“Learning to cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset was an outstanding opportunity for me.”
Congratulations to Catherine, recipient of a Management Co-op Work Term Recognition Award for her contributions at Kritik in Summer 2020.
How did you get hired?
When I met the previous co-op student at Kritik during the Management Co-op
Networking Breakfast, I was immediately intrigued by the company. Then I was interviewed by the same co-op student, and I became even more excited as I saw the amount of responsibility that students were entrusted with at Kritik! Following that, I had a great phone call with the co-CEO herself, Carine, who would be my manager during my work term. I was so excited when she offered me the role!
What is the most impactful or innovative project you got to work on?
I was given the opportunity to revamp Kritik's financial model to better reflect the way the business was organized, incorporate their numbers, and ensure that it would be updated on an ongoing basis. Then I created a dashboard that displayed key trends and figures that would be essential for the co-CEOs to make strategic decisions. Throughout this project, I learned a lot about financial modelling and improved my critical thinking and problem-solving skills by identifying the best way to set up the revenue projections and present robust information. This was also a great opportunity to hone my communication skills and gain insight into how business decisions are actually made. Plus, I recently learned that my contribution on this project helped the company raise $1 million in funding!
How would you describe the organizational culture?
As a startup, Kritik has a close-knit culture where everyone is incredibly dedicated to the company's success. At the beginning of my work term, Carine and I came up with a project plan to ensure that I would be able to get everything I wanted out of the four months. Carine always made co-op students her No. 1 priority, with daily meetings where our tasks were discussed and areas for improvement were identified. Working directly with the co-CEO was a remarkable experience. And the autonomy provided to co-op students really empowered me to be more confident in my decision-making skills. Learning to cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset was an outstanding opportunity for me. I definitely feel better prepared to become an effective leader.
Tell us about your best day on the job.
My last day at Kritik definitely stands out. I was invited to present my completed financial model at the executive meeting, and it was my final day of training the co-op students who would be taking over in the fall. At the end of the day, we had our weekly meeting where all of our accomplishments for the semester were recognized and celebrated by the entire company!
What are your career goals, and how will you leverage your BBA and co-op experience to achieve them?
My goal is to work in the wine industry, and eventually operate a winery myself. The beauty of a BBA is how applicable it is in so many diverse areas. Good management is key to success in any business, so my education and my work terms—particularly my experience at Kritik, where I was exposed to the many aspects of managing a small but quickly growing business—will be very valuable to me in running my own winery in the future.
Why should a graduating high-school student pursue their BBA degree from U of T Scarborough?
The Management Co-op
program gives you the chance to try working in different areas and different industries, in the public and private sector, in large and small companies. It’s a great way to find the right career for you, to build a range of skills, and to expand your network. As a co-op student, the employer doesn’t expect you to know everything coming in; often, a desire to learn can be just as—if not more—important. My advice for future students is not to be afraid to push yourself outside of your comfort zone.