Finding my path: My co-op experience at Interac

Interac employees gathered for holiday Giving Week event

When I think back to my time in high school, which frankly feels like a different life, my mind was scattered. I wanted to be a lawyer, a teacher and then an accountant — I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to pursue. I wanted it all, but at the same time, I felt like I had no passion for anything. Flash forward a few business courses and an amazing teacher along the way, and I discovered a flame for business. Paired with my recent acceptance into the Ted Rogers School, a clearer vision of my future appeared.

Little did I know, a pandemic combined with the tumultuous highs and lows of the first year would have me second-guessing everything. Even with the diversity of the Global Management Studies program, I still had no idea where I wanted to end up. The world seemed like my oyster, yet so far out of my reach. Then came the Ted Rogers Co-op program. When applications opened, I jumped at the opportunity. Although I always knew pursuing co-op would be beneficial in theory, I wasn’t sure where it would lead me.

Through student involvement, coursework and my Career Boost jobs, I was able to sort out my likes and dislikes and ultimately discover that I do have passion. This passion centered on marketing, communications and community impact.

When it came time for my Fall 2023 work term, with the support of the Ted Rogers Co-op team who spent multiple sessions helping me perfect my resume, cover letter and interview skills, I was able to land a position as a Sponsorship and Corporate Citizenship intern at Interac Corp. This turned out to be one of the most pivotal experiences of my professional career.

Interac is such a unique company, given its broad impact among Canadians fostered within a startup environment. It gave me the opportunity to gain hands-on experience within a team that yielded big results.

In the first few weeks of my placement, I learned so much. From participating in several sponsorship activations, including those at the Elevate Festival in Toronto and Interac’s TTC Free Rides for a Year contest, I was exposed to a world of marketing that involved working collaboratively with agency partners and pushed my critical thinking. On the citizenship side of the business, I worked internally and externally to ensure Interac’s social impact was notable as an excellent corporate citizen. I took part in planning and executing annual employee engagement campaigns targeted at supporting newcomers to Canada and engaging with local community partners to share their stories.

Since my time at Interac, I was able to return the following summer in a similar role, this time contributing to the dynamic world of public relations, continuing to get my hands dirty in marketing and communications.

Reflecting on this journey, I realize that each step — every challenge, every success and even moments of doubt — shaped my path. The co-op experience at Interac didn’t just teach me about the corporate world; it taught me about myself. I learned to navigate complex projects, communicate effectively with diverse teams and develop a keen sense of social responsibility.

Although there is so much more I could say about my time at Interac and its culture (it really is top-notch), I’ll leave fellow students reading this blog post with this: if you are wondering if you should apply to Interac, or the Ted Rogers Co-op program in general, do it. The amount of experience and learning you’ll gain, not just within the company you land but about yourself, is something you will not regret.