markets. I like the variety of research and the ever-changing work pace.
Working in a co-op program while studying gives us a competitive advantage. When I graduate, I’ll be someone with relatable work experience and skills. For the employer, co-op students are eager to learn and do the job right. They are training the next generation of skilled workers, and it can only be an advantage for them. They are shaping us in a way that makes us more suitable for the business world.
- Myriam Lemire, Research Assistant
One of my favourite things about working at NSBI is the working atmosphere in my team (Corporate Strategy and Intelligence) is great. I feel like I can ask any questions of my co-workers and have felt comfortable since day one in sharing my ideas and comments. As a research assistant, I really enjoy that my position allows me to learn about new business areas. It also makes me aware of industries that I might be interested in pursuing in the future.
The co-op program allows companies to give feedback to the universities about what skills they want new graduates to already have before entering the workforce. It also potentially allows them to hire new graduates that they have worked with before and can already trust.
- Paula Fontecilla, Research Assistant
My exposure to the Business Financing department here at NSBI has allowed me to further refine my financial analysis skills. These are skills that I can transfer to the classroom this winter and will help me improve my academic success. Everyone at NSBI is friendly and always willing to lend a helping hand. So far my co-op experience has been an excellent learning experience.
The co-op program is a real benefit because I was able to expand on my past work term. I got to see what it was like analyzing financial statements rather than preparing them. The co-op program provides me with the opportunity to become a better employee by offering much needed experience.
- Danielle Hinds, Portfolio Administration Assistant
Consider where your company could benefit from a co-op or work placement program. Local universities and NSCC can walk you through the process and the opportunities. Help grow the province’s talent pool.