This story is featured in the Fall 2016 edition of Showcase: The Experiential Learning Issue. View the complete publication.
When the opportunity to participate in not one, but two internships presented itself, Trent University Durham-GTA Business Administration student Andrew Umukoro knew it was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up.
“The chance to see how a private corporation works in relation to a public organization was enticing. I knew that gaining experience in both industry fields with relevant experience was going to give me an edge. Plus, I was also earning academic credits: it was a win-win for me.”
In his third-year of the popular Business program at Trent’s Durham - GTA campus, Mr. Umukoro spent both semesters working towards two internship credits: the first one as an external events analyst with the administration team on campus, and the second as a financial analyst at Gerdau Steel, a century-old international steel mill with roots in Whitby.
“At Trent I performed an environmental scan to compare and contrast methods and financial records of those who host external events within the City of Oshawa. I interviewed people at City Hall, and connected with individuals who work at public organizations throughout the city to determine and define their best practices with respect to external events planning. Conversely, Gerdau put me in charge of creating a trend analysis using excel and system analysis programs (SAP). The project challenged me to find a creative solution to convert 100,000 data points into comprehensible and useful statistics for use by the company,” Mr. Umukoro explains.
Understanding the Trent difference
Now a fourth-year student, with a graduation date within reach, Mr. Umukoro, who’s specializing in accounting, has gained not only invaluable experience in his chosen field, but also insight into the inner workings of management and hiring practices.
“Thousands of students graduate every year with the exact same degree written on their resume. It’s tough to distinguish yourself to an employer without a demonstrated skillset. Through Trent internships, I can differentiate myself by getting relevant workplace experience that proves my value as a qualified employee to any employer.”
And prove his worth he did. Mr. Umukoko scored high praise from both of his employers throughout his placements, securing two vital references for future career prospects.
Planning for a career in accounting
With two placements under his belt, Mr. Umukoro is eagerly planning his future after graduation this spring. “My plan is to earn an accounting designation and, in time, open my own accounting practice.”
To sum up his experience the internship program offered at Trent Durham, he adds, “I can honestly say that I am more prepared to apply and interview for jobs now that I have had these experiences. Gerdau’s high energy and intense environment opened my eyes to the ‘hard deadline’ aspect of the industry. Trent’s project challenged me to step out of my comfort zone and network with business professionals I didn’t previously know.”
Hear more from Andrew Umukoro about his internship experiences in a short video.