Sprott student credits Co-op Program with valuable experience

David Mender describes himself as a regular guy who loves hockey.

But the 22-year-old Carleton student admits he wouldn’t be where he is today if it wasn’t for the experiences he had as a result of the university’s Co-op Program.

“I wouldn’t be as organized, as driven,” he says, taking a break from studying for the Law School Admission Test. “I’m happy with the opportunity it provided me.”

Mender, who will graduate with a bachelor of commerce in co-op with a minor in law, has worked in a wide range of roles, including not-for-profit organizations, Rogers AT&T and Research in Motion. During his time at Rogers, he worked in business advertising, promoting wireless products to business professionals, which opened his eyes to Blackberry and RIM.

And while many students get nervous at the thought of speaking in front of a class, Mender says he was faced with making presentations about new technologies, like the Blackberry, to business executives across the U.S. on a regular basis.

“Co-op gave me the ability to talk to people, be confident and present myself. You don’t get that experience in the classroom.”

His time in co-op also allowed him to network and form contacts in the business world he wouldn’t otherwise have had.

“They really do give you meaningful work and you’re not just doing someone else’s filing. You don’t realize how much you learn until a couple months out. You learn to talk to people and build relationships,” he adds.

Along with completing four work terms in the Co-op Program, Mender worked in external relations for the Sprott Business Student Society, served as Carleton ambassador for RIM, was a co-op peer helper and sits on the student advisory council for co-op. He also spent eight months studying in Australia as part of Carleton’s international exchange program.

“You come back and you realize how much more there is and what’s going on outside the Carleton community and Ottawa community,” Mender says. “It puts things into perspective.”

He also has another badge of honour – being part of the Sprott School of Business, which he says has annually been expanding.

Although he dreamed of being a professional hockey player in the NHL when he was younger, Mender now has his sights set on pursuing a career in law.

This entry was written by Kristy Strauss and posted in the issue. Tags applied to this article are: , , . Leave a comment, bookmark the permalink or share the following short URL for this article via social media: http://carletonnow.carleton.ca/?p=579

Kristy Strauss

By Kristy Strauss

Kristy Strauss graduated from Carleton's journalism program in 2009. She is a regular contributor to Carleton Now. She has worked as a reporter for the Kemptville Advance. She currently reports for EMC Ottawa South.

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