When I applied for the co-op position at BC Lottery Corporation (BCLC), my first impression was that I would work at a casino, distributing chips, or selling lottery tickets at a retail store. But it turns out that I had no idea that this job will bring me everything I need for the career I’m passionate about.
My co-op position at BCLC is a Digital Marketing Co-op. My daily work includes launching weekly online games, managing campaigns on the website, and preparing monthly campaign newsletters. I also got the chance to interview big lottery winners (trust me, I did not believe people won millions of dollars until I saw them in person) and wrote the winners’ stories for them.
Stage 1: Get Ready
As an international student who had been in Canada for around two years, it was definitely a huge change for me to work at a local company. Not only because it was my first internship, but also because I had no idea what to expect in adapting to the new work environment. So, what I did was do some research online to see employees’ thoughts on working at BCLC. I also asked my manager before my first day about the dress code and working schedules. All these steps helped me get ready for my first day at work.
During my first week at BCLC, I spent most of my time meeting co-workers from different departments, understanding the organization’s culture, and learning about the gambling industry in general. I also spent my lunchtime with my co-workers to ask any questions I had while working, and share interesting moments of our daily life. Soon after the first week, I was able to adapt quickly to the new environment and culture.
Stage 2: Explore & Grow
The first and most important thing was to plan out what skills I expected to develop and what objectives I want to achieve. Once I had my detailed plan, all I needed to do is to take action and follow it.
One of my goals was to develop my copywriting skills. Because I told my manager about my objectives, she could assign me some relevant tasks. I got the chance to interview lottery winners who won prizes in six figures or even more. To be honest, when I did my first interview, I was super nervous yet excited. I felt nervous because the job was completely new to me, and I was afraid of making any mistakes. At the same time, I got excited because I could finally see the big winner in person! The interview ended up going pretty well. After the interview, I was asked to create a winner story and publish it on PlayNow.com. This is the first time I got my article published on a company’s website. When I saw my article online, I felt a sense of achievement because my efforts were recognized and brought value to other people. I also got lots of support from the team, which made me even more appreciated for working here.
Stage 3: Socializing is Important
One thing I loved the most at BCLC is being surrounded by great people and friends. I was grateful to work with a really strong and supportive team. During weekly team meetings, everyone was actively engaged in discussions. They shared their expertise as well as their thoughts on various topics. Even if it was just a co-op, they asked me about my opinions and took my thoughts seriously.
I also made friends with people who were co-ops from other departments. Because we had a lot in common, we quickly became friends with each other. We hung out a lot to explore new restaurants nearby, share stories, and motivate each other to grow. We were not only a group of co-ops but more like a family.
In addition, I got tons of supports from other teams. When I talked to some co-workers from CRM (Customer Relationship Management) team, they agreed to a Marketing 101 session to walk me through everything they learned in their careers. Then I gathered all the co-ops and had two marketing sessions with the kindest CRM team. I have to say, spending two hours listening to their experience and marketing knowledge was ten times more valuable than me doing career research by myself. I felt deeply grateful because they were happy to offer their time and share their knowledge with us.
Stage 4: Adventures Never End
Eight months went by faster than I expected. From knowing nothing to being able to tackle many difficulties, I could not have expected more from my time at BCLC. As my tenure is almost over, I know it’s not the end. Instead, it’s just a new start. I will carry all the memories from BCLC to continually explore new adventures.