Ayman Gostar, a third-year Environment and Business student, shares a glimpse to his first work term in Dubai.
For my first co-op work term, I was hired as a Marketing Assistant at Yellow Door Energy. Yellow Door Energy is a renewable energy company for commercial and industrial businesses in the Middle East and South Asia.
As a Marketing Assistant, I coordinated with colleagues in the UAE, Jordan, Pakistan, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia to create and deliver marketing content for social media and print. I also used my video editing skills to create engaging content in both English and Arabic, encouraging businesses to consider solar energy and become more sustainable.
What was truly unique about this co-op term was that I had the opportunity to learn about the challenges and opportunities in different business environments in five countries simultaneously. As time went by, my passion for renewable energy grew tremendously. I was deeply motivated and inspired to contribute more to the organization and make a mark during my co-op term.
While working alongside the Business Development team, I was very fortunate to attend many of their sales and negotiation meetings throughout my work term. By seeing this, I wanted to contribute as well. I did so by applying my academic knowledge and personal network to introduce prospective customers to the organization.
I first approached the Business Development Manager to work on a proposal recommending potential companies. I was trained on how to answer questions and assess customer needs. I met the customers and introduced our company, and even helped to propose a multi-million-dollar solar project.
This experience helped me to be more confident in myself and always strive for excellence in everything I do in life, as I had to face many struggles and rejections before landing my job. Moreover, my manager and the company’s CEO were both students at the University of Waterloo.
They also shared their unforgettable experiences at their different co-op terms and were incredible mentors throughout my work term. They highly emphasized how co-operative education can shape a student’s personal, academic and career development at an early stage. This also made me appreciate the University of Waterloo’s alumni community because I was exposed to a vast network of UW alumni in the Middle East. They were like a second family to me, and I became very close with them.
During my co-op term, the concepts I have learned from my academic program began to apply in the daily activities and operations of my work term, such as the Triple Bottom Line and the New Corporate Social Responsibility. Since then, I have begun relating everything I learn in class to real-life applications and constantly reach out and network with various people in the renewable energy industry in Canada to gain more insights and enhance my career in the sector.