Whether you’re a current student or a recent grad hoping to hatch a career with Bell, a networking event or info session is a great place to get started.
Bell’s on-campus events focus on full-time roles for graduating students (September) and internship opportunities (January). On-site events are held at Bell’s offices and even at the Bell Toronto International Film Festival Lightbox.
“We hold these events to show students and graduates what we have to offer and also to get a sense of who might be a potential candidate for our roles,” says Andrea Lopes, Bell’s Associate Director of Talent Acquisition, Campus Recruitment.
“Coming to a Bell event can put you at an advantage in the next steps of the recruitment process.”
A recent grad story
Bell Communications Specialist Matt Boswick started his career by attending a Bell networking session as a student at Western University’s Ivey Business School.
Eager to explore different opportunities at Bell, his networking event experience helped him learn more about Bell’s workplace culture.
“The most engaging networking experiences occur when you can ask insightful questions that show you understand more than the average person at the event.”
Communications Specialist, Bell
“Meeting with members of the Bell team at the networking session convinced me that Bell would be a great fit for me,” he says. “The team at Bell were very engaging and outgoing, but also quite professional about their roles in the business, particularly the more senior executives.”
A typical event features a presentation by a Bell executive, a brief overview of the programs and opportunities currently open at Bell and a chance to connect with different Bell team members in attendance – often more than a dozen in all, including recent grad hires, executives and managers.
“Participants tell us that they really appreciate the opportunity to engage with team members from different levels,” says Andrea. “You can learn how each role contributes to Bell’s strategy while also getting a sense of the culture from people who work at Bell.”
“You want to be able to see yourself working with the people you meet at a networking event,” Matt agrees.
“I definitely felt that I could have a career at Bell and enjoy getting to know and work with the people I met.”
The role of research
On average, a Bell networking or information event is attended by 50 – 75 people, with some events hosting more than 100 students and grads!
Those numbers mean that it’s important for you to show up and make an impact.
“We look for people who come prepared and are ready to talk to the team and ask good questions about Bell.”
Associate Director of Talent Acquisition – Campus Recruitment, Bell
“Our team members are talking to a lot of people in a short amount of time,” says Andrea. “Make sure that you connect, exchange names and info, make a solid impression and follow-up to thank them for their time.”
Matt prepared for his networking event at Ivey by doing extensive research, covering everything from individual employee roles to career paths at Bell, as well as industry-specific news and events.
“Really understand the business inside and out, as well as the external forces that are impacting the business,” he explains. “Doing the right research beforehand helped me to stand out and have more meaningful conversations with the Bell employees that were there.”
Current job opportunities offer particularly valuable information and can help you identify the skills and qualities that Bell’s team is looking for.
“Understand what we’re looking for in advance and tie it to your skills and experience during the networking portion of an event,” says Andrea.
“For example, if we’re looking for leadership ability, you may want to talk a bit about a student club or association where you have a leadership position.”
Putting your best foot forward
Once you’ve done your homework, it’s important to arrive at a Bell event ready to learn.
“Bring an open mind. Often we’ll have students or grads attend who are focused on one specific program or opportunity and are surprised by the breadth of programs and roles we have to offer,” says Andrea.
Try to connect with a range of Bell employees, including a recent grad employee, a recruiter and an executive.
Andrea recommends including the following questions in your conversations:
• Why did you join Bell?
• Why did you stay?
• What do you think are the biggest benefits of joining Bell’s grad program?
“The answers to those questions are all about information that will help you decide if it’s the right program and fit for you in starting your career,” she says.
If you make a promising connection, be sure to follow-up by email – but don’t neglect conventional networking tools.
“Having business cards for the Bell team members is always nice,” Andrea explains. “You’re speaking with a lot of students and business cards are a great way to make notes of who you spoke with and what you discussed.”
Making the right impression
Matt was careful to make the most of each conversation at his networking event.
“Understand a person’s role at Bell. Get a grasp of what their day-to-day is like in the business – that allows you to tailor the conversation to the specific person.”
It’s here that prior research and preparation really stand out.
“You want to ask questions that show you have a deep understanding of the business and have done your homework,” says Matt. “The most engaging networking experiences occur when you can ask insightful questions that show you understand more than the average person at the event.”
Differentiating yourself is a major advantage.
“We look for people who come prepared and are ready to talk to the team and ask good questions,” says Andrea. “We’re identifying potential candidates for the interview process, so you want to make sure you stand out.”
Matt stood out – and he’s glad to have done so.
“Knowing that I would learn from people with such incredible experience in the mobility space was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” he says. “Learning as much about Bell as you can will help you make great decisions planning your career.”
“There are so many diverse roles and possibilities at Bell.”