I learned about what it takes to be successful at the highest level in a global financial institution. It is a challenging and rewarding place to work and requires focus, passion and drive. I was asked and able to contribute in several executive committee meetings and while my piece may not have been the driving force in any of them, it was exciting to see that I had made some impact and was recognized for my work.
The upsides that I listed above may be downsides if you are not up for the challenge of working for a business where everyone has high expectations and specific requirements. This company treats employees well and expects them to perform at a high level and if you are not willing to do so it will be difficult to succeed.
Within the co-op program, there were several social events including an evening at a Ping-Pong bar, multiple interesting lunch and learn afternoons as well as several unofficial events planned by the co-op students. On the whole, these events allowed us to connect on a more personal level with our peers; and also build our networks with the speakers at our lunch and learns. The social aspect of the program was well managed and I only wish there was more time for us to get to know each other.
Everyone was friendly and warm, with people welcoming me in from day one and staying open and receptive to me all the way through. Everyone was interested in hearing about me and always willing to lend a hand, an ear or a smile if I needed them. Although we were all on great terms there were still spirited debates at times over both work and less pressing matters; and friendly competition throughout social events (team scavenger hunt, volunteer initiatives). Everyone was also willing to give their time to provide mentorship, advice or support.
Be open and honest about your skills, ambitions and motivation from the start and if you are professional in your approach, personable and talented you will find a place to work here.