Oh the joys of co-op and the experience you gain. It’s one of the best programs I’ve ever gotten involved in. The easiest way to think of it is like this: they’re paying to give you relevant work experience. I’m not sure there’s something better than that (okay, I wouldn’t mind winning the lottery either). However it gets a little more complicated when you want more than just a little job experience to put down on your resume. Say you actually want to make a difference. In a company like Bell Mobility, that’s way easier said than done.
There’s this little thing called job satisfaction that I’ve been getting very little of over the past weeks. I’m working on a project-turned-presentation currently. Up until today, I wasn’t too certain how useful it would be for the full time employees. I had major doubts about the whole thing; I reasoned I couldn’t possibly dig up something that these product managers didn’t already know. And I would be mostly correct. I met with a few of them today to discuss what I have and what they’d like to see in addition. There were two sides to these meetings.
The first consisted of a lot of head nodding on their part and a lot of fact-stating by me. Sure, my research was pretty sound; there were no major problems. On the other hand, barely any of it was new information for them. I had the overwhelming feeling that if I were in their position, I’d think: ‘okay, that’s nice, but what do you want me to do now?’ Job satisfaction -1. I didn’t do much to help them in their jobs and that’s a failure. Not on my part though; I brought this point up before, but it was sidestepped and I was told to continue on with it. Don’t get me wrong, I learned a hell of a lot.
So what I currently have isn’t terribly useful; maybe it’ll be a nice-to-know for the other managers who aren’t so familiar with certain services. But whatever; the good thing that came about these meetings was some input on what else they’d like to see. I had already met with these people prior to starting the project but I was able to extract very little from them since I had nothing to go on. Now that I’ve done some work, they see what I’m capable of and subsequently give me some leads to pursue. Sort of coincidentally, I had already started researching some of the things they mentioned. So I’m a step ahead.
I spent most of the trip home thinking about how I could possibly do something that would be genuinely appreciated and helpful for these product managers. I’m starting to formulate a plan…
All this for some job satisfaction. Just think, I have so many years ahead of me.