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Release date: May 13, 2020

Camosun College is pleased to announce this year’s recipients of the annual co-op education student of the year awards. Five outstanding students have been selected for the Yvonne Thompson Co-op/Internship Student of the Year Awards, including Arielle McCulloch, a Bachelor of Business Administration in Human Resources student, who has been named Camosun’s top co-op/internship student overall.

"Congratulations to Arielle and all of this year's co-op winners," says Camosun President Sherri Bell. "Our students continually go above and beyond academic requirements by demonstrating leadership and a record of accomplishment in a number of areas."

"We had many quality students nominated for the award this year, it was hard to pick a top student," says Claudia Sperling, Director of Applied Learning, Co-operative Education and Career Services. "Arielle demonstrated exceptional growth over her work-term by taking on numerous responsibilities outside of her job description, and served as a true ambassador of co-operative education and Camosun College, exemplifying the spirit of the Yvonne Thompson Page award."

Each year the Applied Learning, Co-operative Education, and Career Services department selects an overall student to receive the Yvonne Thompson Page (YTP) Co-op Student of the Year award which recognizes an outstanding co-operative education and internship student at Camosun. The award was established by Yvonne's friends and colleagues at Camosun, and pays tribute to the energy, enthusiasm, and dedication that Yvonne brought to her position as the co-op coordinator in the Office Administration program.

Arielle completed her first work-term with St. Margaret's School in 2018 as the Human Resources Assistant and was offered an auxiliary position while returning to Camosun. St. Margaret's didn't want to lose Arielle for her second work-term, so they decided to facilitate her second work-term, which came with new challenges.

"When I started my work-term the department was between HR Managers which left a wide gap in operational duties, and it was uncertain how long it would take to fill the position," said Arielle.

During this time Arielle stepped-up and took on many responsibilities including HR planning, recruitment and selection, performance management, employee relations, development, and various administrative responsibilities. This encompassed tracking HR processes, writing policies, developing processes, coaching managers, participating in meetings, preparing documents, and updating and maintaining the Human Resource Information System (HRIS).

"Arielle began working closely with two new junior managers, providing mentoring and coaching as well as feedback in relation to their new roles and any potential labour relations issues," says Sherry Arlt, St. Margaret's Payroll and Benefits Administrator. "She met with them regularly to ensure they had the tools they needed to be successful in their roles."

Towards the end of Arielle's work-term, St. Margaret's School narrowed down their search for the vacant HR Manager position to two qualified candidates. Once the successful candidate was selected, Arielle was responsible for onboarding and training the new manager.

"I created a HR Manager guide and guided her through the multiple processes she would be responsible for," says Arielle. "Our small HR team was excited to finally operate fully staffed! The new manager brought a wealth of HR expertise to her new role and I was excited to learn from her during the remainder of my work-term."

Arielle attributes a lot of her personal growth to her participation in the Co-operative Education program at Camosun.

"Self confidence is key moving forward after graduation and work-terms are an applied learning opportunity that provides students the connections, experience and confidence they need to enter into and succeed in today's workplaces and organizations," says Arielle. "My work-term has solidified my passion for HR and has helped me overcome many challenges."

School Winners of the Yvonne Thompson Page Co-op/Internship Student of the Year Award

A top student from each school with a co-op or internship program was selected amongst the nominees, with one Camosun student ultimately chosen as the overall Yvonne Thompson Page Co-op/Internship Student of the Year.

Overall YTP Co-op/Internship Student of the Year and Business Co-op/Internship Student of the Year: Arielle McCulloch
Program: Bachelor of Business Administration, Human Resources & Leadership Major
Job Title: HR Assistant
Employer: St. Margaret's School
Please see above

YTP Co-op/Internship Student of the Year - Arts & Science: Erika Jones
Program: Digital Production, Writing and Design
Job Title: Tech Reporter and Content Marketer
Employer: CMSC Media
Throughout her Summer 2019 work-term, Erika attended tech conferences and hosted interviews with industry executives which she later edited into videos and converted into web articles for CMSC's website. Erika also wrote copy and created design assets for the website and social channels which resulted in increased site traffic. CMSC Media was so pleased with her work, Erika was offered a full-time position after her work-term ended.

YTP Co-op/Internship Student of the Year - Centre for Sport and Exercise Education: Jessica Creed
Program: Bachelor of Sport & Fitness Leadership
Job title: Recreation/Rehab Assistant
Employer: Retirement Concepts
At the beginning of her work-term at Retirement Concepts, Jessica was only comfortable shadowing her supervisor, but soon after she began expanding her role, and was conducting physical assessments, programing and instructing seated exercise classes, as well as updating resident records and cleaning the facilities when necessary. Although Jessica had never worked with seniors before, she completed her work-term experience feeling challenged in the best way possible and open to rehabilitating people of all ages and abilities.

YTP Co-op/Internship Student of the Year - Hospitality Management: Khanh Ngo
Program: Hospitality Management
Job Title: Junior Sous Chef
Employer: Tre Fantastico
After completing a work-term at Tre Fantastico in 2018 as a Line Cook, Khanh aspired to find a bigger challenge, and applied to be a Junior Sous Chef at Tre Fantastico. With increased responsibility Khanh implemented new training strategies, cleaning schedules, as well as updating job descriptions and staff responsibility guidelines. Due to unexpected circumstances during the work-term, the Head Chef left Tre Fantastico and Khanh had to adapt to a new Head Chef's leadership style. In that transition, Khanh's level of discipline and leadership was paramount and matched by her dedication and professionalism, consequently providing Khanh with a very rewarding work-term experience.

YTP Co-op/Internship Student of the Year - Technology: Helling Ly
Program: Civil Engineering Technology
Job Title: Student Engineering Technologist
Employer: Canadian Coast Guard
During her Summer 2019 work-term, Helling provided support to project engineers and senior technologists by assisting with project closeout documentation, data consolidations, and drafting engineering drawings. Helling also had the opportunity to work in the field by supervising a crew of 12 staff during the completion of the $1.3 million Aids to Navigation (AtoN) Project in Bella Bella, BC. While working on the AtoN project, Helling had the opportunity to work alongside her supervisor and a First Nation representative, with the work resulting in no damage to the encompassing environment, undiscovered historic landmarks, artifacts, and graves.

Media Contacts

Ivan Watson
Communications/Marketing Strategist
Camosun College
250-418-0700 |

Arielle McCulloch - Camosun’s top co-op/internship student

Arielle McCulloch - Camosun’s top co-op/internship student

Last updated: June 2, 2020 12:41 pm

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