Office Hours: Exploring Student and New Grad Opportunities at Bell


September 19th was an exciting day — we had the experts from Bell join us for an online chat!

During the hour-long Q&A, their team answered questions ranging from application tips to advancement opportunities. We spoke all about their awesome Graduate Leadership Programs and learned what it’s like to start a career with a telecommunications industry leader.

If you weren’t able to attend the event, check out the full transcript of the conversation below!

Hi, early birds! Thanks for joining Office Hours with Bell. To log into the chat, please follow the steps below:

1. Click the message bar above to activate (“send questions or comments”)
2. Pick a screen name – your first name will do!
3. Enter your question(s) into the chat – they’ll be accepted into our moderation system as soon as you hit ‘send’!

We will be starting the event at 3 p.m. ET – stay tuned!

Hello everyone, thanks for joining us for Office Hours! My name is Melissa and I’ll be moderating today’s chat.

If this is your first time attending Office Hours, I’ll explain how this works. Over the next hour, you can submit your questions for Bell through the live chat box. Our guest eggs-perts will be answering as many of them as they can, so please be patient if your question doesn’t get answered right away.

If you pre-registered for our event and submitted an advance question, you can sit back and relax! Of course, if you have additional questions you’d like to ask, you can still submit them live at any time during the event.

Before we get started, let’s introduce our guests from Bell!

Hi everyone! My name is Bnita and I am excited to be chatting with you all today! I joined Bell back in 2014 as a New Grad in the Consumer Markets and Media Management (CMMM) GLP. I am pleased to say my positive experience has led me to my current role supporting the CMMM and Business Intelligence Grad and Intern Programs.

Tania from Bell  
Hello! My name is Tania from Bell. I’m responsible for connecting top talent to our fantastic new grad opportunities. We’re looking forward to sharing our insights and advice with you today!

Roberta from Bell 
Hello! My name is Roberta at Bell. I’m part of the 2018 HR Grad Leadership Program. I’m in Talent Acquisition, connecting with top talent student during campus recruitment, to ensure their time is a great and fulfilling work experience when they start at Bell!

Ismaeel from Bell  
Hello! My name is Ismaeel at Bell. I was a 2015 Network New Grad, and currently I am a part of the Internet of Things Team responsible for design, implementation and support of IoT solutions for Bell’s internal and external customers.

Minyi from Bell  
Hello! My name is Minyi at Bell. I’m a talent acquisition coordinator and my role is to help my team on campus recruitment.

Daniel from Bell  
Hello! My name is Daniel Cardozo at Bell Canada. I’m a Technology Specialist and I work on delivering Voice Products for Enterprise customers.

Kamila from Bell  
Hello! My name is Kamila at Bell. I am a Campus Recruitment Consultant. I’m responsible for proactively attracting, identifying and selecting top talent from campuses across Canada! I love connecting with top talent, as well as working with employees to ensure their time is a great and fulfilling work experience! I am committed to finding and developing the next generation of leaders.

Thanks, everyone! And now to get things started, here’s our first question.

Naveen, a Business Management student asks:

”If you interview two people who have the same educational qualifications and same experience level, what is typically the deciding factor between the two?”

Tania from Bell
Great question, Naveen! Experience and education are only aspects of candidacy, certainly not the full picture ☺ In interviews, we’re looking for candidates who show professionalism, confidence and a sincere interest in the role. Also, preparation is key! Practice your STAR method for answering behavioural questions (see below) and research the organization. Situation – Explain the specific event in enough detail for the interviewer to understand the context. Task – Outline the purpose or goal of the event. Action – Identify the steps that you took to accomplish/contribute/resolve the event. Result – Explain the outcome of your actions and the events.

Abel, a University of Manitoba student asks:

“How far in advance do you typically recruit for new grad positions?”

Tania from Bell  
Hi Abel. We generally recruit about 8-12 months in advance of start dates – we’re currently recruiting for roles to begin in June and September 2018.

For positions that are less technical (ex: field operations management vs. business intelligence), do you think a more “creative” resume will work to our advantage when sending in our application?

Hi Lannie. Thanks for your question! Definitely a creative resume will set you apart from the crowd. We receive hundreds of resumes each year for our programs and every little detail counts! Just be sure to tailor your resume to the program you are applying for

How many people work in Bell’s Toronto office?

Tania from Bell 
Hi Basia, Bell has anywhere between 50-60K employees across Canada throughout the year, with about 60% within Ontario! We have several offices across the GTA, with our Ontario headquarters located near the Toronto Pearson Airport.

What skills or abilities should a new grad (2 years out of university) have to set themselves apart and be considered over the average applicant?

Daniel from Bell  
Hi Al. We look at Soft Skills. So any volunteer work or extra-curricular activities. We are looking to hire leaders of tomorrow so if you were a leader or team captain (sports or other teams) that would help as well. Public speaking organizations like Toastmasters would also help. Bring your confidence and innovative thoughts to the interview!

Ali, a Business major at the University of Guelph-Humber asks:

”What is a potential growth path for a business graduate at Bell?”

Tania from Bell
Hi Ali ☺ Bell has had the pleasure of promoting 54 of our grads to Senior Management, and recently 2 grads who started the program in 2011 to Directors! Bell believes in cross-functional learning and career mobility. Whether you join one of our rotational or non-rotational programs, you’ll enjoy endless opportunities to work on a variety of projects and with many teams to help develop your skills. Lateral movement within the organization and internal promotions are encouraged. With so many opportunities, you can design a career path that works best for your personal goals!

Jessica, a Marketing major at the British Columbia Institute of Technology asks:

”How important is previous experience when you’re hiring for new grad positions?”

Tania from Bell 
Great question, Jessica. Given our grad roles are for those with little workplace experience, we’re interested in learning more about your extra-curricular and community involvement experiences. Work experience is always great to see, even if a retail or coffee shop gig, but is not critical to your application for these roles.

What opportunities are available for engineering grads at Bell?

Roberta from Bell
Hi Alessandro, we have 5 different opportunities for engineering students at Bell!! Check out our award winning leadership graduate program opportunities for 2018. Here are a few that you may be interested in: – Network Engineering – Information technology – B2B Solutions – Business Intelligence – Field Operations Check out the website for more info! 

Yize, an Accounting major at the University of Toronto asks:
“When in the interview process, how much time is between the video interview and the in-person interview?” 

Minyi from Bell 
Hi Yize, great question! It takes normally about 2-3 weeks for application processing between the video interview and the behaviour interview. We will also try to speed up the process and notify the candidates as soon as possible.

Make sure to follow Bell on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn for updates!

Akash, a Commerce major at the University of British Columbia asks:
“What’s the training process for new hires like at Bell?” 

Kamila from Bell  
Hi Akash! Great question. Thanks for asking! Our training for new grads begins when the grads are paired with a grad buddy that’s currently in the same program. Their buddy will help guide them through all the ins-and-outs while in the program. All grads also start with an orientation to bring grads from all programs together for an overview of the company. After that, all grad programs hold their own orientation to talk more in detail about program logistics and receive all the tools they need to get up and running. Grads are assigned a formal mentor at the director level or higher to assist with career development and navigating the company. This ensures that all our new grads are set up for success in their careers at Bell. Lastly, all our grads are also assigned a formal leadership development team who are designated to support your career growth at Bell.

Talal, an Economics and Finance major at Wilfrid Laurier University asks:

“What tips and advice would you provide to a student who’s graduating next year and wants to work at Bell?”

Tania, Campus Recruiter at Bell 
Apply to our grad roles, Talal! We’re currently recruiting for our 2018 opportunities so get your cover letter, resume and transcripts (unofficial is fine) in now.

Marshall, a Business Administration major at York University asks:

“Do you consider applicants with different educational backgrounds for your grad programs? Can I apply for the HR program with a business background?”

Tania from Bell
Hi Marshall. We’re looking to bring a diverse group on new grads into the programs! Unless a specific degree-type is started in a job description, the roles are open to all degree-types ☺

Are you still accepting applications for your HR grad program?

Kamila, Campus Recruiter at Bell  
Hi Carrie! 🙂 Unfortunately, applications are no longer open for our Human Resources Graduate Leadership Program. However, we do encourage you to create a Job Alert to be automatically notified of future full-time or Graduate Leadership Program positions at Bell that are of interest to you.

If someone doesn’t know exactly what they want to do, which graduate leadership program would you recommend they apply to to get the most exposure?

Daniel from Bell  
Hi Frances, Grad Rotational programs are available where you can do 4 to 6 months in one role and then move to the next and finally decide at the end of the 2 year term which one is best for you. There are non-rotational programs as well in B2B Solutions where you get to shadow other project teams involved so that you can get the complete picture of how the Business works. Hope this helps!

What are the new grad positions for Computer Science students?

Roberta from Bell  
Hi Tehseen! Computer science students are very dear to us! We have four grad opportunities that would be great for you: – B2b – Network – IT – Business intelligent Check out the website for more info! 

Looks like we’ve reached the halfway point in our chat! It’s time for a poll question.

What about starting your career at Bell interests you most?

‌• Gaining valuable career experience 26%
‌• Working with an industry leader 26%
‌• Collaborating in a supportive and structured environment 11%
‌• Opportunities for growth and advancement 37%

Dieu Linh, a Business Management and Marketing major at the University of Toronto asks:
“Are there mentorship opportunities within the company?”

Hi Dieu Linh! Great question. If you are a New Grad in one of the 9 Graduate Leadership Programs, you’ll be paired with a senior level executive (director or above)! Being a recent graduate I really found my mentor to be an incredible resource to help me on my journey. If you are not a grad, we do provide resources that can be utilized for mentoring.

For the case study step of the selection process, I know there’s not much we can do to prepare for that and how we perform does not majorly affect whether or not we get an offer, but what are some things you look for? (ex: how the presentation is put together, how we got our quantitative results, etc.)

Daniel from Bell  
Hi Lannie, We want to be able to see how you react when presented with a problem or situation. What is important is that if you are asked to make a decision, you stick with it and present your case for it. We are obviously looking for how well you can present the case but we also look for the structure and the flow of the presentation. Make sure you back up your points with facts and numbers. Hope this helps.

Looking for more information on Bell’s Graduate Leadership Programs? Check out this page!

What’s something you wish you knew when you were applying to jobs as a student?

Ismaeel from Bell  
Hi Olya, thank you for your question! When I was applying for jobs a new grad some things I found that helped me were; – STAR method: In interviews try to structure your responses to behavioral questions where you first explain the Situation, then the situation then the specific task, the actions you took, and the results of your actions. – In an interview learn to talk about your contributions to your experiences, for example what you contributed in a team project, not what the team accomplished. – When describing your accomplishments, try to be as quantitative as possible, i.e. developing this new ticketing system reduced customer service calls by 10% compared to last year.

Minyi from Bell  
Hi Olya, thanks for your question! There are a few things I would suggest to prepare when you apply to the grad programs: • Get to know yourself and decide which program that best suites your skillset, interests and personal goal. I would suggest go to our website, read through the job description and see if you are qualified for applying the grad programs. Some programs do have specific requirements for education, make sure to check your qualification before applying. • Have all the required documents ready (Resume, Cover Letter and Unofficial Transcript) Read over your resume a few times before submitting to avoid any spelling mistakes. • If possible, attend one of the information sessions on campus and talk to recruiters and hiring leaders! Be confident about telling your personal experience and ask questions face to face.

Terry, a Finance student asks:
“What time of year do you hire interns?”

Hi Terry! Thanks for joining today. For our structured intern programs (e.g. Business Intelligence, Operations Management, Consumer Markets and Media Management) we recruit in November. For intern positions outside of formal positions please visit our careers website. Feel free to set up an alert for summer positions so you know when positions become available.

Adrien, an Economics major at the University of Ottawa asks:

“When is the application deadline for your graduate leadership programs?”

Tania from Bell
Thanks for your question, Adrien. September 24th for most roles. Deadlines are stated within the job descriptions found here.

What are the top 5 skills for IT entry-level jobs?

Hi Matthew! Thanks for your question. The specific technical requirements will be stated in the job posting however for entry level positions we are looking for individuals who are curious, innovative, collaborators, confident communicators and have strong problem solving skills.

Hilary, a Western University student asks:
“What kind of roles do people work in after finishing the Consumer Markets and Media program?”

Hi Hilary. I’m so glad to hear you are interested in the CMMM program! There’s definitely no shortage of landing opportunities once you complete the program. Similar to rotation program you can land in many aspects of business such as marketing, sales, operations, media etc. 

What do you expect young professionals to wear for interviews? Are suits always necessary?

Minyi from Bell 
Hi Renee, good question! Suits are not necessary for interviews but I would advice to dress in a professional manner that helps make your best presentation 🙂

These Bell interns turned their placements into full-time careers. Check out the article to find out how!

Khalid, an Electrical and Computer Engineering major at Ryerson University asks:
“What has been your favourite experience working at Bell that makes you proud to be working there?” 

Ismaeel from Bell  
Hi Khalid, great question! My favorite experience while working in Bell was when I worked on developing an application for an internal team in an agile way. I enjoyed working closely with the product owner to define the requirements and get the feedback on the project in near real time instead of waiting till the project was officially released.

Matthew | UTM  
@Bnita, To whom should I direct my cover letter for the Field Operations Management Graduate Leadership Program in Toronto?

Hi Matthew! I am a UTM alumni as well so excited to connect with you. You can direct your cover letter for the Operations Management GLP to “hiring leader” or Patricia M.

Are there any opportunities for Accounting students in the summer?

Tania from Bell
Hi Maria – thanks for joining us today! Bell offers a diverse range of opportunities across the summer, accounting included. These opportunities are offered by individual teams across Bell rather than as structured programs, however. To keep an eye out for these roles as they open, I suggest that you register for a profile on our careers page found here. Using keywords such as “student”, “intern” or “summer” should help ensure that these opportunities get to you via email as they become available 🙂

How many years can a grad be out of college or university to be considered for your grad programs?

Tania from Bell  
Hi Al, Thanks for your question! To qualify for the grad program opportunities, you would need to graduate from a University program no earlier than 2 years prior to your application date, or prior to your start date. For example, those who are graduating in April 2018 can apply to our current postings as start dates will be June or September 2018.

Tanya, a Workplace Wellness and Health Promotion major at Centennial College asks:

”How do new grads get involved in wellness and mental health initiatives within the organization?”  

Tania from Bell  
Hi Tanya – great question! Bell employees are able to get involved in a variety of wellness and mental health awareness events throughout the year. Employees participate in walks, in-office events, and of course, Bell Let’s Talk initiatives. Mental Health training is also mandatory for all management employees, so it’s part of our daily work lives!

What does the interview process for your Grad Program look like?

Kamila, Campus Recruiter at Bell  
Hi Ollie! The first step of the application process is to submit your resume, cover letter and transcripts online. From there, you would complete a video pre-screening questionnaire. By providing a video pre-screening option instead of a phone interview, we are accommodating schedules so that students can record and submit their video on their own time. Bell is the first telecommunications company in Canada to be using this exciting tool. Lastly, we have a face-to-face interview focusing on behaviours, analytics, problem solving and presentation skills. Our final stage interviews consist of a panel of a program manager, a VP or Director, and a current program grad. Our panel shows the commitment the entire company has to the success of these programs. Students also appreciate having a current program grad in the interview as they can ask further questions about the program experience!

Aina, a Linguistics major asks: 
“Do you hire international students?” 

Hi Aina. Thanks for participating in today’s office hours. Yes, we definitely hire international students! As mentioned earlier, we are looking for individuals who are curious, innovative, collaborators, confident communicators and have strong problem solving skills

Can you share a bit about what it’s like to work at Bell culture wise?

Tania from Bell  
Hi Giuliana – thanks for your question! I would describe Bell’s culture as fast-paced and innovative within a supportive environment. Employees are given ownership over challenging work assignments, but are set up for success with a lot of support offered by peers, management and executive leadership.

Joshua, a Psychology major asks:
“What would you say is the best thing about working for a large company like Bell?”

Minyi from Bell  
Hi Joshua, good question! There are lots of advantages working in large organization 🙂 Here are two highlights from my own experience: -More structured and organized (onboarding process, employee benefits) -More resources and opportunities to work on large-scale projects

Each year, Bell employees get involved in Bell Let’s Talk Day. Learn about it here

Maham, a Human Resources Management major at York University asks:
“In your opinion as recruiters, what is the most effective approach for job searching in the digital age? In particular, related to your hiring process at Bell.” 

Daniel from Bell
Hi Maham, Continue doing what you’re doing right now, that is great. Keep your LinkedIn up to date and create your profile and upload your resume to as many employers as you can. Even though it is the Digital age, attending an info session does help as nothing beats making a good impression in person.

Are there ever cross department sessions or events at Bell?

Kamila, Campus Recruiter at Bell  
Hi Graham! Yes, most definitely! Grads first get the opportunity to meet current grads and Bell leaders before their official start date at a casual mix and mingle. Additionally, grads begin with an orientation session which aims to bring grads from all program streams together for an overview of the organization. All the grad programs also hold their own orientation where they have the chance to dive further into the program-specific details and go over all the items they’ll need to know to be successful. Our grads also attend an annual Grad Summit with presentations from our CEO and other Senior Executive Leaders from all areas of Bell. Different topics are discussed and grads have the opportunity to network with senior leaders and participate in fun activities throughout the day. Once grads complete the program, a celebration is held to mark their success with their peers. At the event, grads and senior leaders recognize their contribution to Bell and their success in completing the program by awarding them a graduation certificate. Grads become such a close knit collaborative group that like to have fun outside of work too! We have several sports teams that grads participate in such as dragon boat, softball, and even volleyball.

That concludes this session of Office Hours!

We’d like to give an egg-stra special thanks to our guests from Bell. We certainly covered a lot of ground over the past 60 minutes.

Do you have any closing final advice to give our students and grads?

It was so great speaking with you all today! Best of luck with recruitment season. Feel free to visit the Bell blog for helpful tips on writing your cover letter.

Tania from Bell  
Thank you so much for participating in our office hours today, it was a pleasure speaking with you all! If I had one piece of advice to give it would be to show your personality!! I cannot state that enough. Bell is looking for people that fit into the organization and department. And don’t feel like you have to be anyone but yourself… there are lots of personalities at Bell. It’s what makes it such a great place to work. We’re currently accepting applications to our a variety of program streams. Please ensure you submit your cover letter, resume and transcripts (unofficial is fine) through our website. We look forward to connecting with you again soon!

Ismaeel from Bell 
Apply apply apply! It doesn’t hurt to apply to positions even though you might not think you are qualified for it. Also if you are fortunate to get an interview, remember it is also an opportunity for you to get to know more about the position and the team to see if it is a good place for you! Thanks, Ismaeel

Daniel from Bell  
All the best everyone! Hard work does pay off and when you put in effort, the results will always come! Please visit our website for more information.

Minyi from Bell  
Thanks so much for joining today’s chat! Looking forward to your applications 🙂

Kamila, Campus Recruiter at Bell  
I just want to say a big thank you to everyone who took the time out to attend today’s office hours. We look forward to reviewing all of your applications!

If you’re looking for more info on Bell, be sure to explore their Employer Page on TalentEgg. You’ll find job postings, articles, and more!

Thanks again for joining us, TalentEgg-ers. Have an egg-cellent day!