- 3,944 hours saved: all in a day's work
- New names for Downtown Health Sciences buildings; other notes
- Chris Redmond
- Communications and Public Affairs
3,944 hours saved: all in a day's work
Meet Merwyn – motivated, meticulous, and memorable.
After 80 job applications on JobMine, and receiving three interviews, Merwyn Rosario, a 2B Mathematics/Chartered Accountancy student, realized he had to take explicit action. The last day to secure a job was quickly approaching, and the pressure was on. In this situation, some might have enrolled for another academic term or taken the term off. Instead, Merwyn took a proactive approach to finding his own job; a pretty big deal for a first-time co-op student.
Although he described the process as scary, Merwyn kept calm. He attended a career development seminar, the Professional Futures Conference, provided by the School of Accounting and Financial Management. He said this conference was valuable, as it provided information on networking, establishing a role in a work environment, and developing a personal brand. It also got Merwyn strategizing on how he could secure his own job.
“One of the key reasons I figured I hadn’t been able to secure a job was because I didn’t have a wide enough network,” Merwyn said. He had tried emailing companies his résumé, but he found more success in using his existing network of family and friends. “This helped me find the key contact that I needed,” he said. He learned of an opportunity at IA Clarington Investments Inc, a wealth management firm that specializes in investment solutions, and he set up an interview immediately.
Finding an Edge
The conference taught Merwyn the importance of demonstrating knowledge of the company during an interview. “The first thing I did was research IA Clarington to find out what they do,” he said. “I also researched leaders within the organization and learned about their contributions.” This gave him an edge in his interview. “It allowed me to demonstrate what I knew about the company and that I was interested in their business.”
Inspired by the conference, Merwyn was enthusiastic to develop his own brand, which required not only selling his skills, but also explaining how he could be a proper fit in the company. Because he faced the challenge of persuading a company that had never hired a co-op student that they needed him, Merwyn took this advice seriously. “I had to convince them that they needed to hire me as a co-op student over any other candidates,” he said. Merwyn succeeded, because he was extended a job offer on the final day to secure a work term commitment.
Despite an agonizing hour and a half commute (each way!) Merwyn was motivated to make a lasting impression. Starting a month later than most other students, he felt the need to catch up. “I felt like I was lagging one month behind my peers,” he said.
This got him thinking about how he could make a big impact in a short time.
When he started at IA Clarington, his supervisor was unsure of what specific work Merwyn could complete. Merwyn exceeded everyone’s expectations by improving the company’s entire system for analyzing reports. In fact, he was able to develop a macro system whereby the original completion time of 15 minutes was cut down to two minutes. With roughly 70 reports received every day, Merwyn essentially saved the company 3,944 hours (or 236,640 minutes) annually!
Merwyn enjoyed developing the customizable macro programs. “I know that they are going to use them every single day,” he said.
Taking Care of Business
What started off as a Reports Analyst position turned into a revolutionary role with the Operations and Processes Team.
Not only did Merwyn transform the way IA Clarington handled their investment reports, he also automated processes for funds assessments, gain/loss reports and client service reports.
For his first work term, Merwyn had to secure his own job, outside of JobMine.
He also worked under the pressures of tax season, developed his own path in the company, and saved the company countless hours of work. Merwyn also gained an understanding of a corporate work environment – both the work itself and the culture.
“Through this whole process,” Merwyn said, “I learned the importance of networking. By the end of the work term I exceeded my expectations for the number of contacts I would have, because working within one company substantially increased my number of contacts.”
Although Merwyn faced a stressful start to his first co-op term, he succeeded in making a lasting impact on a company that was also new to co-op. Evidently, the risk paid off for both Merwyn and IA Clarington. Merwyn plans to return to the firm for his next work term.
New names for Downtown Health Sciences buildings; other notes
Changes have been made to the building names at the Downtown Health Sciences Campus. The building occupied by the McMaster University Michael DeGroote School of Medicine, the UW School of Optometry clinic and the private medical clinic operated by Dr. Joe Lee will now be referred to as the Integrated Health Building (IHB). The building occupied by the School of Pharmacy will be called simply Pharmacy (PHR). Note that these are the official names of the buildings and should be used in all university publications and web sites.
There is more news on the web redesign front. The Waterloo CMS project now has an implementation team as it moves into a new phase of pilot implementation. The team members and their roles are: Jeff Voskamp (IST) - System Administrator, Kris Olafson (Student Life) - Web Developer, Lauren Harrison (Housing and Residences) - Drupal Themer/Web Designer, Heather Wey (IST) - User Interface Design, Training and Support Specialist, Chris Carignan (IST) - Junior Web Developer/Administrator, and Eva Grabinski (IST) - Project Manager. The implementation team will be responsible for the daily work involved in getting Drupal up-and-running to support the university’s websites - replacing Dreamweaver and Contribute with Drupal as the centrally supported website management technology at the university. More details can be found here.
Four Drupal pilot projects are in the works. The recently-formed Web Content Management implementation team will be working on pilot implementations for Housing, Web resources, the main university page, and Student Life.
SharePoint is coming... IST will soon be providing a SharePoint 2010 Foundation production system. The plan is to also create a SharePoint 2010 server, providing that service to those who need it. These activities will continue into the Fall term.
...and Bookit is going. Oracle Calendar, or Bookit as it is known on campus, is going to be replaced by Exchange Calendar, likely in November 2010. IST is "looking at ways to move Bookit data to Exchange Calendar." Training for the new program will start in October. This project is associated with the overall move to Exchange 2010, which is currently ongoing. Why the change? "The web experience for Exchange calendar is much better with Exchange 2010 than it was with the previous version," says an update from IST.
Dude, your Dell's getting replaced! "Academic support departments that participate in the desktop rollover program will be getting new computers to replace any Dell GX620 currently in use by FTE staff." says a statement from IST. "These GX620s are approaching 5 years old." IST will be asking the computer support reps in affected departments to "do some testing" before the workstations are deployed with Windows 7, citing the need to check if any special purpose applications will in fact run in Windows 7.
The Federation of Students has approved its 2010/2011 budget. The budget, approved unanimously on Sunday, features a 22 per cent increase over last year, including $52,042.53 allocated to the federation's services and $41,732.65 in additional funds for marketing efforts. The complete budget can be read in Excel here. Also, contrary to what was reported last week, the Bombshelter Pub is in fact open this week for lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. I recommend the beef dip.
Quest will not be available tomorrow morning. From about 7:00 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Quest will be unavailable while new security patches are applied.
Reminder: Retail services outlets closed today
All retail services stores and on-campus copy centres will be closed Wednesday, August 11 for staff annual general meeting. Regular hours resume August 12.
Link of the day
When and where
Road just north of MC building and building's loading dock will be closed to vehicles and pedestrians, except emergency vehicles, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily starting August 9, for about two weeks, to install steel structure for new math bridge.
MC-DC bridge, upper level, between fourth-floor MC and third-floor DC, will be closed July 19 to May 31, 2011, for construction tie-in.
Library hours for spring exam period, July 25 to August 14. Davis Centre open 24 hours a day, except closed Sundays 2 - 8 a.m. for system maintenance. (Dana Porter open regular hours: 8 a.m. - 11 p.m., Monday-Friday; 11 a.m. - 11 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.)
Spring term examinations August 3-14 (online courses, August 6-7). Unofficial marks begin appearing on Quest, August 16. Marks become official September 20.
Co-op job postings, main group, for fall 2010 work terms, on JobMine August 3 – 9; daily postings thereafter.
Men’s hockey “shooting to score” camp for boys & girls 5-14, August 16-20, 23-27, August 30 to September 3, Icefield. Details.
Ontario Mennonite Music Camp for students aged 12 to 16, August 8-20 at Conrad Grebel University College. Details.
Women’s hockey camps: Future Warriors, girls ages 6-15, daytime; “elite conditioning camp” for girls 15-19, evenings, both August 9-13, Icefield. Details.
Selected Areas in Cryptography Conference, August 12-13, Centre for Environmental and Information Technology room 1015. Registration/reception August 11. Details.
Star gazing party Thursday, August 12: join faculty members and enthusiasts to watch Perseid meteor showers, north campus soccer pitch near Columbia Icefield, after nightfall (weather permitting). Details.
Utility shutdown on the second floor of Physics, for a cooling loop extension, Thursday, August 12, 8 a.m. - 11:59 a. m. Work will take place outside Room 222.
Feds Used Books opens Saturday, August 14, in addition to regular weekdays, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Women’s hockey “future Warriors camp” for girls 6-15, August 16-20, Icefield. Details.
Men’s volleyball coed summer camp August 16-20, Icefield. Details.
UWRC Book Club discusses The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, Wednesday, August 18, 12:00, Dana Porter Library room 407.
Domestic hot and cold water will be shut off in Hagey Hall while water lines are removed for new room 170, Thursday, August 19, 7:30 a.m. - 11:30 a. m. The entire building will be affected.
University Club closes August 23; reopens September 8.
Domestic hot water will run cold in all buildings within the Ring Road and in Village 1, Tuesday, August 24, 1 a.m. to Thursday, August 26, 11:30 p.m., to allow maintenance on steam mains.
No water from domestic hot water taps in all buildings within the Ring Road and in Village 1, Tuesday, August 24, 8 p.m. to Wednesday, August 25, 7 a.m., to allow connection for new math building.
Surplus sale of university furnishings and equipment, Thursday, August 26, 12:30 to 2:00, East Campus Hall. Details.
St. Paul’s University College Masters Golf Tournament, Friday, August 27, Glen Eagle Golf Club, Caledon. Details.
Fall term fees due Monday, August 30 (fee arrangements), September 8 (bank payment). Details.
Women’s field hockey camp August 30 through September 1, Warrior Field. Details.
Women’s basketball back-to-school camp August 30 through September 3, Physical Activities Complex. Details.
WatCACE financial support for research on co-op: proposals deadline September 1. Guidelines.
On this week's list from the human resources department:
• Human Resources Advisor, Human Resources, USG 8-11
• Payroll Manager - Human Resources - USG 11
• Project Manager, International Tobacco Control Project(ITC), Psychology, USG 9
• Knowledge Translation Specialist, Recreation and Leisure Studies, USG 9