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Tim MacDougall

SFU Student Undergraduate
Beedie School of Business

Position Title
Experience Faculty
"The key to doing well is not being afraid to ask questions as you are there to work and learn."
During my Experience
Orientation and First Weeks

Working at Methanex for the first four months of my eight-month work term has been excellent, especially considering that it was my very first Co-op experience. I was very nervous to start a big corporate job where I was expected to work with various people from different departments, and even different parts of the world, on big projects. However, as soon as I started working, I found out that my coworkers were not only nice, but they wanted to see me succeed.

My work placement began with lots of meetings with every department connected to Global IT that I might have needed to work with, and I was introduced to what they did and how I could get involved in it if I wanted to. The team members helped me tailor my Co-op experience to suit my education and career goals, which was surprising to me as I was worried that I might be stuck with doing primarily administrative work and other menial tasks as the intern. The main departments I work with are Cyber Security, Infrastructure, and Applications, and I serve as the link between the IT side of the business and the rest of the company.

Day to Day

Once I got up to date with all the projects, my first task was to join a team that was redesigning the old and outdated company intranet. We started by converting the old intranet to a new SharePoint-based site that over 2000 employees are currently using as the main method of communication between the company and its employees. As a part of this team, I used everything I learned at Beedie to make insightful suggestions to all aspects of the new intranet, including its design, structure, governance, and the continuity plan for the platform's future.

While the intranet project was underway, I was also thrust into more of a project management role where I kept track of infrastructure project developments in our Vancouver head office and projects in our other areas such as New Zealand, Chile, Geismar USA, and Egypt. This tested my ability to keep track of lots of small moving parts from various groups of people, but after a few weeks and some sage advice from my boss, it became straightforward and just a part of my weekly routine.

Accomplishments and Challenges

Working in the Cybersecurity department was by far the most challenging. Entering the world of cybersecurity and risk management was like diving into the deep end of the pool; it seemed complicated with lots of industry-specific jargon where the industry's landscape changes week to week in response to cyber threats in the world.

In the department, I was able to fit in, excel, and was even put in charge of running a phishing campaign against all of the company's employees, where I created the entire campaign from scratch and managed it from start to finish.

Reflection & Tips

Overall, my experience at Methanex so far has been incredible. To anyone starting their first Co-op, I would tell them not to be nervous about the work or their boss because in my experience, bosses provide excellent advice and want to help you succeed. The key to doing well is not being afraid to ask questions as you are there to work and learn.