Originally from Caledon, Ontario, Kate Costaris is a fourth-year Bachelor of Commerce student majoring in Accounting and is also pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Economics. Kate is currently completing her third work term as a Marketing and Operations Co-op Student at Bitstrapped, a technology start up founded by Dalhousie Alumni Jesse Albiston. Kate recently spoke to Management Career Services about how she secured her current work term and what it is like for co-op students working from home.
For Kate’s third work term, she knew exactly what she wanted to do but did not know how to get there. Kate had visited Management Career Services numerous times throughout her degree and decided to ask for help networking to secure her dream work term.
“I called (former Career and Recruitment Specialist ) Lori Bauld and asked if she had names of Alumni I could connect with in Toronto for a coffee chat to learn more about the industry I was looking to pursue.” Kate said. “I ended up meeting with my now manager! It is really difficult for students to find jobs as we have limited experience, but I found networking and meeting for informational interviews was the most helpful way to overcome the difficulty of finding a job. As your network grows, you are able to learn what you want, and the more confident you are with your aspirations, the more willing others are to help.”
While Kate secured her work term before the pandemic, Management Career Services is still helping students network using online tools and by phone.
Based on the current situation, working from home has become a fact everyone must face. Kate mentioned that working from home is obviously much more comfortable. The flexible schedule her workplace offered during this time means that she has more time to be productive because the hours are not stuck with the 9 am to 5 pm timeline. However, Kate said there is difficulty to balance time and separate work and life because people are living in the same space they are working in.
Kate shared her tips to minimize distractions when she works from home with us. “I treat my days as though I am working from the office, so I will put my phone away and have a consistent workplace in my home where I drink my coffee and do my work!” she said. She added that it can be a challenge to minimize distractions such as noise because that is out of her control, but she makes sure to only have her work equipment around her, so she does not have the opportunity to be distracted.
When talking about her career goals, Kate said that she still has two years left in her degrees, so she aims to continue exploring the technology industry. In the long-term, Kate wants to pursue a post-graduate degree, designation, or some sort of specialization.
To follow Kate’s success, follow her on Instagram @katecosty
Tips of the week from Kate Costaris on online interview and how to get motivated though working:
- “For an online interview, my best tip is to keep your resume in view! When they ask you to describe your experiences, it is nice to have the confidence of knowing the key takeaways are right in front of you. As well, I would recommend keeping your upper body relaxed and letting your nerves settle below the cameras’ view. If you tend to have shaky hands keep them below your desk.”
- “I keep myself motivated through self-set deadlines! I organize meetings with my team to present my work to ensure I get it done by a certain date. I find setting small attainable goals throughout the day makes me feel accomplished every day instead of setting larger goals because if you do not accomplish much during a day, it might make you lose motivation towards a bigger goal.”