Beedie School of Business announces Co-op Global Careers ProgramJun 06, 2012
A new initiative at Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business will give its CGA co-op students the chance to participate in a co-op work term on the sunny island of Barbados.
The Beedie School of Business & CGA Co-op Global Careers Program is part of a new partnership between the Beedie School of Business, CGA-BC and CGA Caribbean. It will allow for one SFU CGA co-op student to be placed in a work term with a CGA employer in Barbados each year.
The program was created in partnership with Caroline Wakelin, Beedie School of Business Co-op, Jas Randhawa, Manager of Recruitment and Employment, CGA-BC, and Graham Clarke, CEO of CGA Caribbean. In return, a Vancouver CGA employer will host a Barbadian student, with the first BC employer due to welcome their new student in 2013.
“Jas and I set out to create a program that offered students an exciting international experience while showcasing the global mobility of the CGA designation,” says Wakelin. “We were lucky to find a partner like Graham who believed as strongly as we did in the value of an international work experience on student learning. Thanks to the success of the first participant’s work term, Graham is eager to expand the program into other countries such as Antigua, St. Lucia and Grenada.”
Beedie undergrad Lee Wu is the first student at SFU to benefit from the partnership. From January to May 2012, he worked in Barbados as an Intermediate Staff Accountant.
“The co-op placement in Barbados provided me with a great cross-cultural learning opportunity,” says Wu. “The work pace in Barbados is generally a bit slower than it is in Canada, but long hours of work can still sometimes be expected to meet deadlines. Essentially, the co-op placement has been travel and work rolled into one. The Barbadian lifestyle has been very enjoyable and the local people have demonstrated the spirit of Barbadian hospitality.”
Wu’s placement in Barbados is markedly different from his last co-op term, which saw him working in Thompson Creek Metals in Fraser Lake, BC in mid 2011. During this placement temperatures would plummet to -20 degrees – a considerable leap from the tropical climes of Barbados.
“My accounting experiences at these two placements turned out to be as different as the weather between the two locations, but working in two such different environments, both culturally and professionally, was extremely beneficial,” says Wu. “Co-op education has given me work experience which has not only eased my transition into the workforce, but also increased my marketability to employers. The networking connections I have established with all of my co-op employers will also be invaluable to me in the future. I cannot recommend it highly enough.”