Recently, representatives from ConocoPhillips Canada visited the University of Lethbridge to meet some of the students who have benefitted from the company's longstanding commitment to education.
As a strong supporter of the University for more than 15 years, the company offers placements for co-op students and regularly hires U of L graduates. One of ConocoPhillips Canada's contributions has given students the opportunity to take part in world-wide, national and regional work placements.
The ConocoPhillips Canada Cooperative Education Award has benefitted over 40 students to date. Recipients have worked in such diverse locations as Hong Kong, South Africa, Malaysia and Alberta, and for organizations that include businesses, non-governmental organizations and not-for-profits, to name a few.
Chris Keeler, a fourth-year finance major, was more than happy meet some of the individuals responsible for helping to fund his co-op placement in Kuala Lampur.
"My work term provided the opportunity to apply skills I learned in the classroom on real projects," says Keeler, who worked as an analyst with a boutique investment bank.
Keeler had the opportunity to work on mergers and acquisitions, as well as financing deals, developing and practicing skills he knows he will use throughout his career.
"I picked up a great deal of technical knowledge along the way and enjoyed the experience of working and living in a different culture."
Sydney McNally echoes Keeler, maintaining that her own experience in Cape Town, South Africa, prepared her for the job market.
"I worked at a small specialist economic development consultancy that focuses on creating sustainable change in developing communities," explains McNally.
"Acting as the project manager for two fair trade workshop and information sessions, I have a better understanding of project management and fair trade."
Equally grateful for the experience is Beth Watson, who spent three and a half months in Cape Town, South Africa, interning at a non-governmental organization (NGO). Her daily tasks ranged from data entry to interviewing micro-loan clients and provided an incredible overview of the organization.
"Throughout all of this I learned a lot about micro finance, development, South Africa, and myself. The experience was truly invaluable and I am so grateful to ConocoPhillips for helping make it possible," says Watson.