Which Bell Graduate Leadership Program Is Right For You?


As a new grad, you’re constantly searching for that next big career opportunity. It can be a frustrating transition to navigate but once in awhile, you’ll come across an employer that seems to ‘get it’. Bell truly understands talent and offers incredible programs to help support you and your career.

As part of Bell’s Talent Acquisition team, Patricia Melville and Sara Robertson are responsible for matching top graduates with their top Graduate Leadership Programs. As new graduates, they themselves had the opportunity to launch their careers with these top talent programs, and are eager to recommend the experience to young aspiring professionals.

“At Bell, we have 7 different Graduate Leadership Programs,” says Sara. “We have rotational and non-rotational programs. I like to compare it with your first year of university – trying out the general courses before you narrow down your major.”

Upon discovering these programs, many applicants suddenly have to switch gears from “where am I going to find an opportunity?” to “which opportunity is right for me?” If you’re stuck between roles, and need help deciding which program is for you, Patricia and Sara have some valuable advice for you!

Bell Consumer Markets & Media Program

Patricia M
Patricia Melville
Senior Consultant, Talent Acquisition at Bell
Sara Women at Bell
Sara Robertson
Consultant, Talent Acquisition at Bell

Great if you’re interested in…

  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Customer Service
  • Retail
  • HR

The Bell Consumer Markets & Media program is a rotational opportunity, where new graduates can work in one of Bell’s contact centres and in store as a consultant. It’s a great opportunity to learn about Bell’s business from the front lines, exercise your professional skills, and learn about the business from the ground up.

“You have the opportunity to be a consultant and work with your team through different challenges,” says Patricia. “New grads can work on pitching innovative solutions to business problems.”

Patricia also says grads have the option of exploring different areas in the business based on their interests – including product, pricing, sales, marketing, and operations.

“The number one quality we look for in a candidate for this program is passion for initiating change,” she says. “You have a short time to make your mark in these areas, so you really need to make that time count!”

What types of careers can this program lead to?

  • Project Manager
  • Analyst
  • HR/Recruitment

Business Intelligence Program

Great if you’re interested in…

  • Analyzing large quantities of data and providing actionable insights
  • Partnering with business stakeholders to seize opportunities

In this non-rotational program, graduates who love working with data will have an opportunity to work in-depth with experienced Bell insights. It’s a chance to learn how to optimize data and develop action plans for a large business, while coordinating the needs of various departments, such as marketing and IT.

After their training period, graduates are immersed in a number of exciting projects. They work with lots of big data tools, and with information that is critical to the company’s success. Sara says that people who enjoy bringing new ideas to the table are ideal for this program.

“We call them “treasure hunters”,” she says. “People who like pulling info out of data and drawing conclusions. They’re the experts behind the data and analytics.”

What types of careers can this program lead to?

  • Business Intelligence Specialist
  • Consultant

Field Leadership Program

Great if you’re interested in…

  • Managing large teams and projects
  • Leadership development
  • Data analysis

As the title suggests, the Field Leadership Program is all about moulding and training future leaders by giving them an environment to learn and improve their skills. Since it’s a rotational program, grads are able to focus on leadership in a number of different settings.

“In this program, there’s a huge focus on leading, coaching, and raising the performance of the team,” says Patricia. “You really become a ‘people leader’.”

New grads have the opportunity to plan and lead strategic projects in the field division, which helps maximize efficiencies related to customer deliverables. They also use operations analytics, which uses data to make strategic decisions in resolving issues and helping customers.

As one might assume, the Field Leadership Program is ideal for those who have the makings of a great leader. In fact, Sara says that grads enter a leadership role very early on in their program – once they’ve mastered these skills, she says that these graduates move on to a wide variety of positions in the company.

“They’re all over the map – we see people become finance managers, team leaders, and even project managers,” she says.

What types of careers can this program lead to?

  • Project Manager
  • Finance Manager
  • Senior Leader
  • Team Leader

Finance Approved Training Office (ATO) Program

Great if you’re interested in…

  • Accounting
  • Obtaining your CPA

The Finance ATO Program is a fantastic opportunity for finance and accounting graduates to gain practical experience while working towards their accounting designation. This 3-year rotational program gives them a chance to try out different finance roles in Bell while getting support and training for their CPA exams.

“Within the first year, you get to learn audit and other valuable experiences you’d get in a big firm,” says Sara. “There are also two different streams in this program: in your final year, you can decide whether you want to be an auditor or controller.”

Aside from having an interest in finance and accounting, as well as pursuing a CPA designation, Sara says that, surprisingly, creativity is a great quality to have for this program.

“In a finance role, it’s not only important to know how to analyze the numbers – you need to know what to do with them,” she says. “Think outside the box. Consider how you can use this information to enhance the business.”

What types of careers can this program lead to?

  • Finance manager
  • Controller
  • Auditor
  • Risk analyst

Network Program

Great if you’re interested in…

  • Working in wireline, wireless, and network architectures
  • Dealing with the latest technologies

The Network Program allows new grads to work with cutting edge global network software. The non-rotational nature of this program means that you’ll be able to immerse yourself in this exciting field from day one, working on different technically-focused projects.

“You’ll be working on the Bell network – one of the best in the country,” says Patricia. “It’s all about connecting Canadians, and learning from the best minds in the industry. Plus, you will be connecting with new grads who share that same passion.”

One of the most interesting parts of the Network Program is working with the newest technology before anything else. Grads are able to be a part of innovations in telecommunication – making the internet faster, improving speed, and bringing top tech into people’s homes.

“We’re looking for people who love working at the forefront of technology,” says Sara. “We always say we’re looking for change drivers and change makers – but for this one, you will literally be bringing about change because you’ll always be working on projects and coming up with new and improved ways of doing things.”

What types of careers can this program lead to?

  • Network Engineer
  • Network Manager
  • Developer/Planner
  • Project Manager

Bell Business Markets Program

Great if you’re interested in…

  • Working with Canada’s top businesses
  • Helping define how communications and business will evolve at Bell

The non-rotational Bell Business Markets Program is a top pick for new graduates looking to gain business-to-business (B2B) experience with Bell’s clients. These clients include well-known insurance, banking, and retail companies. The new graduates can work in a variety of roles, such as project management, marketing, sales, security solutions, and data analytics.

“This is a great opportunity for new grads to work with leading businesses in Canada,” says Patricia.

One of the key factors to success in this role is the ability to facilitate client relations. Sara says that building and maintaining these relationships is imperative to Bell’s success – the grads they select for this role must take pride in their work and strive to do their best with each interaction they have.

“You’ll be dealing with our biggest customers,” she says. “You’ll be taking a B2B approach and seeing what you can do to meet their needs.”

What types of careers can this program lead to?

  • Project Manager
  • Portfolio Manager
  • Project or Marketing Analyst
  • Communications Coordinator

Information Technology Program

Great if you’re interested in…

  • Interpreting business needs
  • Driving IT initiatives at Bell

If you’re talented in tech, this non-rotational Information Technology Program may be a great fit for you. The new graduates in this program are responsible for supporting the different departments within Bell – they deliver different IT projects to help the company run more efficiently. They are an integral part of the company, keeping all aspects running in top condition and initiating positive changes.

“Any project that’s coming out of Bell – anything that requires IT infrastructure – they’re the main support behind driving these projects,” says Patricia. “They really have to understand what it takes to innovate and provide great tech for Bell.”

When hiring for this program, the Bell Talent Acquisition team is looking for individuals who are interested in project management – people who can act as a “gatekeeper” to different teams within the company. Aside from that, Sara says that creativity is an incredibly valuable skill in the IT Program.

“People think that IT is just sitting in front of a computer all day,” she says. “But you have to think of different ways of doing things and challenging the status quo.”

What types of careers can this program lead to?

  • Project Manager
  • Business Analyst
  • Systems Analyst
  • IT Manager
  • Solutions Manager

Advice for new grads

One of the biggest things the Bell Talent Acquisition team wants new grads to know is that they’re not going to be alone. The Graduate Leadership Programs provide every individual with access to support and mentorship from experienced professionals in their line of work.

“I’d say for all programs, people have this fear that it’s their first day and they’re expected to perform right off the bat,” says Sara. “They need to remember that they were chosen because they have what it takes. Trust that you have the skills and the leadership potential – we’ll handle the rest to ensure you’re trained and fully supported.”

“I’d add that the biggest thing is to follow your passion,” adds Patricia. “Each of these programs are distinct in a specific area of our business. So find where you want to make your mark.”

Want to make the most of your Graduate Leadership Program experience? Here are 3 tips from Patricia and Sara:

  • Speak up. Don’t be afraid to share your ideas – just because you’re new doesn’t mean you don’t have a voice. We value everyone’s input.
  • Ask for help. There are so many people who are there to help – Program Managers, Mentors, new grads, and more.
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Mistakes are how you learn. We’re all human, so go into your role with 100% of your effort!

Hundreds of new graduates have made their way through the Bell Graduate Leadership Programs to date, and emerged with the skills and experiences they need to carve out their career path. Patricia and Sara have had many opportunities to connect with the grads that they’ve hired, and heard many stories about their amazing experiences within their programs.

“The grads I speak to never fail to mention how much they appreciate their roles,” says Sara. “They have the opportunity to launch a career right out of school – a chance they might not have had otherwise. They recognize how valued they are.”


Want to work with the team at Bell? Learn more about their Graduate Leadership Programs here!