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Fatima standing in front of mountains

Many times, our co-op students graduate from our program, and use these experiences in future positions. Today, we will be interviewing a former student of ours, Fatima Sajid to see where she is now after graduation.

What was the onboarding process at Deetken like for you?

The onboarding process involves an initial orientation and introduction to the general working of the company. Every new hire has a Manager Sponsor who discusses preliminary development goals and helps ensure you are on track for meeting those goals through the course of the Co-op. Deetken also assigns new hires a ‘Buddy’ who is a colleague, usually working as an Associate / Senior Associate, who can address any questions and concerns you have during the first few weeks.

Aside from this, there are a few training sessions scheduled upfront to equip the new hires with the preliminary skillsets to tackle various kinds of projects. The expectation is that everyone is assigned to projects right away, but there is sufficient time to familiarize yourself with background and details of the project before starting to make useful contributions of your own.

How did the employers at Deetken help you learn so that you could develop your skills?

Deetken provides several opportunities for its Interns and Associates to engage with the team and develop the required skills. There are weekly sessions that allow for the exchange of information among associates, allowing folks to present their own papers, discuss analytical techniques being implemented for projects, and ask questions pertinent to their current work, opening the floor for a discussion about solutions. In addition to this, there are regular training sessions set up to provide both technical and non-technical training (Excel, slide deck, problem solving, etc.). These training sessions are often conducted in-office and are highly interactive to make the learning process smooth for the new hires. Importantly, Deetken also provides its Co-op hires enough project responsibility to implement most of these skills and create impact right away.

What were some of the new skills your learned during your work term?

In my eight months as a Consulting Intern, some of the most valuable takeaways from Deetken were: honing my research practices to fit the business environment, improving my technical (modelling) skills, and communicating effectively in a corporate setting both internally and in front of clients.
Working on large impactful projects also gave me insight into consulting project operations and building problem-solving methodologies from the ground up for these projects. Moreover, engaging and presenting to clients and third parties provided both an opportunity to communicate effectively and a chance to assume a leading role within the scope of the project.

As you have finished a co-op, what are some highlights that you had gotten working at Deetken?

One of the most significant highlights was the kind of impact Deetken creates. The ethos of the company is focused on training its young professionals to solve problems with impactful outcomes. They are consistently engaging with project developers, policy makers, and local communities to provide solutions using business optimization strategies, data science and economics.  The overwhelmingly positive responses from clients are usually testament to the kind of larger impact Deetken creates, particularly locally.

Additionally, another important takeaway from this experience was the level of emphasis Deetken places on assuming leadership and responsibility for the employees looking to make a mark. This especially applies to Interns and new hires who are expected to showcase their own skillset in project assignments in addition to learning from their managers and colleagues. So, although the responsibilities provided to you as an Intern can sometimes be daunting, they are also excellent learning opportunities. The team spirit at Deetken is very collaborative making it easier to reach out and ask for guidance when necessary.

All in all, I would say Deetken provides a very attractive working environment for a young economist looking to enhance their business prowess and analytical skills while working with a highly skilled team of professionals. 

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