Work Term Excellence Award: Christine Francis

Christine Francis

“FinTech is the future. There is no better industry to drive meaningful change.”

– Christine Francis, Co-op Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) Candidate 2023, University of Toronto Scarborough

Congratulations to Christine, recipient of a Management Co-op Work Term Excellence Award for her contributions at FISPAN in Fall 2021!

How did you get hired?

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For the role of HR & Recruitment Co-op at FISPAN, the recruitment process consisted of three different interviews, with every member of our HR team. It was definitely the best recruitment process I have experienced, because after every interview, my excitement about FISPAN's culture increased! I knew without a doubt that I wanted to become part of such a dynamic and inclusive team. I was over the moon when I got the offer and immediately ran downstairs to tell my family then call my Management Co-op advisor, Tracey, who has been a huge support to me.

Who’s your manager at FISPAN? What is the most important thing you learned from them? 

My supervisor is Conrad Moore, FISPAN’s Talent Acquisition Specialist. From day one, he constantly emphasized “learn to be comfortable with going outside of your comfort zone to challenge processes and ideas.” Working in HR, and recruitment in particular, you are required to be familiar with all aspects of the business and all of the people involved—it’s not easy. However, having acquired this mindset very early on, I was able to own my projects, identify my coworkers’ needs, and support them on a day-to-day basis. Cultivating this mentality is how I made a meaningful impact on my work term.

How would you describe the organizational culture?

Three words: Passion, Diversity, and Collaboration. While they have experienced a lot of growth within the past couple of years, FISPAN continues to embody the enriching startup mentality. Regardless or whether you are a co-op student or full-time staff member, when joining FISPAN you enter into an environment of motivated, diverse individuals who are passionate about challenging industry norms and actively contribute to positive change. As a co-op student this means having the opportunity to own your projects, pitch your ideas, and potentially speak directly with clients. FISPAN trusts the skills that co-op students bring and we are empowered with tools to be successful on large-scale projects. By the end of your term, you really do feel as though you have contributed to the growth and success of the company.

Tell us about your best day on the job.

Working at a startup means that every day is very different, in the best way. That said, my best day was definitely when I got to attend a networking event (as an employer!) and meet with students who I eventually hired for summer 2022 co-op roles. I might also add that one of those students is from our very own UTSC community. Acting as that connection between the organization and new talent is by far one of my favourite aspects of the role.

What are your career goals, and how will you leverage your BBA and co-op experience to achieve them? 

Pursuing your Management Co-op BBA at the University of Toronto Scarborough means you are saying “yes” to not only a degree but also an opportunity to drive change. Ultimately, I aspire to be a human resources leader within the FinTech industry. Recognizing the challenges that come from working in a professional environment, I want to enable employees to feel safe, heard, and supported in their professional development. People are what make an organization successful, and I want to provide an enriching employee experience to those who are driving the company itself. I want you to feel valued! FinTech is the future. There is no better industry to drive meaningful change.

Any advice for future Management Co-op students? 

Break out of your comfort zone to meet with industry professionals and your peers. Be open to new experiences. While many students have a general idea of what field they’d like to enter, I also found that many students aren’t fully aware of the numerous opportunities that exist. Without having those meaningful conversations through networking events, coffee chats, LinkedIn messages, or simply saying “yes” to new experiences, you are closing yourself off to valuable knowledge, connections, and possibilities. Being a student myself, I know how hard this can be. But with time and confidence, it becomes so much easier and definitely will elevate your success.

Learn more about Christine’s co-op journey, and what she learned about leadership at FISPAN, on the new episode of the official podcast for Management Co-op students! Stream on Spotify.
P.S. Talks Podcast Cover Art