Area(s) of Study:
Work Terms:

BA: Major in Economics, Minor in Commerce

Where did John work?

Work Term 1 and 2:
Sales Development Representative, Bench Accounting

Work Term 3:
Account Executive, Bench Accounting


What were John’s main responsibilities?

During his 12 months as a Co-op student at Bench Accounting, a tech-start up that performs bookkeeping for small businesses, John advanced in his career field by utilizing his academic skills to develop his knowledge of sales and leadership. With this company, John worked with Account Executives to secure prospective clients, and maintained and qualified a line of 100-200 leads over the course of his 8-month work term.  Upon finding success in his first role as a Sales Development Representative, John was offered another term as an Account Executive. In this new position, he took on new challenges of creating strategic initiatives and completing full sales cycles, from identifying a new client to closing a deal. He was also given the responsibility of carrying out the training and mentoring of new Sales Development Representatives.

How did John find success within his co-op term?

John’s dedication to his work allowed him to hit a quota of 298% and become the highest performing Sales Development Representative on his team. He was able to achieve this impressive feat by consistently developing and refining his sales approach and creating a network of executives at Bench Accounting whom he could learn from. One of his greatest accomplishments was developing the sales process for one of the company’s most complex products, thereby increasing its sales. In this environment, John continued to enhance his skills in effective professional communication by regularly speaking with business owners and executives, and refined his ability to work independently. He was also able to improve his leadership skills while mentoring new Sales Development Representatives and play an active role in their training. After completing his first 8-month Co-op term, John was delighted to be offered a full-time position.

How did an arts degree help John flourish in a professional field?

Before beginning his first co-op term, John did not have much background on how a tech start-up operates. He was initially concerned that he would not have the required technical skills to adequately complete his responsibilities. To his surprise, John was able to quickly develop the necessary skills as he gained more experience. Reflecting on his time at Bench, John concluded that his degree was not the only thing that his employers valued, as he previously thought. By pursuing an Arts degree, he had developed a broad range of experiences and skills, such as communication, teamwork, and initiative, that were all valuable assets in working at a tech start-up.

How did John’s co-op experience impact his academic and professional life?

John shared that his co-op positions have given him the resources and support to branch out and take the first step in beginning his career. He reflected that co-op helped him build a career while still completing his undergraduate degree, and find what future career paths he would most enjoy and flourish at. By working with his co-op advisors, John was able to gain strong interview and interpersonal skills, which have allowed him to gain confidence in talking to potential employers. In his words, “the Arts Co-op Program helped me prepare to leave a lasting impression!”