Campus Blog: How to make the most of a four-month co-op term
By Siddharth Pathela
Business Technology Analyst, Consulting | Winter 2014 Co-op
Co-op is a great experience but, as you may have already noticed, it can be a difficult one as well. This is especially true when you have short, four-month co-op terms. By the time you join and really get settled in, it’s almost time to go. It can be hard to learn about and utilize all of the great resources that you have at your disposal. After my experience here, I have three main tips that should be able to help you make the most of a four-month co-op term at Deloitte.
First of all, network, network, network. I can’t stress this enough. There are so many events – for analysts and various service lines - to help you meet other people. Make sure to network with your peers and with senior members of the firm. You may only be a co-op student, but these are people you could work with on future engagements. Some people can even help guide your career by giving you valuable and insightful advice. It never hurts to know people, and Deloitte has one of the most expansive networks of professionals from all walks of life.
Secondly, try and do some PRD. That’s professional development work. It is essentially volunteer work for initiatives that are going on within the firm, such as proposals for work contracts (those are called RFPs – request for proposals). This achieves multiple things. You network with people at a more personal level because whoever you are working for is able to see your talent. You are also exposed to a greater variety of work and are immersed in a more full-time experience (regular employees are asked to complete PRD work as part of their yearly development goals). PRD definitely helps you learn skills you may not otherwise learn.
Last, but definitely not least, learn about the different service lines that Deloitte has to offer. For example, within Technology Consulting, there are multiple services lines: Systems Integration, SAP and Oracle, just to name a few. When you join Deloitte, you will be placed in a service line that you seem to be a good fit for, and based upon staffing needs at the time. However, there may be a different service line offering you are more interested in that you may wish to try in the future. Learn about all of them so that you can make a conscious decision as to what kind of work you would like to do in the future, and in which service line.
Now, there are many more things that Deloitte has to offer and that you can do to make the most of your four-month co-op term. These are just the top three things that I thought would be beneficial to you and should help you get started on the right foot. So remember: network, do some PRD, and learn about the different service lines that Deloitte has to offer. Hopefully you also have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the institution that is Deloitte and see exactly what I’m talking about.
Siddharth is a 4th year student at the University of Waterloo majoring in Computer Science.