Career Services: journey to internship
My story starts initially as a warehouse and delivery associate at CCL in September 2019. I realized that I enjoyed working in operations and logistics and began to connect with other people working in the company by reaching out to supervisors and management on LinkedIn. Through talking to my manager, I was introduced to the VP of Operations. I began following him and messaging him until he responded which was quite bold, but I had nothing to lose! I asked him for possible openings in CCL and showed him my interest in being part of the organization. He told me there was an opening for a managerial position at a different location which he saw as a fit for me. After this conversation, he went away on holidays for a week but encouraged me to apply for that position, saying that he would set up a formal interview for the position once he was back. I was overjoyed and thought I had it made! Unfortunately, that was the week that COVID-19 hit Canada’s shores and the world changed in front of our very eyes. Upon his return from holidays, I was told that the entire business structure was going through a major revamp in light of the global pandemic and the position that he had offered me no longer existed. I was shattered.
I continued with my job as a warehouse and delivery associate while maintaining communication with the VP of Operations. I wanted to ensure that he knew I was interested in working for the company. I decided to take the reins of my future into my own hands and show CCL how much I wanted to be part of the organization. I made a ppt about my understanding of the company’s operations and how I saw myself fitting into the structure and presented it to the VP. A week later I heard back from the VP HR at the company, saying they had opened up a position on Vancouver Island. I was surprised and excited. It was not a managerial role but a supervisor/coordinator one and they wanted to know if I was interested before they posted the job online. The VP HR explained to me that this would help me get my foot inside the door, help me with my research, and prepare me for future openings in the company. I immediately saw the opportunity as one to embrace and eagerly accepted an interview from which I am happy to say, I was selected as the top candidate for the role.
I have always believed in one particular saying of Mr. Steve Jobs: “There’s no harm in asking for something we want. The worst that can happen is our request getting denied.” I embraced this philosophy and it paid off! There are a few things that helped me to be successful in securing this opportunity and they are building relationships early, communicating with people about one's interests and strengths, meeting people and asking questions and trying not to be discouraged when things don’t work out. Throughout my internship journey, I received a lot of advice and guidance from many people at RRU. Participating in the Internship Prep Career Management course helped me to understand what employers care about and how to approach people in Canada to build a network. My instructor was very patient and understanding towards me, coaching me from my first job through to my final interview, until I landed the job. It was the guidance and advice I received from Sue and everyone else at RRU that helped me to secure the internship.