Different students will have different goals when starting an internship.
For some, their main objective might be to soak up as much in-field career experience as possible. For others, it’s networking and connecting with working professionals in their industry.
An internship with Bell comes with another egg-citing opportunity – the chance to obtain a full-time role with one of Canada’s leading communications companies. Kanwal Arora and Kathleen Liu both know this experience well. Through their roles as Customer Experience Consultants, they were able to demonstrate key qualities and acquire valuable skills that ultimately helped them launch their careers after graduation.
Starting an internship at Bell
As a student, Kathleen says she never had a solid focus when it came to her career. During her time as a Science student at Queen’s University, she kept her options wide open – from selecting electives to extra-curricular activities. While she enjoyed dabbling in different fields and gaining new experiences, she was never 100% sure where they would take her. So when she secured an Internship role with Bell, she was very excited for the opportunity.
“This was the best way to kickstart my career because it gave me the chance to figure out what I enjoyed,” says Kathleen. “I didn’t grow up telling myself that I’d work in telecommunications, but I knew that it was a great place to start.”
Kanwal was also lucky enough to land a role with Bell in his third year of university. For him, it was a chance to work at the forefront of technology alongside experienced professionals. The program’s unique structure was a great way for him to experience the organization from a variety of angles.Students at Bell are not only there to support the team and carry out tasks – they’re also expected to collect data and draw information from their experiences to better the company. Over the course of their internships, Kanwal and Kathleen worked in small groups to develop and present their recommendations for the company based on their findings in the call centre, which would be presented to the executive team at the end of their programs.
“I really improved my analytical skills during the internship,” says Kanwal. “A big part of the project is collecting data and integrating it into your recommendations. It’s nothing like school – it’s a real-life career assignment. It was an ultimate opportunity to learn and grow.”
Kathleen’s tips: How to create a top internship presentation at Bell
- 1) Do your research. Work hard throughout your program to collect the data you need. You’ll be asked to explain how you drew your recommendation, so it’s important to be prepared and build a solid foundation for your presentation.
- 2) Budget your time. Your role at Bell will keep you busy, so it’s important to use your time effectively. You’ll be working in a team for this project, so play to each of your teammate’s strengths.
- 3) Practice. Before the end of your program, do practice presentations with your peers, coworkers, and even managers. Integrating advice and perspectives from different people will help boost your confidence and knowledge during your final evaluation.
Kathleen says after 3 months of hard work and close collaboration with her teammates, they
delivered a great presentation to a panel of Bell executives that would save the company $1 million in the first year. She says it was a very memorable experience for her.
“I felt confident in the work we presented because I had experienced all our findings first-hand,” says Kathleen. “It was really cool to present to the executives – it really felt like we were putting things in motion.”
Going the extra mile
A Bell internship provides the tools and resources necessary for success. However, it’s up to the student to work hard in order to make the most of their experience. Kathleen and Kanwal both worked diligently to make the most of their time in their positions at Bell.
One of the most challenging parts of a Bell internship is learning how to collect data that will support your final presentation and every intern has their own approach. Kanwal says he focused heavily on making connections during his internship, which helped him in his day-to-day work and his preparation for the final presentation.
“It didn’t matter if they were VPs or grads, I pushed through as many networking opportunities as I could,” says Kanwal. “I was always asking for feedback, whether it was for my evaluation or final presentation.”
Making connections were an important factor for Kathleen’s success as well. The relationships she developed with her co-workers and managers were extremely valuable to her, so she says that she always made the effort to be kind to everyone. Her approach paid off many times during the course of her program.
“I wasn’t afraid to ask questions,” says Kathleen. “If I didn’t know the answer to something, I knew I could ask someone in my network. Even if they didn’t know the answer, they would help me find someone who could.”
A new career with Bell
Both Kathleen and Kanwal received their full-time offers shortly before they completed their internship placements. As they returned to school to complete their degrees, they both knew they had a place waiting for them when they graduated university.
When they returned to Bell, Kathleen and Kanwal were placed in Bell’s Consumer Markets & Media Graduate Leadership Program – a rotational opportunity for new grads to try out different roles across the company. Since they both completed their internships in the call centre, they were permitted to bypass the first rotation and dive right into the second retail store rotation.
Right now, Kathleen and Kanwal are working on projects for their Graduate Leadership Programs – a familiar task to tackle from their internship days. From improving company processes on the retail level to addressing customer experiences, they are making a direct impact on the way the company moves forward.
Kanwal’s advice: How to turn your Bell internship into a career
- 1) Ask questions. There’s no such thing as a silly question – it will show your managers that you are willing to learn. Plus, you will adjust to your role much quicker!
- 2) Make connections. Build your network within the company, and don’t be afraid to reach out to managers and executives when given the opportunity.
- 3) Have fun with your project. Get creative and think outside the box – this is your chance to develop a bold and unique recommendation!
“I really like that I’m able to experience different parts of the business,” says Kanwal. “I studied marketing, but I could choose to take on an analytical role for my first business rotation. It allows me to grow in so many different ways!”
Kathleen agrees – as someone who entered her internship program with no business experience, she is grateful to her co-workers and the supportive team at Bell for helping her find a great career path.
“It’s a positive learning environment,” says Kathleen. “There are so many people working to improve the experience. They’re passionate about working here.”
“The culture is absolutely amazing, and the way that the program is structured really facilitates your growth as a young leader.” – Kanwal Arora, Graduate Leadership Program at Bell
Kathleen’s biggest takeaway from this experience has been to keep an open mind and always be willing to learn. While she initially thought her background in science would put her at a disadvantage, she soon learned that Bell was there to provide an environment where students and grads can learn and develop their skills at their own pace.
“I came to Bell to try the internship role for 3 months,” says Kathleen. “I came back because I grew to love the culture and the people here.”
For Kanwal, he hopes to continue his career with Bell, working his way up to new positions. He says the Graduate Leadership Program is designed to help new grads land their perfect role with the company after completion.
“Through these rotations, I hope to find where I fit best within the company,” says Kanwal. “I hope I can find a role with Bell which is challenging, unique, and caters to the skills that I’ve gained during my time here.”
Kanwal says he was fortunate enough to land his internship role with Bell during his third year of university. He knew he wanted to work with Bell from the start because of their amazing career opportunities.
Kanwal discovered there was more to be gained from an internship with Bell. The supportive culture provided him the tools he needed to succeed in his role as a Customer Experience Consultant.
“Having the right support is crucial in a call centre environment because you’re dealing directly with the customers,” says Kanwal. “But we knew that if we were stuck, all we had to do was raise our hand, and a manager or trainer would be there to help.”