By Mahek Kacheria, 3A Environment and Business co-op student
For my first co-op term, I landed an international job opportunity with Kaizen Institute in my hometown Ahmedabad, India. I worked at their regional marketing division for India & Africa as the Business Development and Marketing Associate.
Adaptability was the theme of the term. From starting work the morning after a 30-hour journey to travelling to another city for a conference jet-lagged, this experience gave me the conﬁdence to overcome so many obstacles. It strengthened my understanding of the differences in organizational cultures, values, and societal needs between these two countries.
I had the opportunity to participate in discussions strategizing marketing operations with Kaizen Institute’s Global Brand & Marketing Director, Chief Marketing Ofﬁcer - SAIN and the Head of Marketing - Africa. Moreover, I developed various types of marketing content and co-ordinated with external parties to accomplish desired objectives. Kaizen Institute has a presence spanning 60 countries and 45 industrial sectors. Consequently, my work required proficiency with the company’s global branding standards, while also emphasizing the local implications.
To work in India after my experience as an international student in Canada has been exceptionally insightful. Looking at previously familiar happenings through a fresh lens has given me a new perspective and deepened my appreciation for them. The enhanced awareness of cultural differences was not only in relation to my own roots but also informed my understanding of Canada as comparable and contrasting aspects came to light.
An international work term has taught me how to engage with new stimuli, to keep moving through the challenges, and to continually reﬂect on preconceived notions. I realized the importance of keeping an open mind for things to play out differently from my expectations. India and Canada are both replete with diversity. Adaptability provides a better chance at leveraging this diversity and inspiring entrepreneurship that could benefit multiple communities of stakeholders.