Canadian online money transfer and currency exchange service, Remitbee, works with global clients across Asia, Europe, North and South America. Last January, they were able to open their doors to University of Waterloo co-op students, thanks to the assistance from the Government of Canada’s Student Work Placement Program (SWPP). “SWPP alleviated the total expenditure of hiring students, allowing us to double the number of students typically hired in different roles,” says Pratheepan Yoga, co-founder of Remitbee. This included the hiring of students as business/financial analysts, digital marketers and social media marketers.
SWPP funding was provided through the TECHNATION Career Ready Program, created to support the growth and development of talent in the tech sector, helping students gain real-life work experiences and organizations to scale.
Arts students possess the right skills
For Yoga, providing students with real-life experiences on a global scale allows them to flex their skills in new ways.
“Waterloo Arts students have the three top skills we’re looking for: communication, creativity and problem solving,” he said. “They excel at client interactions, collaborating with global partners, creating financial models, graphic design, digital ads, video editing and social media marketing.”
These students have the passion needed to make a difference and the autonomy to work remotely. “We look for the right attitude and potential. We judge this based on how they communicate, receive input, collaborate and willingness to learn which they possess,” he added in an interview conducted via zoom on Wednesday.
Making an impact
As one of the fastest-growing startups in the GTA, Remitbee are providing students with relevant project-based work. “Sometimes when you’re an intern in a larger organization you do repetitive tasks. We want our students to feel like they are part of the team, helping us build real-world solutions.” Yoga added. “To help students maximize their experience, Remitbee developed a unique process that helps students prepare before the start of their internship. This combination of test assignments and online training is specially designed to help shape successful talented professionals.”
Several students didn’t have previous work experience, yet they impressed Remitbee with their capacity to learn and adapt.
“We were a little skeptical, since students are only here for four months, about how quickly they would be able to contribute, but they were comfortable within weeks. They bring refreshing new ideas and perspectives,” Yoga added. “People underestimate the strong technical skills in the digital space that Arts students have.”
Arts students are versatile
English-Rhetoric, Media and Professional Communication third-year student, Sara Mohammadi Azad, is the perfect example of an arts student excelling at Remitbee.
Currently working as a digital marketer, made available through TECHNATION’s Career Ready Program funding, Sara creates brand presentations, runs digital ads and LinkedIn campaigns. According to Azad, the strongest skills she has brought to the table are communication and design.
“I’m a strong communicator who is bilingual in English and French. I bring different styles of writing and ideas to the organization,” Azad said. “There are many different projects we’re working on simultaneously, so I have to ensure I’m managing my time and giving the quality work that Waterloo students are known for.”
“Arts students are diverse and versatile with many skills to contribute, no matter the industry. Even if we don’t have all the skills a role needs, there is room for growth and we’re quick learners,” she added. “Since working in fintech with Remitbee, I’ve learned a lot about consumer targeting and how to tailor my communications to different groups. There’s always something new happening every day in a digital role and it’s exciting.”
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