I completed my second co-op term last fall at D2L in a Talent Acquisition Coordinator role. Prior to D2L, I started my post-secondary education at the University of Waterloo in the Legal Studies and Business program with a Human Resource Management option. Fast forward 3 years, and I’m starting my third co-op term in a Learning and Development role at D2L. Exploring different career paths and speaking to industry professionals led me to People and Culture– combining my passion for people and business. The People and Culture team at D2L are a clear indicator of the future of People and Culture – a dynamic team of professionals with different backgrounds who are business focused.
Starting in People and Culture hasn’t been easy. There were many times I questioned myself, “How can I make an impact in an organization with limited experience?”. I was entering a profession which I had no experience – but with the help of truly amazing managers and colleagues, I am working on creating my footprint in the industry. There are three important tips I have learned over the course of my co-op placements and education which are important for any student looking to kickstart their career in People and Culture.
#1 – Build Relationships
Networking is important for any student seeking co-op opportunities or new graduate positions. During my initial networking efforts, I would try to connect with industry leaders on LinkedIn or at campus events. Understand that connections are important, the real value in networking is building personal relationships with colleagues or mentors at work. At D2L, I was able to connect with my entire team, and received great advice from many. These relationships are crucial for mentorship and are the building blocks for future opportunities.
#2 – Expand your “People and Culture Portfolio”
People and Culture now requires a diverse skillset which draws from numerous fields, including marketing, legal, strategy and even finance. When you’re starting your career in People and Culture it is important to multiple positions and learn about the entire business. D2L has offered me different roles and projects which have expanded my People and Culture knowledge and skillset. Diversifying your portfolio will lead to greater performance, opportunities and being more effective in your role!
#3 – Get Involved
This is true for any co-op student or new graduate – seek out opportunities for you to get involved and make an impact in your role. This could be new projects, professional development, volunteer opportunities or even an organizational committee. Going the “extra mile” has always helped me in co-op roles – and was a signifgant part of my success at D2L. Makes you feel good too!
Drawing on these three lessons have helped me achieve incredible co-op opportunities and find success! I have been fortunate to be part of D2L, an organization that values the role of People and Culture and sees the potential of co-op students. If you are interested in co-op at D2L, or launching your career in People and Culture, connect with me!