Carleton University Co-Op: Setting the Stage for Career Success at Kinaxis
Carleton University’s Co-op program, with more than 3,000 students from a wide variety of academic programs and degrees, is at the forefront to supply the next generation of bright, talented and innovative students to local companies.
“Employers are looking to build their talent pipeline, and we help employers do just that,” says Courtney Régimbald, Director of Career Development and Co-operative Education at Carleton University.
“The system we use is similar to a real-world recruitment situation. We work with employers to post specific jobs and our co-op students apply. Employers get a batch of student resumes and then choose who they wish to interview. It’s a seamless process for employers – from post to hire in less than ten days. We take pride in our support of employers, as well as students,” she elaborates.
To prepare students for full-time employment, Carleton requires every co-op student to complete an online program called COOP1000. The course coaches students on resume writing, interview preparedness, and the transition to the workplace so that they can excel in their chosen fields.
Carleton’s Co-op program offers opportunities for local businesses and students to make interpersonal connections – traditionally this was done face-to-face, but the pandemic created opportunities to foster connections virtually.
These opportunities to connect include recruitment sessions where employers highlight their business, their corporate culture and provide insight on the talent they are seeking; career fairs with top employers; industry specific networking sessions; and other ways to engage on campus and on a virtual basis. Carleton University Co-op also partners with community associations such as Invest Ottawa, the Ottawa Board of Trade, the Kanata North Business Association, and Carleton’s new CU@Kanata initiative, in order to develop and promote local talent.
“The system we use is similar to a real-world recruitment situation. We work with employers to post specific jobs and our co-op students apply. Employers get a batch of student resumes and then choose who they wish to interview. It’s a seamless process for employers – from post to hire in less than ten days. We take pride in our support of employers, as well as students.”
“We actively attend events with community associations in order to foster connections and develop jobs for our students. I’m proud of the relationships my team has been able to sustain in order to support employers and students during this challenging time,” says Régimbald.
Kinaxis Inc., a global leader in supply chain planning since 1984, regularly participates in Carleton Co-op events, including capstone projects, career fairs, hackathons and classroom workshops. In early 2021, the company was recognized both as one of Canada’s top employers for young people, as well as one of the National Capital Region’s top employers.
Robyn Macdonald, Corporate Recruiter, University Relations at Kinaxis, relies on Carleton’s Co-op program to meet many of the company’s student hiring needs. Co-op’s online hiring platform eases that process, by allowing Kinaxis to post multiple jobs. “It’s a really easy system. Just a few clicks and you can get jobs set up fairly quickly,” she says.
Based in Kanata, Kinaxis recruits software engineering and computer science students. But co-op students from accounting, finance, economics, and communications and media studies have also been hired to fulfill positions in corporate services.
“Carleton has a great setup for co-ops in many different programs that allow us to hire students,” says Macdonald, who also praises the personal touch the Carleton staff provide.
“The liaisons that I work with at Carleton are some of the best and friendliest that I’ve worked with across all the various campuses. They’re very attentive. They really want your company to succeed in reaching their students, and they’re always very open and collaborative. If we have ideas they’re always really supportive in listening and making things happen,” says Macdonald.
Elyse McGarva, a Communications and Media Studies major, worked three co-op terms at Kinaxis. “I’ve really been able to navigate well, with good, concise communications, tailored to the environment that I’m in and the people I’m with, because of my education. I am very thankful for what I’ve learned in my program,” she says.
McGarva enjoys working with colleagues around the globe, and relishes the opportunities and challenges associated with experiencing cultural and language differences. Now in her final semester at Carleton University, McGarva has been working with Kinaxis part-time as a sales operations co-ordinator, supporting her colleagues in Europe.
“I would not have been able to secure this job without the Co-op program. It has literally started my career. The Co-op program has really helped define what I want in my career and I already have a full-time offer with Kinaxis that I’ll be starting once I’ve completed this semester,” says McGarva.
For more information on Carleton University Co-operative Education, please visit: carleton.ca/employers/hire-co-op/