Skip to main content
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication
SFU Co-op Student

empty
Girl standing next to sign that says "Schneider Electric", pointing at sign.
Just go for it. Although the intimidation to apply and work for large companies is very real, you just need to go for it

Starting a Co-op term, at any company, whether it’s a local start-up or a global organization, can be nerve-racking. But it can be even more overwhelming when you research and read “We’re a Fortune Global 500 company operating in over 100 countries with over $27 billion in revenue just in the last year''. Um… sorry? Yes, I was intimidated when started at Schneider Electric, the multinational tech company that provides sustainable and efficient energy and automation digital technologies (a real mouthful, I know!). As a Marketing and Communications Intern at Schneider Electric’s Solar Business, I’ve gotten the opportunity to work with so many professionals around the world. Don’t worry, it’s not as stressful as it sounds. Here are three things I learned working at a multinational company:

1. You Need to Adapt.

Different cultures mean different markets. Since I work with people in other countries such as the United States, Spain, France, and Australia, I needed to learn how to adapt to their ways of promoting and advertising. What works in Canada may not work in other locations, as the target market varies so much depending on the culture. I had the pleasure to learn different approaches to the market in these countries. When I produce work for particular teams, whether creating a landing page for Spanish sales team, or a PowerPoint presentation for the French services team, I had to cater to what would be significant to their culture and market.

2. You Need to be Flexible.

Time zones. Do I need to say more? Because I work with other teams in Europe and Australia, meetings may be challenging to schedule. When scheduling meetings, I have to keep in mind that my work hours may be their after-work hours. Usually, I schedule meetings early in the mornings between 7-9 am, which to them, is late afternoon. So, it’s not a typical 9 to 5, maybe 7 to 3 or 8 to 4 (which I honestly like better anyways!). Flexibility with your work schedule is a must when you work in a company that operates in different continents

3. You Get Opportunities to Lead Your Projects.

With such a high audience, one would think that producing content for a multinational company would have extremely strict guidelines, that there’s almost no room for creativity and leadership. Well, that’s not true at all. I’ve had the opportunity to lead my projects and add some creative elements to my work. I have the freedom to design our website pages, choose its images, and create its copy. With some edits here and there and the final approval from my supervisors, my work consistently gets published for our audience to see.

Working at a multinational Fortune Global 500 company will give you so many opportunities, not only to work with great people in a multicultural environment, but also to improve your professional skills and accomplishments. And as stressful and nerve-racking as it sounds at first, I learned to be confident in myself and my ability to learn. Along the way, I realised just how capable I am. So, here’s my biggest advice: Just go for it. Although the intimidation to apply and work for large companies is very real, you just need to go for it. Never mind the pressure! So what? It’s about the growth of your skills, your talent, and your experience. The skills you’ll learn in the process is invaluable and will make you a stronger candidate for any of your future endeavors.

SFU Co-op Student

Posts by Author

Elvis standing in front of Simon Fraser University holding a camera
Blog
How to Optimize Workflow and Develop Excellent Time Management

My role as a Communications Assistant has it’s ups and downs especially during busy seasons of the school year where many events run consecutively one after the other. Time management and efficiency are nothing new for us students because we constantly must meet deadlines and make sure we balance work with school

Laptop on a desk with hands typing on the keys
Blog
The Art of the Start-Up: Wearing Many Hats

I came into it wanting to learn as much as I could. Somehow, I learned more than I thought I would, including about the changeable nature of start-ups. I’ll always be grateful for the flexible work environment that allowed me to gain experience in things I never dreamed of doing.

You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections, Professional Development, Career Exploration, Seeking, Work Term Extension

author, courtney, smiling
A Second Term in Government: More of the Same?

Having completed my first work term for Health Canada as a Communications Officer Intern, I was eager to try something new, and the government was not where I believed that was going to happen. That is until I was offered a position at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada...

picture of glichelle pondering a though
Surviving Workplace Politics

Ever been peeved with workplace politics? Have you ever been a victim of office politics? One student shares her experiences from the workplace with tips on how to survive.

 

person with their head in a book
Responsibility and Success

One of the most memorable parts of my time in co-op was the collection of accidents, errors, mistakes, and mix-ups that happened in the course of working in the laboratory.

 

You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections

image of Thailand's temples
Carlie's Adventures in Thailand

She has travelled and worked in countries around the world. Now, follow Carlie as she reflects on her experience teaching English in Thailand and as she begins her work term at CIBT School of Business and Technology in China.

smiling woman from Kolkata, hand on her forehead
Learning Indian Lessons

In the second installment of her series, Kali encounters some of the challenges of an international Co-op term. Find out how her determination led her to an amazing experience with Socio Legal Aid and Research Training Centre in India.

View of Hong Kong
Pursuing an International Co-op in Hong Kong: HSBC Global Banking and Markets

Mario Fong travelled to Hong Kong to join the HSBC trainee program through International Co-op. Dropping everything to live in a new country provided him with personal and professional experiences he won't soon forget.