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Brock co-op students lend a hand to Niagara’s chambers of commerce

Brock University has provided 18 co-op students with on the job experience working on short-term projects for about 25 local businesses for the fall term
2019-02-06Brock University - website
Brock University. Source:

In conjunction with South Niagara Chambers of Commerce and Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce, Brock University has provided 18 co-op students with on the job experience working on short-term projects for about 25 local businesses for the fall term.

Bachelor of business administration student Andrea Mora Vasquez is one of a team of four students that completed several projects.

One of Mora Vasquez’s team projects was revamping the job postings of local cleaning company Professional Cleaning Specialists of Niagara.

“After only a few days, one new posting had 75 applicants and had been viewed more than 2,000 times,” said Mora Vasquez.

PCS vice-president Annette Marchionda said the efforts of the team provided welcome expertise.

“There was an immediate response from the team,” she said. “I gave them control, and they developed it. They put a scope together first, made sure they would be doing what I wanted to accomplish, and then put a presentation together about what they saw. They helped get our branding consistent and attracted lots of candidates, all within three weeks.”

Working with local businesses has been similarly transformative for Bachelor of Accounting student Thanujan Theivendrarajah. He spent part of his time in the program helping Niagara Concrete Canada build a new financial tracking system.

In all the projects his team completed, Theivendrarajah said the outcomes were mutually beneficial.

“They have welcomed us, supported our ideas and used them even after we left,” he said. “It’s nice to see what we are doing is being used, especially during such a difficult time. It’s small things, but it helps them so much.”

Niagara Concrete Canada vice-president Gary MacGregor hoped to continue his company’s new partnership with the university going forward.

“It was a pleasure working with the students,” he said. “It was useful, and I enjoyed the experience so much that I am hoping to hire a co-op student in January.”

Dana Tonus, Brock’s manager, employer relations and special initiatives, who led and executed the initiative, said the program served as a showcase for Brock co-op students’ commitment and talents.

“I’ve been extremely impressed with what the students have been able to achieve under such unique circumstances,” she said. “They accomplished so much in such a short period of time. These students had no previous consulting experience, and yet they were able to jump into this role, learn quickly, and achieve consistent success.”

“Our employer partners are so impressed with their efforts and the positive impact they have made across the region. Brock students can make a huge difference in our community.”

There will be a virtual recognition event Thursday, Dec. 17, that will provide an overview of completed projects and highlights of individual skill development by student consultants and business supported.

- Sean Vanderklis, Local Journalism Initiative Niagara Falls Review