It’s well-known that an employer can have a lasting impact on their co-op student. Often, the reverse is also true. Recently, Dalhousie Management Career Services spoke with one student employer who experienced the benefits of the fresh perspective, confidence, and willingness to learn that our co-op students bring to the table.
Ahmad Farooq is a Project Manager at CrossWing, an Ontario-based robotics company in the business of developing groundbreaking interactive robots. Since the pandemic began, CrossWing shifted their focus to develop CleanBot, a COVID-19 disinfecting robot. The company received government funding to design, create, and distribute these robots to businesses.
Ahmad began hiring Dalhousie co-op students in 2020, and one of his student hires was James Whytock, a third-year Bachelor of Commerce co-op student with a major in Finance. James, who is originally from Ontario, was drawn to Dalhousie’s Commerce program by the appeal of graduating with a year of work experience under his belt, which he knew would give him a competitive edge in the job market. James completed his second co-op with CrossWing in fall 2020 as a Sales and Business Development Associate.
During his co-op, James’ role was to connect the company and the product to investors and buyers. He saw great success in this role and exceeded expectations by engaging with and meeting some of the world’s largest companies: Walmart Canada, Honda Canada, and Scotiabank. His day-to-day responsibilities included cold calling people and organizations with the goal of informing them about CrossWing’s new product. He gave presentations and demonstrations, often to CEOs, and fostered trust in CrossWing’s CleanBot.
“James has brought a refreshing change to our team dynamic and has proactively taken on responsibility. His eagerness to learn and implement his newfound skills really impressed us. His communication skills have only progressed with time and his determination in following up on sales activities is exemplary,” said Ahmad.
Having a co-op student he could depend on to perform work of this caliber was key to the success in this role, which had a direct impact on the company’s bottom line. Beyond these benefits, Ahmad recognizes the value of supporting a co-op student’s personal and professional growth, and having an impact on shaping them early in their professional journey, setting them up for future success. He feels other companies could reap the same benefits from giving student employees a chance.
“I would absolutely recommend co-op hiring to other companies, since it gives aspiring young individuals a chance to enter the realm of the corporate world and gain valuable experience,” said Ahmad. “Quite often, these experiences help to shape their education choices and transforms their career accordingly.”
Interested in hiring a student, or curious about accessing funding programs? Contact our Employer Development team at:
Ayse Dai-Gammon, Employer Development Manager
Cindy Ryan, Employer Development Coordinator – NS
John Mitri, Employer Development Coordinator – GTA