When choosing a company to grow your career with, many candidates inquire about professional growth and learning opportunities, but what about personal growth and networking opportunities?
Creating a company culture that fosters personal growth can be less common, but arguably more important. One of the greatest aspects of university and college is the plenitude of clubs, groups, and networks. There are endless opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals and try new things. Clubs make a large campus feel like a close community. This applies to large companies as well, and Bell Canada recognizes the importance of uniting its employees. We had the opportunity to chat with three Bell employees to discuss how Bell fosters a community amongst its team through its three diversity groups: Women at Bell, Black Professionals at Bell, and Pride at Bell.
Breanne found her place at Bell through the Graduate Leadership Program (GLP). In her third year at Western University, where she completed an Honours Specialization in Criminology and a Major in Psychology, Breanne attended one of Bell’s on campus recruiting events. This led to an internship with Bell that summer, and then she joined the GLP full time after graduation. Through the GLP, Breanne was able to network with other Bell employees. She was paired up with both a Grad mentor and an Executive mentor. She also had regular check-ins with her manager. Breanne was appreciative of the emphasis on personal growth and development in the program. She explains, “They organized workshops and speaking events for us regularly to help refine different skillsets such as public speaking, deck building, and data analysis. They also planned networking events to help you build your network early on with other grads, Bell employees, and executives.”
The GLP propelled Breanne’s career. She now manages the acquisition campaigns for Bell Canada’s four prepaid brands: Bell, Virgin, Lucky, and PC Mobile. Her team is a diverse group of collaborative and passionate individuals. Her favourite part about her role is the versatility. Every day is different. She excitedly notes, “Some days I am planning campaigns, some days I am deep in the data, and other days I am collaborating with colleagues on new projects or initiatives”.
Along with her role in marketing, Breanne is a proud member of Women at Bell. She is a part of the Communications Subcommittee, which runs a newsletter that highlights events and recent successes of women who work at Bell. The Communications Subcommittee works closely with the Events Subcommittee when planning events. They assist with organizing the invitations, communications, and surveys. Events occur every quarter and range from panels, to speakers, to networking sessions. They recently had a virtual panel about working from home, which Breanne loved. Being a member of Women at Bell has allowed Breanne to meet and connect with women across the company, inspiring her to do her best work.
While studying Industrial Engineering at Polytechnique Montreal, Axel volunteered at a career fair, which launched his career at Bell. While assisting Bell employees, he began to learn about the GLP, which he says, “sounded so interesting that I almost forgot my volunteer duties”. He knew that he had to apply, and within two years of joining the program, he now manages a team of 30 technicians. Axel has had the opportunity to manage staff, improve his data analysis skills, and manage large projects. Something meaningful about his role, is that he is surrounded by people of all backgrounds. He is able to learn about other cultures, while also connecting with people from a more technical background, which has allowed him to see new perspectives when problem solving.
In addition to his role, Axel is the Project Management Lead of the Black Professionals at Bell Network. He has been a part of the network since it was founded in 2019. He was invited by a colleague to their inauguration event for Black History Month. He immediately fell in love with the network and the ability to connect with people from various backgrounds and departments. He decided to join the Events Committee, and eventually became the Project Management Lead. Black Professionals at Bell Network has now grown to approximately 700 members. Alongside Women at Bell and Pride at Bell, Axel notes that the three employee resource groups have helped Bell “accept and celebrate difference”.
Before joining Bell, Neila worked in the film industry. She graduated from Concordia University with a Master’s degree in Film Studies, and then moved to Toronto to be a Writer for the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). After three summers of writing for TIFF, to Neila’s excitement, she saw a job posting to run InMovies.ca for Bell’s Sympatico.ca homepage. She exclaims, “It was a dream job for obvious reasons, and I got to work with my friends writing about all things cinema”. After that experience, she began working for Bell Media digital brands like The Loop, Space, the Comedy Network, and Bravo.
She now oversees everything that you see on CTV.ca. She also writes a monthly column for Bell Media’s Movie Entertainment Magazine. Her day to day involves updating CTV.ca, planning ahead to support upcoming programming and content, and working with other producers, designers, writers, and developers to keep the website and social media platforms up to date.
Neila is a proud member of Pride at Bell, which she explains, “strives to create an inclusive space for all walks of people to socialize and learn more about their peers and the industry”. Pride at Bell organizes Pride celebrations, lunch and learns, and after work events, which were held monthly in Toronto and Montreal. This past May, they hosted a TransFocus seminar across Bell, which was a great success. Neila loves Pride at Bell because, “it is a great way to not only feel connected with like-minded folks, but it’s also a place to be heard. We’re extremely interested in hearing everyone’s perspective so we can grow as a committee and pass that on to the Bell”.
We asked Breanne, Axel, and Neila to share what skills and qualities students or grads need to be successful at Bell.
Breanne: “I think the most important qualities are to be open-minded, a self-starter and a team player.”
Axel: “Be curious. There are a lot of different jobs at Bell, so all you have to do is be curious and engaged to find something that suits you.”
Neila: “Have a good attitude and an interest to learn new things and grow with your colleagues. My role has evolved so much in the nine years I’ve worked at Bell, and I’m lucky to work for a company that’s always evolving and challenging me in new ways. It’s always rewarding to embrace those challenges.”
Bell Canada may be a huge company with offices and stores across the country, but through their employee resource groups, employees can feel united. They encourage personal growth and networking opportunities, along with the support to have your voice and ideas heard. At Bell, you aren’t just an employee, you are a valued member of the team.