A Tale of Three Students: DeGroote’s Commerce Internship Program Provides Important Experience

May 30, 2018 | DeGroote School of Business
Contributed by Kevin Linger

What do a former software company employee, a tennis coach, and a golf cart driver have in common?

Aaron Doucet, a recent DeGroote graduate and former Hydro One intern.

Aaron Doucet, a recent DeGroote graduate and former Hydro One intern.

​They have all benefited from DeGroote’s undergraduate internship program.

Aaron Doucet, a former accounting intern at SolarWinds N-able, completed a 16 month accounting internship at Hydro One between May 2016 and August 2017. After returning to the DeGroote School of Business, he successfully completed his Bachelor of Commerce degree, and is looking forward to beginning a full-time accounting position at ConnectCPA.​

Nicole Bailey will be completing her internship in August. She’s working as a Marketing Analyst at Ford. She will be returning to DeGroote in September with a better understanding of the types of roles and organizations she’s interested in working for when she graduates.

Jason Yap began working as a Jr. Operations Analyst for the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). Jason has been thrilled with the culture and people he has met at RBC.

Aaron, Nicole, and Jason all worked for different organizations in completely different areas of business. Doucet had this to say about a day in the life of his internship:

​”As the only intern, I integrated well with my group. I found being the only intern on the team allowed my colleagues to treat me like a regular employee, and they gave me responsibilities that my full-time workers had. I worked as a support function to Project Management, which handled all construction and engineering services for Hydro One. I was the accountant for a portfolio of over 250 million dollars worth of capital asset construction. In this I had to do a lot of nitty gritty accounting work, but I did get to work on and tour the first fully underground transformer station in Canada.”

​While living in downtown Toronto, Doucet even managed to find love. During the first week of his job, he met his partner Anna, who was a co-op student in the environmental engineering department.

Nicole Bailey is returning to DeGroote after completing her internship at Ford.

Nicole Bailey is returning to DeGroote after completing her internship at Ford.

​Before beginning her internship, Bailey doubted her ability to adapt to change. Her internship gave her an up-close look at responding to a dynamic environment. Ford restructured in October, and she moved to a different function within marketing, and reported to two new managers. This opportunity was an invaluable learning experience, as she learned that she responded to change with confidence.

​When asked about her work day, Bailey said:

“While ​I have my regular responsibilities each week, I find that I am exposed to many different projects along the way. I have a great relationship with both of my managers and colleagues in the building, so I can always expect to have a nice conversation in the day. My job is a mix of two areas, Marketing Research and Sponsorship and Events. Because of this, my work ranges from reporting on brand health data to planning and executing auto shows. Never a dull moment!”

​One month into his new position, Yap has really enjoyed getting to know the people he works with. From his position, he has the opportunity to oversee what all of his colleagues on the commodity settlements team are doing. He says the entire team is always willing to support him and answer his questions.

​When asked about his typical work day, Yap said:

“My desk requires me to make sure that the commodity derivative traders have enough cash funding on their long or short positions by the end of each day. My day typically starts at 8:30 in the morning where I have to fund all of my EUR and GBP counter parties. Likewise, in the afternoon, I have to fund USD and CAD counter parties while making sure all my funding requests to our corporate treasury and precious metals traders are fulfilled. This requires me to send out a lot of emails. By the end of the day, I am checking my accounting module and that my tickets are booked so that those counter parties are funded.”

Jason Yap

Jason Yap will be spending the 2018/19 academic year working at RBC.

​Yap made sure to take advantage of every resource at his disposal to secure his position with RBC. He scheduled weekly resume and cover letter critiques with Alison McGeorge, a Relationship Manager in DeGroote’s Student Experience office.

Danielle Little, another Relationship Manager, conducted a mock interview with Yap. Afterwards, she connected him with a former intern at RBC. Yap enthusiastically contacted the previous intern to learn more about the company.

​Bailey believes it was her passion for Ford that set her apart for her position. Her family has owned 9 Ford vehicles over the years, and her admiration for the company inspired her to do a significant amount of research. Determined to demonstrate her excitement for working at Ford, Bailey came prepared with questions to ask during her interview. She also credits the Student Experience team with showing her how her experience working at a golf club developed her teamworkresponsibility, and organizational skills – which would prove to be invaluable during her internship.

​Having never had a formal interview before, Doucet found the interview prep provided by the Student Experience team to be essential in preparing for his interview with Hydro One. Doucet also credits his success to heavy extracurricular involvement, including two years of experience on the debate team for DeGroote’s JDCC club.

​Looking forward to the final year of her degree, ​Bailey has realized the importance of the skills she has developed at McMaster. Her experience staying organized and prioritizing assignments and homework was critical in balancing her workload at Ford.

​Reflecting on the completion of his final year, Doucet realized how valuable his internship proved to be. After feeling burnt out during his third year, he was very excited to take 16 months off school. Returning to his studies, he realized how excited he was to learn. Achieving the best grades of his academic career “would not have happened” had he not taken time off to work. Doucet also believed interning “was the best decision he had ever made.

​Doucet’s plans involve completing his Graduate Diploma in professional accounting before he begins working for ConnectCPA in the Fall as an Accounting Associate.

​With Doucet preparing to enter the workforce full time, Bailey returning to DeGroote to complete her studies, and Yap embarking on his journey at RBC, the future is bright for these members of the DeGroote community.

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