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Thursday, May 8, 2003

  • Students keep coming back to IBM
  • Students speak on war, violence
  • Notes for a Thursday
Editor:
Chris Redmond
credmond@uwaterloo.ca

World Red Cross Day


Students keep coming back to IBM -- by Lisa Mack, from the UW Recruiter newsletter for co-op employers

[In front of Hursley office building] Employing the same co-op student for most of their scheduled work terms could easily be seen as a benefit to an employer. In the case of IBM Canada, having students return for a number of terms has paid off. For example, by the time Patricia Spalvieri finishes her political science degree from UW, she will have worked a total of five terms with IBM Canada, an experience both parties rank second to none.

This past winter IBM continued to put Patricia's abilities to use -- she is currently spending six months working for IBM Canada out of her new office in Hursley, England. When she was hired for her first work term with IBM in Toronto during the winter of 2001, Patricia had just been accepted into the international trade specialization at UW. This inspired a desire for an out-of-Canada work term, so she approached her supervisors at IBM, suggesting she would be interested in working for the company in another country.

At IBM, Patricia is part of a "world-wide group that navigates multiple IBM organizations." She was sent to the United Kingdom to "strengthen the relationship between services planning worldwide, and the European services team," as well as to take on some new responsibilities in terms of business operations. While in Hursley, her primary goal is to look at the operational infrastructure of the European services team and create an analysis of the processes in place, accompanied by recommendations for the future. This term Patricia is also taking the lead on several initiatives that are still IBM-confidential. Such responsibilities are surprising for a co-op student.

One of the downfalls of having co-op students return to a position after being away for their academic terms is that they can be somewhat out of the loop with what is on-going at the office. IBM's solution is to let co-ops keep one foot in the door by working part-time from campus as a student-on-call. Employing Patricia as a student-on-call helps IBM by ensuring no time is lost getting her up to speed on developments the team has made during her absence. Patricia has keenly embraced this opportunity. She stays involved in any projects her team is working on while she's away by providing feedback to the market management and services planning teams, and also by acting as a liaison at the university to other co-op students hired by her team.

When Patricia first started at IBM, there had been only one previous co-op student on the team of her supervisor, Donna Bedell. Three short years later, the team routinely strives to hire at least three co-op students per term. Says Bedell, "I relish the opportunity to mentor and potentially influence these energetic and enthusiastic young people." In terms of how hiring UW co-op students has aided IBM, Bedell suggests that, "IBM benefits because they have a potential pipeline for future employment."

She feels that Patricia has been able to bridge both the cultural and organizational gaps within their team, which has resulted in successful work terms for both of them. Bedell is confident that "students like Patricia deliver tangible results to the company."

Musical composition honours war victims

Conrad Grebel music professor Carol Ann Weaver will showcase her newest composition at a free concert on Saturday in Victoria Park in Kitchener. Piece Of A Rock -- In Memoriam, written in memory of civilians killed in the attack on Iraq, will be performed at 1 p.m. on Roos Island as part of the Open Ears Festival of Music and Sound. Performers will include Rebecca Campbell, vocals; Arun Pal, drums; Weaver, keyboard; and members of the UW Drum Circle. The audience is invited to bring bells, chimes or other ringing objects to help honour the Iraqi victims.

The text of Piece Of A Rock -- In Memoriam calls out for wisdom and guidance in times of turmoil, becoming an invocation for peace-making as well as a commemoration of civilians who have died in Iraq. For more information, contact Weaver at 885-0220 ext. 245 or at caweaver@uwaterloo.ca.

Students speak on war, violence

Violence on TV and the rhetoric of U.S. president George W. Bush were the topics that captured top prizes at the annual C. Henry Smith Peace Oratorical Contest last month at Conrad Grebel University College.

First place was awarded to Emily Schaming, a fourth-year religious studies student, who spoke on violence in the media. Her speech opened with: "I cheered when they shot him. What's the big deal?" She spoke about how viewers of all ages are becoming de-sensitized to violence on TV, video games, and movies and urged the audience to "look for new heroes in people who live with the results of their decisions and are able to live in the world that exists outside fiction."

Charlotte Jacklein placed second with her speech on the relationship between rhetoric/language and the subsequent perception of war/peace in the context of a speech by Bush. Third place went to Sandra Dyck who spoke on how and where peacemaking is present in our society today.

According to Lowell Ewert, director of the peace and conflict studies program, which hosted the event, "It was very encouraging to hear how our students have given practical expression to their peace and conflict studies. This was evidence that there is much hope from this new generation of peace workers."

The C. Henry Smith Peace Oratorical Contest was named for a Mennonite historian and professor at Goshen College and Bluffton College in order to foster continuing thought and dialogue about peace issues. All students enrolled at Mennonite and Brethren in Christ colleges are invited to enter, and the winner from each school will enter the Canada-U.S. competition. Overall winners will be announced next fall.

Notes for a Thursday

There's a new "Positions Available" list of staff jobs from the human resources department. This week's listings: Detailed information is available on the HR web site.

A reminder that there will be a reception for new students held between 4 and 6 p.m. today in Ground Zero in the Student Life Centre. For more information, contact Erin Moore, orientation and special events coordinator with the Federation of Students at ext. 3426.

A two-day conference begins at St. Jerome's tomorrow morning, on "The Hidden Trudeau: His Spirituality, His Faith, His Life, His Times." Keynote speakers include former prime minister John Turner, and former cabinet minister Allan MacEachen. For more information, contact Harry Froklage at St. Jerome's University at 888-8111 ext. 255.

The bike centre will hold its spring auction tomorrow. A variety of styles and sizes are available, and all bikes are in good working order. Bikes will be on display in the SLC courtyard beginning at noon, with the auction starting at 12:30 p.m. In case of rain, the auction will move to the lower atrium of the Student Life Centre. All sales are final, and buyers may be asked to produce UW identification. Purchases may be made by cash or cheque. And the bike centre is on the lookout for volunteers for the spring term. For more information, visit the centre's website.

Renison College is in need of a pianist for weekly worship services in St. Bede's Chapel. Would-be accompanists should contact the chaplain at 884-4404 ext. 604.

A note from Kerry Mahoney of co-operative education & career services: "Career Services' award-winning online Career Development Manual just got better! Test your career savvy by trying out four new interactive exercises -- two on resume writing (step 4.2), one on interviewing (step 4.4), and one on office politics (step 5.2). And supplement the written advice by tuning in to 30 video clips on a variety of career-related topics. You can access all of this, plus sign up for workshops and individual advice, by visiting www.careerservices.uwaterloo.ca. Or go directly to the eManual at www.cdm.uwaterloo.ca."

Avvey Peters


Communications and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1
(519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
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