OMERS and Oxford Properties invests in future talent that aligns with their organizational values

Thursday, January 12, 2023

OMERS employees gathering at a social event

By: Krista Henry (she/her)

OMERS and Oxford Properties embrace co-op students for their curiosity — which fuels innovation and brings fresh ideas.

A leader in pension and investment funds, OMERS and Oxford Properties (OMERS) has a diversified portfolio from capital markets to infrastructure, private equity and real estate. The organization offers students opportunities to work on meaningful projects and gain valuable experience across all departments.

Manpreet Grewal
Manpreet Grewal (she/her)
Campus talent acquisition associate at OMERS

“Waterloo students know how to hit the ground running,” says Manpreet Grewal (she/her), campus talent acquisition associate at OMERS. “They understand how to combine what they learn in class with their other co-op term experience and effectively apply it to their time with us.”

At OMERS, students work in roles such as back-end developers, data analysts, investment finance analysts, and back-end engineers as well as accounting, enterprise and indirect tax interns.

Students often return for multiple work terms, with some taking on full-time positions. Full-time positions that the company has hired former co-op students into include private equity associate and process and innovation analyst.

“We encourage students to learn and develop their skills. Our teams are very supportive and they want to help students grow and achieve their career goals,” says Grewal. “Among other impactful projects, we have students working on developing power business intelligence (BI) dashboards, implementing cloud migrations, and building predictive and forecasting models for retail.”

Supporting diverse talent

OMERS commits to having a team that reflects the communities in which the organization operates. To best service its clients, the company utilizes the latest technology and believes supporting female representation in technological roles is paramount.

“There are so many great opportunities for women interested in tech but there is often a hesitancy to explore this path,” says Janelle Seto (she/her), lead business analyst at OMERS.

“We want to help this pool of young talented women reach their full potential, make industry connections and bring awareness to the rewarding tech roles a career in pensions offers.”

OMERS started a women-in-tech initiative to address the gender gap in tech. The initiative helps to open doors through free training courses, networking events and mentorship. Students can take part in the initiative during their work term.

Students also take part in the organization’s various employee resource groups (ERGs). These include OMERS multicultural alliance, indigenous people's alliance, DIVERSabilities and women@OMERS.

“Together with these initiatives, our approach to sustainable investing also gets students excited to work with us. Students are curious about how we integrate environmental, social and governance factors into all our decision-making processes and want to learn more,” says Grewal.

Janelle Seto
Janelle Seto (she/her)
Lead business analyst at OMERS


Students bring innovation and skills

Students enjoy the autonomy, diverse areas of the business to work in and learning opportunities at OMERS. Grewal believes feeding students' curiosity helps to drive innovation.

“Waterloo students are so innovative. We’ve had a student come in an accounting role and in addition to his routine tasks, was able to identify gaps and help launch a brand-new reporting tool,” says Grewal. “This is something we love. Students come in with new perspectives and lenses, they do things differently based on their past experiences and they find more efficient methods.”

Technical skills are a top priority for OMERS when looking for students to fill future roles. The organization searches for students who share their values while possessing strong problem-solving and communication skills. The company values inclusion, integrity, humility and excellence.

top quote

Co-op gives us a chance to make sure future talent ties in with these values. We want to find talent that thinks ahead and is curious. Some of the students working on our teams from Waterloo are crushing it.



Interested in hiring future-ready tech talent like OMERS?

Check out the roles co-op students can provide impact in the tech industry

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