MBA candidates Tobias Olusanya and Julia Liberale were selected as McMaster’s nominees for Canada’s CEWIL Co-op of the Year Award.
Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL Canada) is the lead organization for work-integrated learning in Canada. They partner with post-secondary institutions, community members, employers, government, and students to champion work-integrated learning.
As part of DeGroote’s MBA with Co-op program, students work with the career team to secure work term placements with DeGroote’s employer partners.
Liberale was nominated for her work with the Hamilton Program for Schizophrenia (HPS). At the same time, Olusanya was recognized for his exceptional work with Scotiabank.
When asked to describe Liberale’s impact on HPS, Gord Hirano, Executive Director, quoted the Chair of Board in his description, “A bright future lies ahead.”
While at HPS, Liberale, Assistant to the Executive Director and Board of Directors, easily surpassed all expectations set out in front of her within the first month of employment.
Liberale developed the 2019/20 HPS Annual Report and a Board recruitment package, created three new client awards (including clearly defining the criteria and nomination process), and developed new clinical and administrative policies and procedures.
When asked to determine Julia’s impact on HPS, Hirano had said, “The HPS mission statement indicates ‘HPS facilitates individual mental health recovery by promoting hope, choice and wellness for personal growth’. Julia made a significant impact on the program and in turn the clients supported by the program by supporting the Board of Directors, the Executive Director and in turn the activities that promote hope, choice and wellness for the individuals in the program who live with schizophrenia.”
Her most notable contribution was examining the accreditation bodies of CARF and Accreditation Canada. Researching each organization and comparing them to the mission, strategic plan, and client needs of HPS, she presented her findings and recommendations to the Board. Her advice encouraged HPS to move forward with a change in accrediting bodies (from CARF to Accreditation Canada).
“This process will ultimately reflect positively on the overall experience of clients receiving support from HPS,” said Hirano.
While Liberale’s influence was felt in the non-profit sector, at one of Canada’s big five banks, Olusanya had a similar result.
Corina Bobel, Senior Manager at Scotia Wealth Management described Olusanya’s impact as far exceeding the expectations of a co-op student.
“The level of responsibility and impact on the business exceeded what would customarily be assigned a co-op student,” said Bobel. “Tobias earned this level of responsibility based on the caliber and quality of his work.”
Olusanya’s day-to-day activities included conducting business and data analysis, including examining sales and trend results and reporting on key preforming indicators. He was also responsible for assisting in presenting to key stakeholders and creating communication materials.
Rolling out SecureShare, a crucial part of Scotia’s Private Investment Counsel’s digital platform, he was required to collaborate with the Scotia Wealth Agile Lab, the change management team, marketing, and Scotia Wealth communications, and training teams.
Organizing and conducting a pilot of SecureShare with clients in preparation for a national launch, Olusanya took those learnings and created job aids, developed and ran webinars with all staff nationally. Post rollout, he led a national survey to obtain actionable feedback.
With Olusanya’s initiative, the Private Investment Council surpassed their target adoption rate of 2%, with adoption sitting at 6% five months after production.
Olusanya was responsible for introducing the next-generation web application for clients that will ultimately modernize and replace the Scotia OnLine platform and develop videos to help internal clients navigate Scotia OnLine (SOL).
Regardless of the opportunity, DeGroote’s students seek to impact the workplace through hard work, dedication, and a desire learn.