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Michela Troia

Co-op Marketing Role Enriches Student Experience

Asper student shares her experience from her co-op placement at the Asper School of Business and James W. Burns Leadership Institute.

September 2, 2020 — 

Michela Troia is a co-op student in her third year at the Asper School of Business, where she is majoring in Marketing and Entrepreneurship/Small Business. An extrovert and people-person, Michela enjoys volunteering and being involved as a student and is the Director of Social Media for the JDC West Organizing Committee. Fluent in Italian, Michela also enjoys serving at Mona Lisa Ristorante part-time to stay connected to her Italian community. 

Michela has been working as a marketing and communications student in a joint role for the Asper School of Business and the James W. Burns Leadership Institute and recently started a second term with the Asper Marketing Office. She connected with the Asper School of Business Career Development Centre to describe her experience in her first co-op term.

Tell me about your role as a co-op student this summer.

Right now, I’m working in a shared role between the Asper School of Business and the James W. Burns Leadership Institute.

Marketing wise, I take care of all the social media marketing. This includes running the Asper Instagram account, content creation, engagement monitoring, analytics, as well as interacting with students.

On the communications side, I work on project plans and briefs for the various units in Asper, and try to suggest creative ways to market them. As a marketing major, it has been interesting to see how crucial this aspect is. I’ve also written three articles for UM Today so far, which has been a great way for me to practice my writing skills!

It must be interesting to be an employee of the University of Manitoba, as well as a current student. What has been exciting about this experience so far?

I feel so much pride towards my school, both the Asper School of Business and the University of Manitoba as a whole, so it is extremely rewarding to be in this role and feel like I’m contributing to my own education. I really feel like I have a voice. I’m able to provide student insight that the U of M may not have had access to if I weren’t in this role, for example current issues that students, as well as my generation, are passionate about. I really feel I can make a difference for not only myself but for the people around me.

Why did you choose marketing as your major?

I find the psychology behind marketing fascinating, and I changed my major right after I was introduced to my first marketing class. I was truly excited to go to class every day. I’ve always enjoyed helping people, and I love that marketing helps people get the information they need to make important decisions.

Also, this type of career puts me in front of people which is what I love – and I truly feel there is no better major for me in terms of my skill-sets.

Two females and a Llama

Michela was the Director of Public Relations for Shinerama 2019. Pictured here with Asper Alumnus, Kelsey Benson [BComm (Hons.)/20] (right).

I’m sure you didn’t anticipate remote work when you first joined the co-op program, how have you adapted?

As an extrovert, the idea of working from home was disappointing of course, but I’ve been able to test my capabilities and I’ve amazed myself with what I can accomplish.

It’s important to make the best of things and find ways to make your work day exciting and stay on task. I try to create “little wins” for myself as much as possible. For example, whenever I finish a task I might make myself a coffee or take a quick break. I try to connect with my colleagues even though we aren’t working together face to face – my boss and I have even had a virtual “cake day” together which was really fun.

Why did you decide to apply to the Asper Co-operative Education Program?

In my first year at Asper, I attended the BComm dinner, where I was fortunate to be seated next to Kelly Mahoney (Director of the Asper Career Development Centre and Co-op program). It was great because I had heard a little about co-op through friends, but Kelly was able to clarify many of the misconceptions I had about co-op. For example, she explained how I could work three work terms into my degree, since I had always thought it would add a year to my graduation date (which it does not!).  She talked to me about how many job opportunities it can provide you, how it can make the jump from graduate to the workplace a lot easier, as well as your schoolwork. As a co-op student, you automatically have a great understanding of what you are studying because you are practicing it. 

Knowing how high the employment rate is for co-op students when they graduate also helped. It’s important to find ways to stand out as a job seeker, especially among your fellow students.

The chance to get your dream job before you graduate is such an amazing opportunity. I honestly couldn’t think of any reasons not to apply to the co-op program!

If you have questions about the Asper Cooperative Education Program or wish to hire a co-op student, contact the Co-op Office at 204-474-8521 or aspercoop [at] umanitoba [dot] ca.

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