Meet Nadi Ukwatta, a third-year Commerce Co-op student majoring in Accounting. Nadi moved to Halifax from her home of Sri Lanka in 2019, noting Dal’s co-op program as one of the main factors that drew her here.
Nadi secured her first co-op at United Way Halifax. Her second co-op was completed in fall 2021 with Irving Oil, an international energy company based in Saint John, New Brunswick. She continued to work with Irving Oil part-time during the winter and has now returned in a full-time capacity to complete her third and final co-op with the organization. “One of the greatest things about Irving Oil is their workplace culture. Everyone is very welcoming and understanding. Within the first few months I was able to learn and gain important skills in a short period of time.”
Nadi says that she enters each co-op with the mindset of creating an impact on the organization. “For me, this meant exceeding expectations of my manager and doing the best I could on the tasks I was given,” she says. “At Irving, I was able to make an impact by being a fast learner, having an excellent work ethic, meeting deadlines consistently, and completing tasks with a high degree of accuracy. In addition, my manager was impressed with my ability to solve problems on my own before reaching out for help.” This success during her fall co-op led to further opportunities within the organization. “My manager played a key role in securing me a part-time job at Irving Oil by looking for positions within the workforce that would help me gain more experience and learn new things. Networking within the company also played a role as other employees were able to determine if I would be a fit for their department.”
In her current role as summer co-op student for the Inventory Accounting Team, Nadi’s daily tasks include contributing to an inventory tracking system to ensure all relevant transactions are properly recorded. She connects with employees from other departments to verify and forecast an appropriate level of inventory for the company, which allows her to improve teamwork and communication skills as well as her attention to detail. “What I enjoy most about the job is that there is always something new to experience,” says Nadi. “For tasks that are repetitive, I make it a challenge to find efficient ways to complete them while maintaining high accuracy. If I am ever in doubt, there are many people around me who are more than willing to provide a helping hand and walk me through the process.”
Nadi says that during her job search, Management Career Services (MCS) played a crucial role in providing support. “I wouldn’t have been where I am today without the help of MCS. My CRS, Lauren Shaw, gave me a head start to pursue my desired co-op in my first work term by guiding me throughout the whole process and going above and beyond to provide the best advice.”
Nadi’s advice for you:
- Don’t hesitate to ask questions to your peers and managers. Everyone is aware that a co-op is an opportunity to grow and learn to prepare you for the career you choose.
- Mistakes make you better at what you will do in the future.
- Have a ‘can-do’ attitude, be confident and willing to deal with problems or new tasks. Challenge yourself every day to do better than the previous day and learn as much as you can in the time you have.
Instagram Handle: @nadi__nu