Souhail Aboulhoda, a third-year international student in Honours Science and Business, shares his various co-op experiences and says that co-op has taught him to become more patient!
For his first co-op term, Souhail worked at Grand River Foods Ltd in a Quality Assurance position. While working in the food industry, Souhail ensured that all the foods coming out were safe, of high quality and met both the company’s and customers' standards. In order to accomplish this, he supervised those who were preparing the food products, making sure that nothing was overlooked. "When you work in the food industry, there is no room for error, because someone could get seriously sick,” says Souhail.
Fast forward to Souhail’s second co-op term, where he worked remotely as an Online Learning Assistant (OLA) for the University of Waterloo. For this co-op, he worked closely with professors to successfully apply course content on LEARN. He helped prepare lesson materials, presentations and lesson plans. To give a little more insight, Souhail worked alongside an ophthalmology professor, where he assisted with the course OPTOM 150.
Souhail’s third and most recent co-op took place at Lynk Global. During his co-op here, he worked remotely from Dubai as an Operational Analyst. His role consisted of connecting clients to experts in foreign areas and communicating with various experts about the company’s business model, guidelines, and unique selling points. "One of the cool things about working with Lynk is that it's all about building connections, building relationships, talking to people, persuading people,” says Souhail.
Souhail helped expand Lynk Global to the Middle Eastern market. At the start of his co-op term, Lynk Global had no headquarters in the Middle East, and because Souhail was already familiar with the market and the company was already interested, this was a great opportunity to introduce it to them and successfully fulfill multiple client requests.
What was the biggest challenge while working at Lynk Global?
“The hard part is that you have to fulfill client requests before your competitors because Lynk’s competitors are GLG and some of the other big names around the market. What happens usually is that the client doesn’t just send it to one company, they send it to like five different companies at the same time. It’s usually a race of who can get an expert faster.”
How do you think working at Lynk Global has helped you develop yourself?
“One of the things that I learned most, other than building connections, is actually being patient. Because once we are recruiting clients and experts, we have to talk to them on the phone a lot. You have to be patient with clients that think they are being scammed. Obviously, I am censoring a lot of the words that were said before, but it’s a lot of being patient, being professional and staying calm."
What advice do you have for students going into co-op?
“My biggest advice to any co-op student coming in is to do the thing that you are afraid of doing. It may sound hypocritical if you think about it first, but once you start doing it, then you start building that momentum and you don’t want to break it, you want to keep going. You can apply that, not just to applying to jobs or working, you can apply that to any aspect of life. If you’re too scared to go to the gym, just start. Just start for a day, two days, and once you start seeing progress you’re not going to want to stop.”
What's next for Souhail?
Souhail is currently on his 3B academic term and is actively applying to jobs on WaterlooWorks and other external job boards for his final co-op term. He has also been making the most of his time on campus by attending soccer intramurals and getting more involved!