Celebrating co-op event & co-op awards
Co-op student of the year
The Co-op Student of the Year is selected by the Co-op Awards Selection Committee and recognizes outstanding achievement in all aspects of the business student's performance, including academic achievement, workplace performance, and extra-curricular, community and co-op departmental involvement.
Co-op employer of the year
The Co-op Employer of the Year is selected by the Co-op Awards Selection Committee based on a number of qualifying principles including: quality of work experience, engaging in meaningful work, organizational buy-in to benefits of co-op, mentorship, support and positive workplace orientation.
Nominate your employer
Nominations are due November 25, 2022
Past winners - co-op student of the year
2021 - Tanvi Sikand
Tanvi Sikand has been recognized as the 2021 Asper Co-op Student of the Year for her strong work performance and outstanding contributions as Human Resources Manager at GFIT Wellness.
GFIT Wellness Founder and CEO, Grant Reid, noted that Sikand developed an entire HR system for the company. She used problem-solving skills in developing and implementing their Incentivized Compensation and Bonus Structure and married it to the KPIs used in their Performance Management Program.
“Tanvi is extremely self-driven and hard-working,” said Reid. “She is very bright and also displays high emotional intelligence. Her ability to adapt to anything that she is presented with shows that she is gritty and resilient.” With the positive impact Sikand had on their team, GFIT Wellness looks forward to bringing more co-op students onboard.
In addition to Sikand’s strong work performance, she is also on the Dean’s Honour List with a 3.94 GPA and is actively involved throughout the Asper School. Sikand has competed at JDC West as part of the HR academic team. In 2021-22 she served as Co-Chair of International Engagement and mentor for the Commerce Students Association (CSA), as well as Director of Events for the University of Manitoba Human Resource Association (UMHRA). Sikand has recently been appointed as President of the Asper Students Co-operative Association (ASCA) for 2022-23. While busy with the activities just described, she is also active in community fundraising for Winnipeg Harvest, Shinerama and the United Way.
2020 - Fiona Dunn
Fiona Dunn was recognized for her meaningful contributions as a Business Development Intern at Economic Development Winnipeg, for her dedication to the community, and to the Asper School of Business. As part of the YES! Winnipeg’s Talent Team, Fiona coordinated employer information sessions and helped the team plan meetings for an effective recruitment campaign. She worked directly with clients, participating in discussions to identify potential leads. During the Winnipeg Calling campaign, she became the primary contact point for employers; ensuring job postings were accurate and tailored to more than 20 employers.
“Impressed with her initiative, Fiona was asked to help organize and co-facilitate a presentation to 180 skilled professionals considering Winnipeg as a new home. The majority of attendees rated the presenters with five stars. Conducting research, she identified a platform using artificial intelligence to connect job seekers to opportunities in Canada. Fiona organized demos and initial meetings, and the Talent team is now in discussions with the platform regarding partnership opportunities, thereby saving time and money.” said Corinne Gusnoski, Talent and Workforce Development Coordinator, Economic Development Winnipeg, Asper Co-op alumna and coincidentally a past nominee for this award.
In addition to her strong work performance, Fiona is on the Dean’s Honour List with a 4.18 GPA and has been a UM President’s Scholar for the past 4 years. She is the recipient of numerous scholarships including the Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award, was nominated for the YMCA-YWCA Women of Distinction Gerrie Hammond Award of Promise in addition to being a nominee for Co-op Student of the Year last year.
Fiona demonstrated outstanding community involvement. She is active in fundraising for charities, student leadership, competitions, and mentorship. She served as a VP-Philanthropy and New Member Experience at her sorority and participated at JDC West 2021 as part of the HR team. She is also an active member of the Asper Students’ Co-operative Association (ASCA), University of Manitoba Human Resource Association (UMHRA), and the Commerce Students’ Association (CSA), serving in an executive role and as a mentor to other students.
2019 - Calvin Loi
Calvin has been recognized for his outstanding contributions in the workplace as a CPA student at The Canada Life Assurance Company and for his dedication to the community and the Asper School. He has performed above expectations and made meaningful contributions to the workplace by designing a new internal Sharepoint site for the department to improve collaboration and knowledge transfer amongst team members, developed a project to streamline the management and tracking of employee vacation time, led the quarterly global financial close for one of the organization’s subsidiaries and took the lead on a number of reporting tasks. He also served as an integral member of the Internal Controls over Financial Reporting Process team. Calvin’s optimism and willingness to take the lead on new tasks with minimal supervision greatly contributed to the overall morale of the team.
In addition to his strong work performance, Calvin was on the Dean’s Honours List with a 4.35 GPA. He is also the recipient of numerous scholarships including the Frederick Johnson Scholarship in Accounting, the Robert Syme Memorial Scholarship and the Tallman Foundation First Degree Scholarship.
In 2019, Calvin was selected as one of only 28 students from a variety of Faculties and programs to participate in the inaugural President’s Student Leadership Program through the James W Burns Leadership Institute. Within this group, this student founded an e-magazine called LEARN.ZINE, that aims to inspire students to make collaborative, philanthropic social change across education, sustainability, health and wellness, social equity and diversity.
He has demonstrated outstanding community involvement as a founding member of the Westland Foundation Scholars Committee with its mission of empowering inner city youth through education. He recently was selected as one of two ambassador generals for Folklorama in 2020 and will be spreading the organization’s mission of celebrating multiculturalism and diversity in Manitoba. Calvin has also served on the CSA’s First Year Council as the Co-Chair for Charity spearheading initiatives to raise money for a number of Winnipeg charities.
The Asper School of Business would like to congratulate Calvin Loi on being the 2019 Co-op Student of the Year.
2018 - Hilary Ransom
Hilary spent her first work term with Birchwood Auto Group in the Human Resource department. The manager who nominated Hilary identified three key projects which the student was engaged with…Creation of a process map and guide to the organization’s recruitment process which helped to capture its complexity. The guide serves as a critical resource for new recruiters to learn the process quickly and in depth – the improved efficiencies are measureable and impactful. Implementation of a new Digital Signature platform which improved the efficiency of sending and receiving annual pay plans to over 1300 employees; reducing the time from several weeks to just a few days; And, implementation of a brand new Applicant Tracking System which will change the way candidates apply for jobs, and how hiring managers view and manage applications within the organization. The nominator went on to say…None of these could have been implemented as quickly or in as much detail without this student’s efforts. Through her excellent work we were able to deliver more and with higher quality to the managers in the field. She surpassed our expectations showing accountability, maturity, strategic view and focus to accomplish her tasks and go the extra mile to deliver the best results.
In addition to her strong work performance, Hilary is on the Dean’s Honours List with a 3.87 GPA. She is the recipient of a number of scholarships including being a University of Manitoba Leader of Tomorrow Scholar, and she has been nominated as a YMCA-YWCA Woman of Distinction.
In 2018, this student founded and is currently the Co-President of a new student group at Asper – ANEW – which is the Asper Network of Empowered Women with a mandate to create a community of support and encouragement for young women at the Asper School of Business and the University of Manitoba. ANEW currently has over 100 members, making it one of the largest STAG groups at Asper in its first semester. Through ANEW, she spearheaded a charity drive over Christmas in support of the Willow Place Women and Children’s Centre to great success.
Last year, Hilary co-chaired the CSA Business Banquet and served as a Manager of Corporate Relations with the Commerce Students Association. Within the community, Hilary also volunteers as a Children’s Programming Assistant at the South Interlake Regional Library where she mentors early-years children to gain confidence in their reading and writing skills.
2017 - Antoine Allard
Antoine has been recognized for his outstanding contributions in the workplace as a Travel Trade Assistant with Parks Canada. Parks Canada identified two significant projects performed by the student including, the redevelopment of our customer relationship database allowing us to more efficiently track sales and marketing efforts, better manage client relationships and provide data to decision makers. As well as a detailed research and evaluation project on our Key Account strategy – a first of its kind for our agency – which will guide all international marketing decisions made from this point forward.
Antoine’s supervisor went on to say, “I can confidently say that these two projects would not have been completed without the student’s initiative, skills and perseverance during the co-op term. This student leads by example, setting a high standard that undoubtedly resulted in improved quality of work and staff morale. I have worked with many, many students through my career and this individual far exceeded my expectations of what a student can deliver. The level of professionalism and performance was what I would expect of an experienced, full time employee. It is not an exaggeration to say that this student has left our organization a significant legacy.”
In addition to a strong work performance, Antoine is on the Dean’s Honours List with a 3.85 GPA. He most recently received the Manitoba Aboriginal Youth Achievement Award for Academic Senior. He is the recipient of a number of scholarships including twice receiving the NAIG Legacy scholarship - once as an athlete and again as a coach. He is the Head Coach for College Louis Riel’s Varsity Girls Volleyball team which has won the AAA Provincial Volleyball Championships for the past two years under his mentorship. He currently serves as the VP of Marketing for the University of Manitoba’s Indigenous Commerce Students Association as well as the Executive Coordinator for the Metis University Students Association and is an active member of the Asper Indigenous Business Education Partners Program. In addition, he has volunteered his time serving as the Director of Marketing for a small, not for profit organization working to establish and fund school food programs in impoverished areas of South America.
2016 - Liying(Jenny) Peng
Liying (Jenny) Peng made several key contributions to the business operations of her co-op employer, Manitoba Harvest, including testing a new online store and helping to rewrite a financial reporting package.
Her work went “far beyond expectations”—especially her ability to dissect complex analyses, mine data, and present information. “Her impressive capacity to learn new concepts and take the initiative to independently run with a project like this greatly increased the efficiency of our financial reporting department. She impressed us with her positive personality, willingness to jump in and take ownership of many different tasks.”
She is on the Dean’s Honour List and has received a number of scholarships, including the International Undergraduate Student Entrance Scholarship for the top 4% of students. She represented Asper at the ICBC Queen’s University MIS Case Competition and participated in the Investors Group Annual UG Case Competition. She serves as the Director of Student Relations for MISA (Management Information Systems Association) and is logistics coordinator for the BASC Case Competition. Previously, she served as co-director of the Outgoing Exchange Program for AIESEC and participated in the PRAXIS Service Learning Program, worked at Manitoba Council for International Cooperation, and volunteered at Winnipeg Harvest and Siloam Mission.
2015 - Indigo Adam-Grant
Indigo Adam-Grant spent her first co-op work term as a Sales Strategy Associate at PepsiCo Foods Canada. Indigo’s employer offers the award committee many explain of her incredible work ethic and contributions to the company during her co-op work term. Indigo sold over $100,000 in displays and programs . Built strong relationships with store managers and sales representatives increasing sales opportunities through strong communications, enthusiasm and follow through. Set up sales meetings with people they had never met and did so with professionalism and ease. Used outstanding communications and sales skills to overcome client objections resulting in increased business. Created a training program and handbook for co-op students to ensure long term success in recruitment and retention of talented individuals. PepsiCo Foods went on to say “We work in a fast based work environment. In order to be successful our students must be quick learners and must grasp an understanding of our business easily and early. Keeping up with our ever changing and fast paced business was never an issue. In addition to outstanding sales skills, this student’s initiative, enthusiasm and energy increased team morale and their results enabled all team members to succeed. Indigo has shown us what is possible and how much can be accomplished in a 4 month term. Truly a new standard has been set for hiring.” In addition to her strong work performance, Indigo maintains a 4.22 GPA and is the recipient of multiple scholarships including most recently the Enterprise Rent-a-Car Scholarship for Leadership and has been on the Dean’s Honor Roll since admission to the School. She volunteers as a business mentor for the Entrepreneurship Adventurers Program at Joseph Teres Elementary School and has coached a girls’ basketball team for the past 3 years. She also serves as the Basketball Convenor for The Fort Garry Community Centre. Last year she was a member of the CSA’s Volunteer and Promotions team and she currently is a member of the Promotions team for the Asper Students Cooperative Association.
2014 - Cameron Teschuk
Cameron spent his first and second co-op work term as a Human Resources Specialist at New Flyer Industries. Cameron's employer offered the award committee not one, but several examples of extraordinary contributions this student made to their business. Cameron became a key contributor on the project team tasked with implementing a new human resource information system. Completed programming for the benefit changes, and independently developed a stop-by-stop security systems manual for the managers. Created standardized regulatory reporting for the HR teams in the US and Canada and provided training to the US team to allow them to use the tools. In addition to his strong work performance, this student maintains a 4.16 GPA and is the recipient of multiple scholarships including the Nick Laping Memorial Scholarship for athletic and academic achievement, team leadership, integrity and community outreach, as well as being an Academic All Canadian. He has volunteers many hours to charity initiatives including Shinerama, Siloam Mission and the Boys and Girls Club. In addition he has participated at student business competitions nationally including JDC West - 2nd place MIS and CBC - 2nd place. And finally, this student is a Defensive Back and one of the Team Captains of the University of Manitoba Bison's Football Team who this year thrilled us all by winning the CIS Canada West Final, going on to represent Manitoba for the first time at the Uteck Bowl in Montreal.
2013 - Dale Camuyong
Dale spent his first co-op work term as a People Services Specialist at New Flyer Industries. Dale’s employer offered the award committee not one, but several examples of extraordinary contributions this student made to their business. During his time as a People Services Specialist, Dale took charge of a major human resource project for the leadership team, enabling the company to more effectively manage a vast archive of job descriptions. He consistently went above and beyond the call of duty by suggesting better ways to organize and format the information which have since been implemented. Dale played a key role in recruitment as part of a team that hired over 50 production workers and assisted in rolling out the company’s MBO and manager bonus program: organizing, managing and coordinating the program for over 100 managers.
New Flyer management praised Dale’s professionalism, dedication and sense of humour,stating, “this student performs at such great heights, but is humble in nature, methodical in approach, and warm in character… We didn’t really want him to leave.” Dale is deeply involved in the Asper community, having served as President of the University of Manitoba Human Resources Association, Vice President of the Asper Co-operative Students Association, an active co-op mentor, Corporate Relations Manager for the Commerce Students Association and a member of this year’s JDC West HR team. He also volunteers his time with Siloam Mission and was Volunteer Coordinator for last year’s 5 days for the Homeless Campaign.
2012 - Maryia Kuzura
Maryia completed her first work term as a Marketing Associate in the Manitoba HVDC Research Centre, a division of Manitoba Hydro International. Initially, she was hired to research Eastern Europe as a potential market for products and services provided by MHI. MHI had long felt there was an untapped market in Eastern Europe and Maryia paved the way for future opportunities.
Using her business, marketing and language skills, Maryia, a 2nd year Asper student, successfully identified key companies and contacts for MHI. Building on this, she provided translation services during key conference calls and accompanied the Marketing team on a site visit to Russia to meet potential clients. In addition to the obvious language competencies, she was integral in establishing and consolidating MHI’s relationships with their new partners in Moscow. She received compliments from both parties, for her insightful translations and diplomacy, as well as her marketing skills in a highly technical field.
In her nomination letter, Roberta Desserre, Managing Director of the HVDC Research Centre, indicated that her “level of performance was extremely admirable for a technical person many years her senior and is phenomenal for someone of her age and experience.” With Maryia’s assistance, MHI now has a high probability of realizing sales in a region where they had previously had limited exposure and success.
In addition to her outstanding contributions to her employer in her first work term, Maryia maintains a 4.3 GPA and is involved in a diversity of volunteer activities in the community.
For all of these reasons, The Asper School of Business is proud to award Maryia Kuzura with the Co-op Student of the Year Award for 2012, in recognition of her outstanding achievements at Manitoba Hydro International and within her community.
2011 - Kim Fierback
We are very pleased to congratulate Kim Fierback on being selected as the Asper Co-op Student of the Year Award recipient for 2011. The support from Michael Raimondo, Kim's manager at Great West Life Assurance Company, for her winning nomination is a credit to Kim's accomplishments in the workplace and her ability to contribute as an outstanding team player. In addition to Kim's significant contributions to the workplace, the Selection Committee was very impressed with her academic achievements, involvement in community initiatives and support and mentorship of fellow students in the co-op program.
Following are Kim's contributions to the workplace as described by Kim's manager and team:
Kim performed half of her co-op term (i.e. 2 months) in the Internal Audit department. During her time in Internal Audit, she assisted staff on different audits by performing various audit tests. She was also responsible for the completion of an entire audit file. Her assignments gave Kim the opportunity to be exposed to a number of different lines of business as well as various types of audit testing. She did a good job of ensuring her work was well documented; asking questions for clarification; and being able to work fairly independently. Kim performed half of her co-op in the Information Services Financial Management (ISFM) department. Kim worked on a number of high priority projects including process documentation and financial reporting packages which were reviewed by the Chief Financial Officer and Vice-Presidents of Great-West Life.
For one of her audits, Kim identified ways to change the audit sampling approach to make it in line with department policies. For other testing, she was also able to identify some errors in files that impacted the results of the audit. Kim was tasked with documenting SAP and internal procedures on how to assemble reports that are reviewed at the CFO and Vice-President level. Prior to this, ISFM did not have any formal documentation on these processes. This made it very difficult for new hires to become productive quickly and also produced a large number of errors in reporting that needed to be caught in management reviews and quality assurance checks. With the process documentation Kim produced, two new (permanent) additions to the ISFM team became productive very quickly and errors were drastically reduced. This was an observation by Senior Analysts who have been working in ISFM reporting for over 10 years.
Along with achieving and maintaining a high level academic standing in her program and exceeding employer expectations in her co-op work term, Kim is a very active volunteer at the Asper School of Business. Kim was chosen to act as a mentor to new co-op students, and has served as a great ambassador for the Asper Co-operative Education Program.
Kim has demonstrated outstanding communication and interpersonal skills, which has facilitated her transition into a leadership role among her peers at university, as well as in the workplace. Kim has shown a rare level of dedication and responsibility in all her endeavors, and has a very bright future ahead.
2010 - Devan Graham
The recipient of the Asper Co-op Student of the Year 2010 is Devan Graham. Devan worked in the HR Department at Wellington West Holdings Inc. from January through August 2010. She was nominated by her manager - Brad Lutz, Director of Human Resources.
In describing Devan, Brad writes: "she greatly exceeded our expectations with the amount, quality and level of work she was able to complete. I have had exceptional co-op students work for me in the past, but Devan is simply the best of the best. She has been the best possible ambassador of the Asper Co-op program to our organization. Devan has been an outstanding addition to our team and she is an exceptional woman with an extremely bright future. We will be thrilled to have Devan start her full time career with Wellington West upon graduation."
Devan is an excellent Ambassador for the co-op program and the Asper School of Business, volunteering as a mentor to fellow students, answering questions, conducting mock interviews and helping the co-op team facilitate orientations to new students. She has helped at information sessions to promote the Asper co-op program to prospective students.
2009 - Kelsey Noakes
Kelsey entered the Asper School in the fall of 2006, eager to be a part of everything offered at Asper. In her first year, she joined the new co-op program, was elected as the First Year Rep on the Commerce Students Association and applied to go on an international academic exchange to France. Never afraid to challenge herself, Kelsey secured her first co-op work term as a Marketing Analyst with the Birchwood Automotive Group. Amazingly, in her first co-op work term, Kelsey was responsible for all marketing activities within the dealership, managing a marketing budget of over $5000. Kelsey excelled in the role. Her performance that summer was rated as outstanding by her manager who stated "we would be very happy to have Kelsey be a part of our organization" for the long term.
For her 2nd term, Kelsey worked with the Director of HR at Birchwood to re-design and implement their employee performance management system. She researched and developed training which was implemented throughout all 8 dealerships. Her performance again was outstanding and one of the managers Kelsey worked with was quoted as saying "We need 10 more Kelseys in this organization!"
In her final work with Team Systems - Birchwood's media support and IT division. Kelsey spearheaded a number of innovative projects related to the development of Birchwood's social media presence and other internet-based initiatives, including dealership blogs and YouTube videos. All of these initiatives are aimed at moving Birchwood to a new level of customer communication and interaction.
Success comes through hard work but, sometimes hard work is not enough. When you ask high performing people what is the secret to their success, they often attribute it to strong mentors. The work environment provided to Kelsey during her time at Birchwood, and the support and guidance of her managers, has allowed her to develop into a dynamic, strategic business professional.
We've clearly seen that Kelsey is a strong performer in the workplace and an excellent ambassador for the co-op program. However, it is really in watching Kelsey in all her roles as a student, friend, colleague, social advocate and mentor that we begin to see the impact that Kelsey has had on the Asper community in her short time in the School. Never afraid to take the lead, to mentor and coach others, and to promote the School, Kelsey served as the VP - Logistics for the National Business School Conference in 2009, Co-Captained Asper's JDC West 2009 Business Competition team, was a member of the HR and Debate teams from 2007 through 2010 and the Marketing Director in 2008. This last year, JDC West raised over $10,000 for the United Way.
One of Kelsey's biggest, and bravest, initiatives was her participation in Asper's inaugural "5 Days for the Homeless" campaign last year. Kelsey was one of 4 extraordinary students who spent five days sleeping on the streets in March - securing food, blankets and shelter from whatever donations they could solicit or what they could find. The purpose of this campaign was to raise awareness and empathy for the plight of homeless people across Canada. The goal was to raise $5000 for RaY (Resource Assistance for Youth). They smashed that goal, raising over $13,000 for this important cause. Where most of us simply turn away at the sight of the homeless, Kelsey put aside her pride and vanity and explored for all of us what it is like to be hungry, alone and outside in the cold and the dark. The students' initiative was picked up by the media who covered the story for 5 days bringing their experiences directly to the breakfast tables and dinner tables of many of us.
Her courage has inspired other students and she is part of the organizing committee that will again challenge our perceptions and inspire a new group of students to advocate for change here and across the country. As a result of her leadership and active involvement, Kelsey has been the recipient of two prestigious leadership awards - the Associates 'Iggy' Award for Student Leadership and the CMA Professional Leadership Award.
Kelsey is a natural leader. Her compassion for others, her commitment to engaging 100% in everything she does - whether it's exceeding expectations in the workplace, contributing her leadership and mentorship to student activities or advocating on the part of those less fortunate, Kelsey brings focused energy and commitment to every endeavour. The Asper School of Business is a richer community because of Kelsey, and I am extremely proud to be able to honour her accomplishments by recognizing her with the Asper School of Business Co-op Student of the Year Award for 2009. Please join me in congratulating Kelsey.
2008 - Kathryn Patrick
Kathryn Patrick is the first ever Asper Co-op Student of the Year Award recipient.
Kathryn enrolled in the Asper Co-op program in the Fall of 2006. Already a strong student academically, she was eager to gain real-life experience in diverse settings in order to discover her strengths and solidify her career choices. Kathryn participated in three separate recruitment sessions and has always been a top pick for employers. She has made strategic choices in her work placements from small to large organization and in doing so has been exposed to diverse business practices and organizational structures - each one offering her a unique perspective as she develops as a business professional.
Her first work term was a Research and Development Coordinator at Frantic Films - a small Winnipeg based company with a world-wide reputation. In that role she spearheaded an advertising campaign which appeared in an international visual effects magazine and designed a display booth for an international industry conference in Los Angeles. Upon completion of her work term Kathryn was described by her supervisor "as by far and away the best co-op student I have ever worked with."
Kathryn's second work term, saw her take on the role of Product Marketing Intern at Roadtrips, an entrepreneurial company specializing in high end luxury sports travel. Kathryn was involved in developing and designing a marketing and information package for Roadtrip's clients attending the 2008 Summer Olympics. Lee Klassen, described Kathryn as an "extremely valuable member of the Roadtrips team - a fast learner, very intelligent, and capable of handling many responsibilities simultaneously."
Last term, Kathryn worked as a Project Manager Consultant at Rogers Communications, a large national organization. Her mandate was to identify factors impacting employee retention and develop a comprehensive recruitment and retention program. Kathryn traveled independently across the country, meeting with individuals from all levels within Rogers as well as with distribution partners and key stakeholders in order to collect data for her research. She successfully identified contributing factors and created a unique development plan for each dealership to promote stronger team culture.
At the end of her work term, Kathryn presented the results of her research and project proposal in a 3 hour presentation attended by the Rogers national senior leadership team.
Liz Pham, Business Manager and Kathryn's supervisor stated...
"Kathryn made an outstanding contribution to Rogers. Her research will be used in conjunction with a recruitment company Rogers will engage in 2009 to improve retention on a National level."
Kathryn is an inductee to the Beta Gamma Sigma society - an international honours society recognizing outstanding academic achievement in business schools and has served in as its Secretary. Kathryn has also served as the Logistics Director and as the Co-Chair for the Manitoba International Marketing Competition. She is a founding member of the Asper Students Co-operative Association and is currently a member of UMMA.
Kathryn is an outstanding ambassador for Co-op. She has participated as a leader on Buddy Day - helping to orient newly admitted students to life at Asper; been a guest speaker promoting the Co-op program and the Asper School of Business to over 175 Winnipeg High School Counselors, and at recruitment events at high schools around the city. She volunteers her time as a mentor and mock interviewer for new co-op students; and is the 'face of co-op' in Asper's marketing brochures and posters.
Kathryn has a passion for music and is an accomplished vocalist. Last summer she was one of 50 finalists selected nationally to compete for the role of Maria Von Trapp in the CBC television production of, "How to Solve a Problem Like Maria?" created by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Kathryn was recently awarded an Honourary Mention for the National Co-operative Student of the Year Award by the Canadian Association for Co-operative Education. She competed for this honour alongside 35 other co-op students from well established programs across the country.
Kathryn is a remarkable young women and I am extremely pleased to be able to honour her accomplishments by recognizing her with the Asper School of Business Co-op Student of the Year Award for 2008.
Past winners - co-op employers of the year
2021 - Callia Flowers Inc.
Callia Flowers Inc. is a female-founded, “made in the Prairies” success story, begun with a simple promise to make every moment special. This company has disrupted their industry through ease of use, guarantee of quality, luxury of product offering and an innovative delivery model. However, what truly makes this employer recipient unique is their commitment to people.
Callia Flowers Inc. fosters exceptional experiences for Asper co-op students as indicated by the three student nominations they received for this award. Students Michela Troia, Stefan Kushka and Samuel Régnier all celebrated the outstanding learning opportunity they had at Callia in 2021.
“Callia puts a lot of trust in its team members as well, which is really great. You are always free to suggest ideas for improvement, no matter your title or role within the organization,” says Troia. Students shared that their experience at Callia has contributed to their personal growth, challenged them to make important decisions, and built their confidence both professionally and personally.
Callia prides themselves in their commitment to creating an environment that's “full of growth” where “everyone wants to come to work loving their job because they're challenged, fulfilled, and growing as individuals alongside the company”
Thanks to a supportive company culture and an environment that created exceptional student experiences, the Asper School of Business would like to congratulate Callia for being selected as the Asper Co-op Employer of the Year for 2021!
2020 - Innovair Group
Innovair is Canada’s largest independent supplier and distributor of gas products for commercial and healthcare use. Their healthcare solutions support the well-being of patients with respiratory disorders, as well as non-gas medical products and supplies for EMS, hospital and homecare use.
In their first year as an Asper Co-op employer, they received the Employer of the Year award for their multi-aspect support for their co-op student.
Reflecting on her co-op placement at Innovair, Asper student Aimy Johnson, recalled her first meeting to discuss the organization’s new website where she connected with the leadership team. The welcoming first day empowered Johnson to pitch new initiatives to the team and receive constructive feedback from the managers.
Going through a branding transition, the company included Johnson in every stage of the process, including updating the new website, managing a digital marketing campaign, and new product development. Johnson said that these responsibilities enriched her understanding of her marketing major and increased her confidence.
“I was able to work on all these projects because of the leaders that strive to see their team members succeed. They provided encouragement, support, and most importantly, freedom,” said Johnson. “Even now, I cannot believe how much of an impact this experience has had on my life and career.”
The Asper School of Business would like to congratulate Innovair Group for being selected as the Co-op Employer of the Year for 2020!
2019 - Women's Enterprise Centre of Manitoba
2019 Co-op Employer of the Year: Women's Enterprise Centre of Manitoba
The Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba is an organization that serves as a resource for entrepreneurs looking to start or expand their businesses. It offers services in three core areas: business advising, training and financing. Its team develops innovative programs to assist at all stages of business, while delivering a variety of events, networking and mentorship opportunities to help entrepreneurs develop their business knowledge and expand their networks.
Originally assembled in 1994 by a community-based advisory committee compiled of women entrepreneurs and researchers, the Centre is the first organization of its kind in Canada. The student who nominated this employer stated…”The organization contributed to my professional growth by teaching me so much about entrepreneurship in Manitoba. As an aspiring entrepreneur myself, this experience will help me when I start my own business.”
In addition to experiencing outstanding mentoring and exposure to the core principles of entrepreneurship, communications and marketing, the student in reflecting on her experience, “To come to a workplace that values your contributions, celebrates your successes, and challenges you to learn more and grow beyond what you ever thought you could, is really the best experience and this organization fosters all this so well.”
The Centre’s goal is to help women throughout the province successfully start, operate and grow their own businesses. By regularly adding, assessing and revising programs, they have continued to guide, encourage and support clients in their entrepreneurial journeys.
The Asper School of Business would like to congratulate Women’s Enterprise Centre of Manitoba on being the 2019 Co-op Employer of the Year.
2018 - The Great West Life Assurance Company
The Great West Life Assurance Company the recipient of this year’s Asper School of Business Co-op Employer of the Year is an international financial services holding company with interests in life and health insurance, retirement and investment services, asset management and reinsurance businesses. Headquartered in Winnipeg, with deep roots in our community, the company celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2016.
Over the years this company has been a strong supporter of the Asper School of Business and the Co-op Program providing students with exceptional experiences. The student who nominated this employer stated….”My managers provided me with the opportunity to apply my academic knowledge in a challenging work environment that built strong analytical and problem solving skills. They made me feel like a valuable and integral part of the financial reporting team. I attended town hall and department meetings, professional development workshops on artificial intelligence, fraud awareness, financial modelling and internal controls, made contributions and process improvement recommendations and interacted with other divisions globally. This wide range of exposure to other departments and to professional development, combined with the support provided by my managers, enhanced my confidence in my technical capabilities and increased my motivation to succeed both academically and in the workplace. I am grateful for the trust the company instilled in me to be able to contribute to their business goal of accurate financial reporting for their investors.”
In addition to being provided with outstanding mentoring and exposure to accounting principles and financial concepts, the student in reflecting on his experience, said…“I was not only able to challenge myself intellectually, but to grow professionally, personally and academically. If you are a co-op student with a strong work ethic committed to exploring and expanding your frontiers, this is the place to be. I was stunned at the diverse amount of knowledge I gained, - from MS Excel skills to knowledge of the CPA Designation and all the accounting in between.”
The Asper School of Business would like to congratulate The Great West Life Assurance Company on being the 2018 Co-op Employer of the Year.
2017 - Royal Bank of Canada
Royal Bank of Canada is a giant in the financial industry and has been in existence since 1864. They have 80,000 full- and part-time employees who serve 16 million clients in Canada, the U.S. and 35 other countries. Over the years they have been strong supporters of the Asper School of Business and the Co-op Program providing students with exceptional experiences. The student who nominated Royal Bank of Canada stated “My first week consisted of a Canada wide orientation for co-op students in Toronto where I gained valuable knowledge and insight to the organizational culture, its products and services, its mission and values, through conversations with senior executives.
In my role, I was given regular positive and encouraging feedback to help me improve my performance and was exposed to extremely valuable mentoring from my managers and co-workers. I greatly broadened my financial knowledge and my confidence in general. I was trusted by my managers to sit in on client meetings. I truly felt like an active member of the Business Account Manager team; able to contribute my opinions and recommendations in a meaningful way in providing proactive financial advice to clients. In addition to being provided with outstanding mentoring and exposure to financial concepts and client relationship management, the student in reflecting on his experience, said “I not only made many valuable business relationships, but lasting friendships. The career possibilities are endless and the support offered to students and employees is impressive. This experience opened my eyes to a career I never knew previously existed – my overall experience was nothing short of amazing.” As a result of this exceptional student experience, the Asper School of Business would like to congratulate the Royal Bank of Canada on being the 2017 Co-op Employer of the Year.
2016 - 24-7 Intouch Contact Centres
24-7 Intouch Contact Centres is an innovative, fast-paced and rapidly expanding organization with global operations. Over the past two years they have become strong supporters of the Asper Co-op Program, providing students with transformative experiences. Three students nominated the company after working in different departments.
According to the nominees, the company encourages students to make a direct impact towards the company’s goals, and enhances business understanding and skills by providing students to work on cross-functional projects with teams throughout the organization. The students also praised the company’s fast-paced work environment, which “teaches you how to react quickly, multi-task, and always be ready and open to the unexpected.” One student said, “My manager inspired me to improve myself professionally by pushing my boundaries and encouraging me to ask ‘why’ – she offered a combination of trust and support, which allowed me to flourish in my role.” Another said, “I was encouraged to ‘lean in’ and not only complete the work at hand, but also to challenge and re-invent processes along the way.”
In addition to providing outstanding mentorship and exposure to business concepts, 24-7 Intouch made working fun. “The experience is like no other, and you will wish your work term didn’t have to end. This is one of the most modern, innovative and unique companies in Winnipeg."
2015 - Shelter Canadian Properties Ltd.
It is our great pleasure to announce that Shelter Canadian Properties has been named the Asper Co-op Employer of the Year. The recipient of this year’s award is a first time co-op employer who the Asper Co-op program is looking forward to working with in the future.
In nominating this deserving organization, the student identified several key qualities of their work term that made their experience an exceptional one. In the student's words, I was given the opportunity to make a direct impact towards the company's goals by completing meaningful work as well as identifying key strategic goals for my department. I was given full responsibility and trust to transition our departments reporting to new accounting systems and was able to successfully launch the program making reporting more efficient and accurate. Each responsibility and task I was given was provide with a focus on giving me the chance to work with something new that benefitted my growth as a student and as a business professional.
In addition to being provided with outstanding mentoring and learning, the student in reflecting on his experience said "... My manager and the team I worked with have been the greatest contributors to my professional growth yet. The amount of knowledge I have gained has impacted my career and academic development immensely. My employer gave me the chance, the knowledge, and the trust to take part in the redesign and implementation of key business processes within the department and to create lasting change in the company. This experience will remain with me as I progress through my studies and throughout my professional career.”
As a result of this exceptional student experience, the Asper School of Business would like to present this 2015 Co-op Employer of the Year Award to Shelter Canadian Properties.
2014 - Acuity HR Solutions
The recipient of this year’s Asper School of Business Co-op Employer of the Year is a growing company with strong connections to the Asper School of Business and a history of supporting, and indeed participating in, the Co-op Program.
In nominating this deserving organization, the student identified several key qualities of her work term that made her experience an exceptional one. These included, A conscious effort to customize the work term to the student’s learning goals and career interests in order to provide an enriching experience. The freedom and trust to complete her work independently with high impact to the operations of the firm. Strong mentorship including full integration to the team with access to high level business meetings and events which enhanced professional competence.
In addition to providing an outstanding learning environment, the student upon reflecting on her experience, said “…the entire team has deeply contributed to my knowledge and understanding of the processes and legislation that comes with performance management, health and safety, and employee relations. Team meetings helped me understand that the role of a human resource professional is to maximize each employee’s potential for their personal success and for the success of the business. This perspective will remain with me throughout my HR career."
2013 - Traffilog North America
It is our great pleasure to announce that Traffilog North America has been named the Asper Co-op Employer of the Year. The recipient of this year’s award is a first time co-op employer who the Asper Co-op program is looking forward to working with in the future.
In nominating this deserving organization, Traffilog’s co-op student identified several key qualities of her work term that made her experience an exceptional one and an integral part of her growth as a young professional. The student noted that “…my manager and my team enabled me to develop my creative and critical thinking skills, increased my confidence in my ability to contribute and enhanced my understanding of my strengths.”
The Asper School of Business Co-op program allows students to bridge theory and practice, and results in a richer, more meaningful learning experience. By graduating with a year of professional work experience already under their belts, our students are prepared to make valuable contributions to Manitoba companies – immediately. And by partnering with co-op, employers have a direct hand in training Manitoba’s future business leaders.
2012 - The North West Company
The recipient of this year’s Asper School of Business Co-op Employer of the Year was nominated by multiple students. The North West Company has been a staunch supporter of the Co-op Program since its inception in 2007.
As a result of The North West Company’s continued commitment to the program, students on campus are actively talking about the positive corporate culture and business practices that make their experiences within this organization an integral part of their growth as young business professionals.
It is indeed an honour to present this award to The North West Company. We are grateful to the HR team and managers that have provided outstanding opportunities to our Co-op students over the past six years. We very much value our partnership and look forward to continuing to work with the North West Company in the future.
2011 - RBC Capital Markets
It is our great pleasure to announce that RBC and RBC Capital Markets is the recipient of the Asper School of Business Co-op Employer of the Year for 2011. Since opening their doors in 1864, RBC has grown to become one of North America's leading diversified financial services companies providing banking, wealth management, insurance and capital markets services on a global basis. RBC demonstrates their vision of "always earning the right to be our clients' first choice" through our values -- service, teamwork, responsibility, diversity and integrity. RBC and RBC Capital Markets have been strong supporters of the Co-op Program. As a result, our co-op students have learned to: apply finance, accounting, project management and human resources knowledge in a dynamic business environment; built self esteem and confidence; and developed outstanding networks and mentors within the business community.
As described by the student who nominated the company for this award:
"The amazing opportunities and experiences given to me by RBC during my Coop terms were what motivated me to nominate them for employer of the year. I was given the opportunity to do everything full-time investment bankers did. I created pitchbooks (some of which caused RBC to win significant mandates), I was brought to many high-level meetings with companies such as Richardson and Time Warner, and I personally emailed the CEO’s of major corporations every week to maintain relationships and give them market insight. This is unheard of for someone in their third year of university.Because of my work experience with RBC, school became much more relevant and I returned to Asper with a significantly improved understanding of my subjects. RBC, however, did not just improve my academic career. It challenged me both personally and professionally, teaching me how to deal with high-pressure situations, tight timelines, and a variety of different people. The long hours taught me how to push myself further than I ever thought I could go and never to give up."
2010 - Wellington West Holdings Inc.
This year's recipient is a Winnipeg success story founded in 1993, and now one of the largets and fastest-growing independent full-service investment firms in Canada.
Among their many corporate achievements, this firm has earned a spot as Best Employer in Canada for the past six consecutive years, was named one of Canada's Fastest Growing Companies in 2010 and was once again recognized as one of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies for 2010 - for the tenth time since the company's inception.
In his nomination letter, Matt Younger, one of their co-op students, stated: "Entering the office felt like stepping on the basketball court with the Dream Team. To say I was initially intimidated would be an understatement, but the level of respect and acceptance I was given from day one surpassed anything I could have imagined. I was always included in corporate activities, my suggestions and opinions were taken seriously, I was addressed as an equal and given an opportunity that I will never take for granted. I felt like a valuable member of a winning team."
In recognition of your outstanding support of the program and the opportunities provided to our co-op students, The Asper School of Business is very pleased to announce that Wellington West Holdings Inc is the Asper School of Business Co-op Employer of the Year for 2010.
2009 - GE Capital Solutions
Our award winner this year was among our first co-op employers in the summer of 2007. Although a global leader in business - in fact ranked by Forbes in 2009 as the world's largest company - they maintain an office in Winnipeg. Their first co-op placement was based out of their Vancouver office - one of Asper's first national placements. They have continued to offer outstanding opportunities to our students here in the Winnipeg office ever since.
Co-op positions within GE focus on working closely with the Account Management team to help businesses achieve their goals through innovative, customized financing. Students develop a strategic mind-set, financial and business acumen, and the keen ability to listen, understand, and communicate effectively with clients to support growth in the business. Students analyze both public and private companies' financial statements and ratios; research industries and provide background information to support credit decisions. They are exposed to professional client interaction and learn to build positive working relationships with clients while assisting to manage client accounts.
Students work directly with the Branch Manager, Regional Credit Manager, and Account Managers, receiving exemplary mentorship and daily feedback that allows them to build their finance and professional business knowledge.
2008 - The North West Company
The North West Company has been a staunch supporter of the Co-op Program since its inception in 2007, embodying all of the above noted principles. As a result, our co-op students have learned to apply theoretical knowledge in a real-life business environment, built self-esteem and confidence, and developed outstanding networks and mentors within the business community.
The North West Company's profile has increased dramatically as a direct result of the organization's support of the co-op program, and students on campus are actively talking about the positive corporate culture and business practices that have made The North West Company a highly successful international organization.
It is indeed an honour to present this award to The North West Company. We are grateful to the HR team and managers that have provided outstanding opportunities within the organization and look forward to continuing to work with The North West Company in the future.
Celebrating Co-op is an annual event which brings co-op students and employers together. This is the premier co-op event of the year, and is designed to provide all co-op students with an opportunity to connect with both peers and employers, and develop new professional contacts. Both the Co-op Student of the Year and Co-op Employer of the Year Awards are presented at this event.
For RSVP details please contact us