“I am learning to be a transformational leader: one who brings out the best in her team and takes them to greater heights.”
– Marina Pavlus, Co-op Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) Candidate 2023, University of Toronto Scarborough
Congratulations to Marina, recipient of a Management Co-op Work Term Excellence Award for her contributions at BlackBerry in Winter 2021!
How did you get hired?
After a stressful day of online classes had concluded with a promising interview experience, I decided to go out for a walk with my mom in the fresh (and freezing) air of my hometown, Kyiv. We went to a park that we often visit and took pictures of the newly erected statue of Gandhi. Then I saw a notification pop up on my phone RE:[BlackBerry Job] and the first word was “Congratulations.” Only half an hour had passed since the second interview—they must have liked me! I was overjoyed that the feeling had been mutual.
Who was your manager at BlackBerry? What’s the most important thing you learned from them?
My manager, Dawn, was truly an inspiration to me. She helped me fall in love with marketing. From the onset, she always listened to what I wanted to work on and did her best to identify projects that would help me gain invaluable skills. Dawn made sure to assign work to the marketing team in such a way that would allow everyone to capitalize on their strengths. The unmatched feeling of a job well done was frequent. We all learned a lot from Dawn about the importance of being a good mentor and team player.
Describe your best day on the job.
As cliché as it may sound, it’s difficult to pick just one. A particularly great day was during a time when I was juggling several critical projects at once: a large Google ads campaign, an email campaign in Salesforce, and an employee amplification initiative on LinkedIn. While working on a monthly report, I remember noticing for the first time that all of my campaigns were performing remarkably well. It was wonderful to be able to see that my efforts were paying off. BlackBerry provides co-op students with an incredible amount of autonomy. I produced good work and earned the respect of my team.
What was the most innovative project you worked on?
I was involved in every aspect of organizing and marketing a global industry-specific event, from creating social media collateral and writing emails to setting up virtual booths and prepping the speakers. This project spanned over a month, involved the German, UK, and Canadian teams, and—with this being the first year the event was delivered virtually—it required a great deal of planning and patience. I learned the importance of being conscientious in every aspect of my work as well as the value of a keen eye for detail. This was a serious team effort, which allowed me to feel like a real part of the company, even when working remotely.
Tell us about your career goals. How will you leverage your co-op experience to achieve them?
I am excited about continuing to work in the tech industry as I absolutely love the fast-paced, innovative environment that comes with it. All of my co-op experiences have been in tech and I am confident that this will help me start out in this industry after graduation. A major career goal of mine is to become a great mentor for others and help them along their career journeys. In a word, I want to be to others what my manager was to me.
Any advice for future Management Co-op students?
Network. And I don’t just mean with potential managers. Talk to your peers about their aspirations and what they are doing to get ahead in their careers. This will make it easier for you to integrate into an incredibly ambitious community. It will in turn make it easier to find club leadership opportunities, learn about employer information sessions, and just make your university life more fun!
What does “Experience to Lead” mean to you?
It means using what you’ve learned from your academic and corporate experience to decide what kind of leader you want to be. I am learning to be a transformational leader: one who brings out the best in her team and takes them to greater heights.