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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
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Aug 4, 2021

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