From co-op to consulting, how this alumnus was converted and retained

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When hiring a co-op student, consider how that student will fit in your organization right away. However, you may also want to consider how they might fit in for the long-term as well. We spoke with Trishia Jamison, Senior Consultant at Deloitte and University of Waterloo Accounting and Financial Management alumnus (BAFM, MAcc '17). She told us about her experience from her conversion as a co-op student to being retained as a full-time employee, and how she now hires students for her team. 

When considering the values of the next generation of talent, there can sometimes be a disconnect between an organization's values and Gen Z values. This value gap can cause tension in the workplace between an employer and a student. Deloitte strives to reduce this tension by clearly outlining their values. 

“We pride ourselves in what we call our ‘talent value proposition’ and our ability to deliver that proposition no matter what level [of the company] you’re at,” says Jamison.

In a survey completed by students and employers, one of the top values held by both groups was self-direction, which includes independent thought and management. One of Deloitte’s core values is ‘leadership at every level’.

“Something that’s special at Deloitte is that we really empower you to take control of yourself, your career, and whatever you’re working on,” says Jamison. “[Students] may think they’re not equipped with the right information or experience, but we embrace that. We really want people to take on that leadership role.”

With almost half of survey respondents stating that would be unlikely to accept a full-time job that matched their skills but not their values, organizations need to understand the things that motivate Gen Z talent. Deloitte understands the importance of aligning their organizational values with the values of the people they are hiring.

“By being upfront and clear on what your values are, it sets up the expectations of both parties,” says Jamison. “From the very beginning, it allows us to make the right decision on who we extend that offer to. At the end of the day, those are going to be your teammates and they’re going to be with you during those tough times.” 

Even though co-op students are only employed for a short period of time, treating them like full-time employees is how Deloitte ensures they have a positive work term experience.

“At Deloitte, we aim to treat a co-op just like a normal full-time employee. You have this safe space to learn so much and gain so many new skills that you otherwise can’t get from school. By giving them that space, I think it equips students with an understanding of what the team could look like if we had them there full-time.”

“The biggest thing was the willingness to take on new challenges and try new things,” says Jamison, as she reflects on her personal experience of being converted to a full-time employee at Deloitte after graduation. “You can learn so much on the job during co-op and even if you aren’t successful, try again. You create a connection, and you look forward to returning to those people that are there to support you and guide you through the challenging times.”

The work doesn’t stop after recruitment. Consider how conversion and retention strategies can transition short-term employers or co-op students into full-time team members to establish a future-ready talent pipeline. Keep an eye on future Insight newsletters to register for the next event focused on upskilling and reskilling your talent.