Daynica Fisher is an Arts and Business Waterloo alum who majored in Sociology and minored in Human Resources Management. She shares her co-op experiences working in human resources and administration and how her co-op positions led her to a full-time career.
For Daynica’s first two work terms, she worked for an elevator company in Kitchener, Ontario called Delta Elevator Co Ltd in a junior purchasing position. Her main responsibility there was to purchase various elevator parts for the company. To be more specific, she would create purchase orders for the different elevator parts, organize shipment schedules and assist the HR and IT departments with their projects.
Daynica then spent her third co-op term at Fair Havens, a summer camp located in Beaverton, Ontario. There she worked as an Administration Assistant, which dealt with a lot of organization. While at Fair Havens, Daynica would track and collect employee documents (e.g., performance evaluations, contracts, etc.), put together work schedules, promote their student program on the camp’s Instagram page, and carry out a job analysis focusing on the number of worked hours to reduce the amount of overtime in certain departments.
For her final co-op, she worked at KPMG as an HR Intern. In this role, she worked on full-cycle recruitment, where she learned about the experienced professional recruiting process from beginning to end at the company. Some of her other tasks included putting together inclusivity and diversity initiatives and preparing internal communications. Daynica has been continuing her work at KPMG, but this time as the Campus Recruitment Coordinator. This role is similar to her previous one, but focuses on full cycle recruiting for students (co-op, internship, and new graduate roles), including managing company events for students, and administrating the onboarding process.
Did your co-op experiences help navigate you to the career you are in today?
“Yes, exactly. My co-op term with KPMG was in winter 2020. I did a lot of work for a number of different teams, like I said, it was an HR generalist role, so I took part in a number of initiatives with a number of different teams, but the team that I think I worked the most with was recruiting.”
“In November of 2020, I was in my last year of school and was approached by KPMG, by some of my colleagues, wondering if I could step into Campus Recruiting, the role I'm in now, but part-time while I finished school.”
“They came to me, I didn't have to apply at all, they just immediately thought of me and asked if that was something I was interested in.”
“Of course, I was! So I worked part-time until April 2021, when I graduated, and then immediately transitioned from a part-time contract to a full-time contract. Between November 2020 and April 2021 I had gradually added on hours, starting with 15 hours a week up to full-time (37.5 hours a week).”
“When they approached me, I hadn't even started to think about full-time work after graduation because I was like, “Oh, I’m still not even in my last semester so I have some time.” It was really quite nice that they came to me and I didn't even have to do anything. Now, I'd advise others to do co-op if you can, it'll lead to full time more often than not.”
As a UWaterloo co-op alumnus, what is something you wished you knew before going into co-op?
“Before I went into co-op, I didn’t have a lot of work experience. I worked in the summers at camps and stuff like that, but I hadn’t worked in retail or worked in an office or anywhere else before co-op. So, it was definitely an adjustment to go from no experience to suddenly trying to get a job where it is beneficial if you have something to put on your resume.”
“I wish that I maybe had more work experience before I started co-op. The first time I started applying for co-op jobs was very stressful.”
“[...] I wish I had kind of known it would all work out, because there are a lot of opportunities, and especially at the beginning, it’s okay to just try something, it doesn’t have to be your dream job that you’ll work in until you retire.”
“You really just put yourself out there and something will work out and it’ll be good. Even if it’s not 100% what you want to do, there are still lots of opportunities to change in the future.”
What is the most important/beneficial lesson you learned from co-op?
“Every work term will look very different, and you will have to adapt. I had work terms that I loved, I had work terms that were really easy, I also had work terms that were hard, one where I didn’t live locally, and I was away from my family for the first time, and that was really hard for me. Then my last work term was during COVID, so again, lots of challenges there. Really, the power of just learning how to adapt, was my biggest lesson. But, really the life lesson I think is being able to take what happens in stride, having a positive attitude through that, because, ultimately that’s what I think makes a difference.”
“If I didn't do co-op, I feel like I would have had a lot of theoretical knowledge about HR and about society and business, but the actual practical, how to implement theory into practice is what co-op really teaches you.”
- Daynica Fisher, Arts and Business alum
Are there any passion projects or goals that you are currently working on or are interested in working on in the future?
“I am the kind of person who has almost too many hobbies. So, it's an ongoing struggle. I love to paint, I like to make stained glass, I like being outside and hiking, and I like to swim. I feel like I constantly struggle with not enough time in the day to do all the things that I love, and so definitely lots of projects that are kind of related to those hobbies.”
“But, as far as goals, I think for me, trying to be more involved in my community is definitely a huge part of it. I've been starting to try and give blood, for example, more often. Or I've been thinking about getting involved with a local community center, and help more people in my neighborhood gain skills, even skills that are related to my job in recruiting.”
“Those are some of the things that I'm hoping to do in the future or are kind of starting to do, that focus on community involvement, because I really think everyone has something they're passionate about and would encourage others to take their passion and share it with others, for their benefit!”
KPMG hires a number of co-op students and recent graduates! The company offers a lot of opportunities and if you are interested in learning more about this, please feel free to reach out to Daynica through her LinkedIn.