BA: Major in Economics and Minor in International Relations

Where did Prerna work? 

Work Term 1 and 2 (8 months):

Business Programs Assistant | Ministry of Jobs, Economic Development and Competitiveness

What did Prerna accomplish?

Main Tasks

During her first 4 months, Prerna worked in the Stakeholder Division, supporting the Executive Director of Stakeholder Engagement in the International Trade Division. Her tasks included organizing meetings, taking formal meeting notes for the Minister, customer relationship management and research. She also worked to create a matrix for evaluating success and a communication model for Stakeholder Engagement. When her work term was extended to 8 months, she started assisting the Manager of Trade and Investment in India with market intelligence reports and industry analysis. As a result, she helped create large-scale investment attraction events, leveraging her cultural and professional background.

Major Accomplishment

Prerna stated her biggest personal accomplishment was learning how to make opportunities for herself. “I’m used to having opportunities created for me, like a job posting, and I can apply and see how it goes,” she stated. However, in her position as a Business Programs Assistant, she learned how to develop additional opportunities and responsibilities for herself. She networked with different teams in both offices in Vancouver and Victoria, and found avenues she was interested in and could contribute to.

In terms of her biggest professional accomplishment, Prerna learned to adapt to new software and technologies, which would be useful in her career. She learned to use Salesforce, SharePoint, Excel, and BC stats — all of which helped her analyze data in her role.

What challenges did Prerna overcome? 

As part of her job, Prerna dealt with many administrative tasks such as paper work, filing and learning government terminology or acronyms. Although the tasks themselves were not always challenging, Prerna found it difficult to balance between the administrative aspect of the job and other tasks that seemed more stimulating in comparison. She overcame this obstacle by organizing her day and week in creative ways such as dividing her favourite tasks with the administrative ones. This helped her maintain a healthy balance between the work she enjoyed the most and other required tasks.

How did Arts Co-op Benefit Prerna? 

Link between Academics and Work

“As an Econ and International Relations student, my job at the Ministry was right in the centre of what I’m studying in school and what I want to do in the future,” Prerna revealed. Her work term gave her hands-on experience in the data the government uses and how officials calculate trade data, development routes, and investment. “I was theoretically studying these things at school, but my work term allowed me to expand on it in a real-life setting, and understand what I need to focus more on when I go back to school.”

Preparation for Post-Graduation

Prerna feels more prepared having participated in the UBC Arts Co-op Program and less intimidated by the work world. “When you look at life after graduation, it often looks scary. However, co-op gives you a sense of how you can learn, grow and ultimately transfer the things you are learning in school to your job after,” she stated.

What is Prerna’s favorite part of Arts Co-op?

Through her work term, Prerna has gained a community for herself outside of UBC. “As an international student it’s hard to build a community outside of what I already have at UBC,” she told us. However, her work term at Arts Co-op has allowed Prerna to build a strong personal and professional network that she will use if she decides to stay in Vancouver post-graduation to pursue a job.