National Co-op Week #coopweek

This week (March 16-20, 2015) is National Co-op week, and we are proud to showcase some of our amazing Co-op and Internship students. Co-operative education, Internship, and Summer students are a big part of our success at Canadian Natural, and our students take on challenging projects and make great contributions to their teams. Keep reading to see why Charlene, Bryony, Adan and Suhaira chose to do their work terms here!


Charlene – Supply Management
University: Mount Royal University
Program: Bachelor of Business Administration, Minor in Supply Management

Charlene is currently completing an 8 month co-op term in our Supply Management team for Thermal Major Projects and Facilities at the Kirby North operation.  When comparing her term at Canadian Natural to her academic experience, Charlene notes “My placement has been very different from school which was primarily theory based, everything I have been responsible for at Canadian Natural has been very hands on and practical. I have found my Project Management and Negotiations (a Supply Management related class) the most relevant when applied to the contract development I have been responsible for at work.”  Charlene is now working on close-outs and expediting which she describes as a great learning experience.  Another way that Charlene is making the most of her term is by making an effort to network with as many people as possible and make valuable industry contacts. For example, Charlene says “I attended a pipeline convention and although I don’t currently work on pipelines I found that it was a great opportunity to gain more industry knowledge and interact with companies and vendors that I deal with in other areas.”


Adan – Property Accounting
University: University of Calgary, Haskayne School of Business
Program:  Bachelor of Commerce, Major in Accounting

Adan joined the Canadian Natural team in January, and is working in our Property Accounting team on an 8 month internship. He applied for his role because he wanted to give the Oil and Gas industry a try and due to Canadian Natural’s appeal as a large company with many different departments and areas to gain experience. When talking about his term so far Adan stated “I really enjoy the amount of responsibility that I am given here. Typically entry level roles require more basic tasks but I have been given a lot of responsibility at Canadian Natural. My managers have been really good at making sure I am given great work experience. I’ve found since I started my co-op terms that if you prove yourself, then management is very willing to give you additional responsibility. I’ve had the chance to work on automating data entry processes to increase efficiency at the company, which has been great experience!” Adan’s advice to new students starting out is to get relevant work experience during your degree.  He advises that “Having work experience puts you a step ahead of all other job applicants there is really no replacement for on the job skills that you get through completing a co-op or internship”.


Bryony – Marketing Financial Services
University: University of Lethbridge
Program: Bachelor of Management, Marketing Major

Bryony is a recent grad from the U of L, and is now working at Canadian Natural in a contract position. In 2012, she started her 8 month co-op term as a Marketing Student in our Financial Services team. Bryony explains why the positions compelling to her, “The position was posted on the Co-op job board at the University of Lethbridge and I was immediately very interested in it. Commodity marketing is quite different from other forms of marketing, and I wanted to explore the financial aspect of this type of role. I was also really interested in the Energy industry as a whole and after doing some research I thought that Canadian Natural’s values were aligned with my own.” During her term Bryony gained exposure to both oil and natural gas marketing, and it has really shaped her career going forward. She took additional finance courses in University, and has since taken a further interest in Futures Marketing and investing. Her advice to students starting a co-op position is “don’t be shy! Your work experience is the perfect time to reach out and meet new people. If you are struggling to make connections with people, read the news so that you have a conversation starter!”


Suhaira – Supply Management
University: University of Lethbridge, Calgary Campus
Program: Bachelor of Management, Minor in Supply Chain

Suhaira is a member of our Horizon Operations Supply Management team. She is currently on an 8 month Co-op work term with us, primarily focused on completing contract close-outs. When describing her work with the contracts, Suhaira said, “It can be a long process that involves a lot of different groups, and processes, but it is really interesting! To close out a contract I have to collaborate with the Business Unit, Accounts Payable, Accounts receivable and the contractor to ensure that everything is accurate and there aren’t any discrepancies in the contract.” While Suhaira is working on some really interesting projects, she says that the best part of her term so far is working with a great team. She says, “I was really surprised by how personable, friendly and supportive my team is. I have been able to learn so much from my supervisor and co-workers, and they have allowed me to contribute a lot of my knowledge to the team as well”.

#CoopWeek runs until Friday, so if you are a co-op student, be sure to get involved! Follow the contest challenges on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin to join the Canada-wide conversation and for your chance to win great prizes. Tag @CNRLCampus in your tweets, and we will share your co-op stories with our followers.

Check out the CAFCE (Canadian Association for Co-operative Education) website for more information

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