International Business Management Co-op in Vancouver: Patrick’s Story

Patrick, an International Business Management Co-op student in Vancouver

A few weeks ago, we got a chance to speak with one of our Greystone College Vancouver students.  Patrick came to Greystone College from Germany to take the Diploma in International Business Management Co-op.  Patrick already had a wealth of experience in certain areas of Business through his years in a Human Resources role with the German Army, but he wanted to expand his international experience, and prepare himself for work in an international context as he transitions into a civilian role.  Read about his unique experience learning at Greystone College, and working as a data-analyst with to complete his co-op work term.

How did you learn about the Diploma of International Business Management Co-op program at Greystone College Vancouver?

Last year, my time in the army was almost over. During our last years in the army we can do programs or educate ourselves to prepare us for our time after the army. I looked around through agencies and saw this program where academic studies are mixed with the co-op, and I really liked it so I gave it shot.

What made you choose Canada, and/or Vancouver in particular?

So, one reason actually is that it’s cheaper than studying in the US (my wife is in the US).  But also, I like mountains, and I like the nature in the Vancouver area.

When did you start your IBM program?

I started my program last year in January. I first had 4 weeks of English studies at ILSC-Vancouver and then I went to Greystone College.

Why did you want to study International Business Management?

In Germany, in secondary school, I took a minor in Accounting and Business, and that’s pretty much how it started.  During my time in the army, we could experience national and multi-national scenarios during our military exercises, and I really like the multi-national context. My dream was to be in a company or in a position to work in a multi-cultural environment. And also, I like to manage. I spent 10 years in Human Resources (HR) in the army, so it was just a bigger step forward.

Did you have any favourite classes? 

Of course, I really enjoyed HR, and also Business Law. These two always get along quite often, and these are topics that really interested me.  The HR class was more of a refresher for me, and the Business law was specific, so it was really new.  Law, in general, is really interesting for me.  I found it very interesting that a lot of things in Canada are very similar to Germany. But probably the highlight was to see how business laws are practised and enforced here in Canada.

The highlight also was, in a Business Law session, we went to the courthouse for the whole day, and we were able to pick our own case that we wanted to go to.  This was a really good experience.

You attended one of Greystone College Vancouver’s Career Fairs.  How was that experience?

I took that experience of the career fair to firstly look for a coop position and second of all, to see how people are interviewing people, to get skills for myself.  So, it was a really good experience to see how different countries interview people. And also, just to get networking done – just to get to know people, and talk to them.

What about life in Vancouver? How do you feel about being a student in the city?

I really like it.  Sometimes for me, the city is too big. But I really, really like it.  I really enjoy Stanley Park and the waterfront, just sitting there and enjoying the view.  That’s what I did also back home; I was living right by the alps so I used to go to the mountains sit there.

Can you share a bit about your co-op placement, and what you’re doing?

I’m a data analyst at Edvisor is a company that’s providing a platform to connect agencies and the schools, but also for schools to be able to present their courses on one platform and for agents to prepare quotes.  Greystone College and ILSC are a part of Edvisor.  We are mostly doing data entry; right now, we are transitioning the prices for the end of the year. 

Did you find your Edvisor job the Career Fair or did you find it separately?

I got it separately. I got it through my co-op advisor. She wrote me an email one day and said there is a company that wants to interview you for a data-analysist position.  So, I went to the interview and I got the job pretty quick.  They were looking for someone who can speak German for some translations.

What are your plans after you finish your Co-op?

I will move together with my wife to the US and I will go back into HR.  That’s my profession and what I always wanted to do.

Did you feel supported as an international student?

Yes. In my class, most everyone was 18-19 and I was pretty old, and I didn’t need so much direction.  But they definitely offered help; they offered a hotline, where we could 24/7 ask if we would need someone to talk to in regards to homesickness or just everything.

Do you have any advice for students thinking about taking the Diploma in International Business Management Co-op at Greystone College Vancouver?

For young people who are looking to get experience in the international context and learn in the outside world, from people who are not just teachers but also running their own businesses, Greystone College is definitely a good place. The director, John is a wonderful person who always has an open door, and you can always talk to.  Definitely for young people who want to experience that, Greystone is a good place.

It was so wonderful to hear about Patrick’s Experience in the Diploma in International Business Management Co-op program at Greystone College Vancouver.  Every student’s experience at Greystone College is unique, but they all share common themes of discovery, connecting in an international context, and learning both inside, and outside the classroom.

Are you looking for an amazing international learning, and working experience?  Check out our Academic, Co-op, and Practicum Programs, and come join us!

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