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Telfer Career Centre hosts speaker series in lieu of Toronto trip to meet e-commerce companies

The Telfer Marketing Association (TMA) and the Telfer Career Centre have collaborated this semester to present a series of panels from various Toronto-based companies discussing marketing internships and the jobs within these companies.

From Sept. 17 to Oct. 1, the Speakers Series hosted Rogers, LinkedIn, Amazon, Salesforce, and Proctor and Gamble to speak to marketing students, and anyone interested in a career in this field, about internships as well as what to do to help understand the field better. 

This series was hosted in lieu of the Telfer Career Centre’s annual trip to Toronto where students typically meet with companies in person and learn firsthand about internships and job opportunities. However, due to COVID-19, the workshops are provided virtually and are free to attend for students from all faculty. 

Each panel covers a different topic that is tailored uniquely to what the company offers. The talks ranged from what goes on internally at the company, to how to prepare as a student for  an internship at the household names of e-commerce. 

Erin McEvoy, a third-year marketing student, is the co-president of TMA and helped organize the event. Each panel took place on Microsoft Teams and was open to any student via online registration. McEvoy spoke about her goal as co-president for this year, saying she “wants to collaborate more with other faculties and bring together students from all over uOttawa, as marketing can apply to anyone.”

Earlier in September, Rogers, Salesforce, and LinkedIn also gave talks McEvoy talked about the importance of “connecting uOttawa students with these recognizable Toronto-based firms, as it can be hard to transition from the Ottawa marketing scene to that of Toronto”.

Daryo Cummins, the representative for Amazon, is a University of Ottawa alumni, graduating from Telfer himself. Three years post-graduation he discussed how he got involved with Amazon. 

Cummins mentioned the importance of “retail readiness” in his panel, and that students wishing to work for Amazon need to be prepared for a fast-paced work environment, as the goal of the company  is to be “constantly evolving and changing to better fit the needs of the consumer.”

Another company that spoke was Proctor and Gamble (P&G), a household name for countless products. Brad Marshman was the representative and  spoke about the importance of marketing for an enormous brand and how it contributes to their success. He spoke about gaining those eye level shelves at stores, and how simple changes in shelving design can help sales.

Marshman also gave tips to students about the application process for jobs at P&G. Part of the application is a reasoning test that he says “[you] need to be in a calm and secure mindset for these tests” which are quite tough in Marshman’s opinion. Marshman talked about the difficulty of getting into these internships and cutting the pool down to a smaller number of candidates post-application.

P&G, as well as Rogers and LinkedIn, used their time during the talks to promote their new internship roles for the upcoming year. A fair amount of people who land internships with these companies are often hired after their internship, and it can be a great opportunity for students looking to get their foot in the door. 

Liam Lad, a second year public administration and economics student, helped host some of the events as TMA’s Director of External Affairs. He said the panel  “gives U of O students exposure to Toronto firms, despite the separation between the cities, and helps student networks with those professionals on a personal level”. 

“Our mission is to promote the importance of your personal brand and is not just directed to marketing students,” said Lad. “[TMA] is a great way for any student to learn how to build those good relationships with executives and TMA gives you the tools and a stepping stone into those skills.” 

Students who did not attend the speaker series should get in contact with Telfer Career Centre for more information. The TMA also hosts events throughout the year to help connect students with possible jobs, as well as with other Telfer students. 

McEvoy and Lad both stressed the importance of building those connections within the Telfer faculty, and McEvoy said that she herself has been actively involved since her first-year. 

Coming up for the rest of the academic year, TMA is hosting their “Pitch Your Brand” case competition that allows students to work with their peers and sponsor companies as well as get feedback on their branding strategies/pitch. 

Another important event is “Mad Marketing”, a networking event held in the second semester of every year that invites local companies to come and network with students and perhaps offer job opportunities. 
Students interested in marketing regardless of their program should contact the Telfer Marketing Association to become a member and get involved with TMA.