Shumei Wang is a third-year commerce student majoring in finance from Chengdu, China. She chose Dalhousie’s Commerce program for the mandatory co-ops and the opportunity to gather real work environment experience while trying out multiple industries that co-op provides. Shumei’s first co-op experience was in the Undergraduate Advising Office (UAO) in the Rowe managing their communications. Currently, on her second work term, Shumei is working with Marsh working in Captive Solutions a more accounting-related position in the organization.
Before coming to Dalhousie, Shumei worked an administrative job with BDO China, a major accounting firm in China. Her work term with UAO was her first job in Canada, she spoke to us about this transition saying “the biggest difference between working in China and Canada is that I need to speak in my second language, English… became more brave of speaking in my second language, speaking to strangers”. She goes on to speak about how the lessons taught to her in the COMM 1710 and 1720 Business Communication classes combined with her work experience helped her develop her communication skills, professionalism, and friendly demeanour in the workplace.
For other international students looking for a co-op or coming into the co-op program, Shumei had some tips to share from her experience. She stresses never giving up on the job hunt, “students with super high GPA will have a lot of interviews and some of them might get ideal offers in late September, but don’t be panic, some good companies posted jobs late, even in late November”. Coinciding with this she stresses putting in effort for each job application tailoring your cover letter and resumes for each application.
Wrapping up our interview Shumei told us about her thoughts on the new International Student Work Experience Program (ISWEP) and her career goals. Shumei regarded the ISWEP as a good opportunity for students to learn and gain experience. In the short term, Shumei wants to find a finance position for her final co-op position and then pursue further education after graduation.