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Dalhousie Top Co‑op Awards recognize excellence

Posted by SITE Communications on April 10, 2017 in Employer news, Student news
Ernst & Young was recognized as the Legacy Employer of the Year at the Dalhousie Top Co-op Awards
Ernst & Young was recognized as the Legacy Employer of the Year at the Dalhousie Top Co-op Awards

Over 140 organizations and their representatives from a wide range of industries and sizes gathered together on March 22nd during National Co-op Week 2017 to honour top co-op employers and students at the inaugural Dalhousie Top Co-op Awards and Appreciation Reception. The employers at the event had one thing in common, they all believed in leveraging the talent, skills and fresh knowledge of Dalhousie co-op students to advance their projects, support their business growth, and identify talent for their future recruitment needs.

Doug Gallant, Director of Science, Information Technology, Engineering Co-operative Education (SITE) and Anna Cranston Director of Management Career Services (MCS), acted as co-MCs at the joint event. The inaugural event was a collaboration between the two offices and the Faculty of Architecture and Planning. The idea for the event emerged from SITE’s Top 6 Awards and the MCS Employer Awards. A total of nine categories represented the major industry sectors that hire Dalhousie co-op students and a total of 95 nominations were submitted to be considered for a Top Co-op Employer of the Year Award.

Doug shared that in 2016 over 1960 work terms, across five faculties and 26 disciplines were completed by Dalhousie co-op students in Canada and across the globe. “With the commitment and support from dedicated employers, our offices facilitate connections that supports student learning, engage our employers and serve our community regionally, nationally and internationally.”

In a written submission, Biology co-op student, Kendra Chisholm, shared the following about her co-op supervisor Dr. Vanya Ewart, award winner in the R&D and Education category. “Dr. Ewart was a remarkable supervisor. She was extremely student centered, and reminded me that part of her role to invest in my learning and growth. She had high expectations for me, paired with confidence in my abilities and patience when I struggled. She was an inspiring example of what it means to be dedicated to your work, and I could see that she was passionate about research. She provided me with clear objectives, reasonable goals, and the tools I needed to meet her expectations. Working under Dr. Ewart’s supervision was a joy and a privilege, and I am grateful for the positive experience she gave me in the final work term of my degree.”

Public Sector category winner Paul MacNeil, Manager of Industrial Engineering with Canada Post, shares that his organization hires co-op students with the intent to build their recruitment pipeline: “We’ve had great success hiring Dalhousie co-op students. Projects that students have worked on during their work term have been implemented with great results. A key piece we consider when we hire co-op students is future employment. This has worked well for us and we currently have between 10-15 permanent employees that started out with Canada Post as co-op students. They’ve all proven to be excellent additions to the team.”

To conclude the awards presentation, Doug thanked the employers for the diversity of experiential learning opportunities that they provide. “There is no denying that employers that hire Dalhousie Co-op students, make incredible contributions to enhance the students work and learning experiences. The award finalists represent a wide range of industries and sizes, all demonstrating the motivation and passion it takes to make co-op experiences inspiring ones for students.” The inaugural awards celebration was a major highlight of the year and judging from the enthusiasm at the event, the students’ and employers’ needs are being handled with care. 

Dalhousie was proud to recognize its top co-op employers and students at its inaugural Dalhousie Top Co-op Awards and Appreciation Reception. Click here to read about the student award winners. 

Here is the complete list of the employer award winners:

Top Co-op Employers of the Year
Presented to nine industry categories based on student nominations.

  • Consulting & Design Services:
    EcoVue Consulting Services Inc.
  • Retail & Consumer Packaged Goods:
    Bergstrom Automotive
  • Health:
    Health QR
  • Financial Services:
    Royal Bank Canada
  • Information & Technology:
    Dell Canada Inc.
  • Public Sector:
    Canada Post Corporation
  • Manufacturing:
    Metamaterial Technologies Inc.
  • Resources:
  • R&D and Education:
    Dalhousie University, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Emerging Employer of the Year Award
Recognizing employers new to Dalhousie’s Co-op programs within the past three years. 

  • Winner: Affinio
  • First runner-up: Dash Hudson
  • Second runner-up: RGH Chartered Accountants

Legacy Employer of the Year Award
Recognizing employers who have been active and supportive in Dalhousie’s Co-op programs for a minimum of five years.

  • Winner: Ernst & Young LLP
  • First runner-up: PepsiCo
  • Second runner-up: Pratt & Whitney

If you are interested in learning more about hiring a co-op student for your organization, please reach out to the Science, Information Technology, Engineering Co‑operative Education (SITE) office. Contact us at 902-494-4353 or coopjobs@dal.ca