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The co-op program is a great place to start your career... It differentiates you from other students, builds your professional and personal networks, and shows you what the real-world working environment is like

Bachelor of business administration graduates Luming Zhao and Xiwen Zheng have more reason to sing the praises of SFU Co-operative Education than most students.

Thanks in part to the co-op program they have both secured prestigious full-time roles with global consulting firm PwC’s Shanghai office.

Luming and Ximeng
BBA graduates Luming Zhao (left) and Xiwen Zheng (right) both secured prestigious roles with PwC Shanghai upon graduation thanks to their SFU Co-op experience.

During their studies at the Beedie School of Business, the duo completed successful co-op terms in the company’s Consulting Advisory Services department. In Canada, such positions in multi-national tax firms are usually reserved for MBA students, not undergraduate co-op students.

But the two were so successful in their co-op roles that they were offered full-time consulting positions with PwC Shanghai upon graduation, bypassing the regular recruitment process.

They have been working full-time since January 2015, but are returning to B.C. to attend their convocation ceremony.

“The co-op program is a great place to start your career,” says Zheng, now a consulting associate. “It differentiates you from other students, builds your professional and personal networks, and shows you what the real-world working environment is like.”

Zhao and Zheng are two of more than 60 Beedie BBA students who have obtained co-op terms at PwC in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong since fall 2013.

“Working with PwC you meet a lot of influential people, and it’s a great platform to utilize the skills gained from the classroom,” says Zhao.

The pair recognizes the role the SFU co-op program network played in launching their careers, and they are now working to promote SFU as a feeding ground for potential PwC interns.

Since beginning her full-time position as a business development consultant, Zhao has taken on a formal role in recruiting SFU co-op students. One of her first acts was to initiate a new tax-internship program at PwC Shanghai, which has already accepted SFU co-op students.

“I feel very proud to be able to help SFU students achieve their career goals with a global organization like PwC,” says Zhao. “The experience I gained through co-op was so beneficial, and I am pleased to strengthen the company’s connection with SFU.”

SFU News Editor

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