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

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
visibility  592
Aug 4, 2021

Posts by Author

Emma standing in front of the pond at SFU Burnaby
Blog
A Co-op Student’s Guide to Media Relations

Like many Communications students, I came into the School of Communication very interested in media; both studying it and working in it. I found it harder and harder to pinpoint where I could fit into it professionally as I learned more about it. What do you do when you’re interested in media, but not sure you want to work directly in media?

A phone on the home screen where the apps for Twitter, Facebook and Instagram can be seen
Blog
Tips for Effective Social Media Marketing

When promoting events and news on social media on behalf of a club, service, or business, the main goal is to get as many eyes as possible on the content. One of my tasks in my 8-month Co-op position was to post updates on their social media accounts, which includes job postings, upcoming events, and special announcements. Over these months, I was able to find useful strategies and tools to help me manage these profiles effectively and efficiently.

Co-op students standing outside around a sign that says "SFU"
Blog
Event Planning 101: 3 Tips for Planning an Event even Gen-Z’s will Enjoy

Coming into this Co-op position as an Outreach, Promotion, and Engagement Coordinator for SFU’s School of Communication, I was not expecting to gain any sort of event planning experience. Creating an event for our incoming students for Fall 2023, was a brand-new concept that flourished this semester.

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

Kid posing with a fake bear head
Work Excitement

Marilyn Brennan shares her experiences and adventures while working on a Co-op term for Treaty and Aboriginal Rights Research Department (TARR) at Fort St. John. In Part 3 - Work Excitement, Marilyn plans the Aboriginal Day Celebrations and gets firsthand experience dealing with government policy.

laptop screen with lines of code
Working in Tech for the Non-­Technical

No experience in the tech industry? Break in anyway! Communication and Economics Co-op student Terence Chu shares tips he learned firsthand as a Technical Writer for Ericsson, a multinational Swedish telecommunications corporation.

portrait of the author
Is your Employer Doing Enough for the Community?

Are you curious about what impact your employer has on the larger world? Reading about it is not enough! Get up, get out, contribute and see for yourself!