Tag Archives: University of Victoria

Managing Director 4 A Day contest: where are the women?

20 Sep

Three early birds got their entries in this week to be able to boss us around on October 17 and take home the $500.

Here’s what they have in common: they are all male. Two are from U Vic and the other from Camosun.

I recall during our Zombie Intern Contest there was a lot of talk about the lack of female entries….and speculation that the theme of red-mouthed, drooling dead people was somehow off-putting to them.

We thought this theme would lead to a different result. But…

Props to Connor Bildfell, David Lin and Alex Rabu for being first in!

U Vic student Connor Bildfell

U VIc student David Lin

Camosun student Alex Rabu

Their entries will be sent to our judges on Friday evening, along with the others we receive this week. A shortlist of 3 will be posted to our Facebook page for a public vote next week.

You can read what the winner’s day might look like here.


Superstar student summer update

21 Jul

We’ve been involved with lots of students in the past year and things happen awfully fast when you’re making the transition from school to the working world. We thought we’d bring you an update on what these remarkable talents are up to.

Some have been interns, some have been profiled on our blog, while others are just clearly doing the right things.

UVic BComm student Michela BylMICHELA BYL  Classes end next week for this U Vic BComm student, one of our Up and Comers. She is currently preparing her final venture pitch with her team. Then it’s exhale and time to plan the fall. You may recall that she dreams of a job at Holt Renfrew. She is continuing to pursue that while keeping her eyes peeled for other opportunities. Before she makes any big moves she is taking a well-earned trip to South East Asia.

Capilano University grad Stephan RosgerSTEPHAN ROSGER  A recent Copeland intern and @rosger on Twitter, this guy is a whirling dervish of creative energy and enthusiastic mining of digital developments. Stephan (pronounced STEVEN not STEFAN, blame his parents for making it difficult) is currently back in Vancouver having finished his diploma in Interactive design from Capilano University. Believe me he won’t be long on the sidelines. His Linkedin profile gives you a really great snapshot of his talents.

Camosun BBA student Cale FrombachCALE FROMBACH  A finalist in the Zombie Intern Contest and an Up and Comer on our blog, Cale is set to graduate from Camosun College with a BBA in December 2011. We are hoping to have him in for an internship before some smart business scoops him up. Currently he’s doing contracting for web services (page redesigns, new programs/applications, etc.) and web media (videos, images, social media consulting) for the provincial government.

Vancouver Island University grad Brad TribbeckBRAD TRIBBECK  One of our Zombie Intern Contest finalists, Brad did not one, but two internships with Copeland this year. He is now back in Nanaimo, having just graduated from Vancouver Island University with a BBA (Marketing), and is working at digital print shop Print Three while casting his credentials across the Georgia Strait looking for work at an ad agency in client servicing. You can check out his profile here.

Vancouver Island University MBA candidate Kayodé WanKAYODÉ WAN  One of our Up and Comers, Kayodé is stuck in the middle of exams and rounding off his semester at Vancouver Island University. He has another semester left which ends in November, after which he will be required to find a four-month internship – and he’s actively on the hunt for it. He’s a passionate brand man (hence his Twitter nick: @brandnutter) and will continue spreading the gospel of humanizing Integrated Marketing Communications.

Camosun College 3rd Year BBA student Bryan DwyerBRYAN DWYER   Another of our Zombie Intern Contest finalists, Bryan just impressed the hell out of us during his 2-month internship and is now working with a local online marketing company, creating online strategies, generating content, and setting up online sites for social media. He returns to Camosun College this September to begin the third year of his BBA in Marketing Communications Management.

Royal Roads BA grad Stephanie KlakSTEPHANIE KLAK  As of last week Stephanie, one of our Up and Comers, has officially finished her B.A. in Professional Communications at Royal Roads – with distinction.  For the past month, she has been working on a documentary/multimedia project on lying in relationships. And, true to her values, she continues to volunteer at Ten Thousand Villages. Meanwhile her antennae are up for opportunities in communications in the non profit sector, the public service, and the political realm – while dreaming about internships in the U.N.

Pacific Design Academy grad Danny PrewDANNY PREW  Our Zombie Intern Contest winner is currently doing time at Copeland and will be with us until late August. After that, he will be on the market and ripe for a job in design. He recently graduated from Pacific Design Academy and bagged an Applied Arts student award for this infographic. You can check out his excellent portfolio here.

UVic BComm grad Dan MacDonaldDAN MACDONALD  The first Up and Comer we profiled, Dan has landed yet another dream internship. His BComm at UVic complete, he has moved to Vancouver to intern at Canada’s best ad agency DDB. He continues to run his Dead Celebrities clothing business while learning the ins and outs of advertising and marketing from some of the best minds in Canada. Way to go Dan!

How do you deal with fear?

11 Mar

A number of Copelanders  got a chance to hear Tom Benson, Chief Experience Officer at Wildplay Element Parks, speak last night at the University of Victoria’s annual Business Banquet.

In front of a room full of BComm students and members of the business community, Tom dealt with an issue I have never before heard addressed from other business leaders.


His fears. Our fears. He used it to drive home a point that really resonated with me.

Great leaders have to get past their fear. They have to face it, acknowledge it and act anyway.

When you move into action from a fearful position, he told us, you don’t grow as a person: You reveal something that is already there.

Made me realize we are all born with the capacity to handle fear and act admirably. It isn’t something that belongs to a select few. “Acknowledge your fear and act anyway.” We can all be leaders if we remember that.

I hope the students, our business leaders of the future, were listening.

Networking a room? Here’s some terrible advice.

2 Mar

Fellow Copelander Andrea Merson and I were up at U Vic last night speaking to BComm students about how to work a room. They have a networking session coming up with members of the Victoria business community in advance of their annual Business Banquet on March 10th.

One of the students confessed he was reluctant to come to the talk last night because he had already attended a similar seminar and had learned the right approach:

He was told to memorize a 30-second elevator pitch and use that as an introduction.

I just about spat up my internals.

Worst advice ever.

Better advice would be to not talk about yourself at all, but ask questions about the person you’ve approached.

  • What brings them to the session? Have they been before? Has it been a good experience? Did they find these networking sessions easy?
  • Ask them about their job: What actually do they do? How long have they been there? How has their year been? Where else have they worked?
  • Ask them if their company ever hires interns or co-ops. What’s the process? Have they ever worked directly with one? What do they think makes a good co-op candidate?

Don’t launch The Great Me at them from the get-go and try to convince them how interesting you are. Instead, act interested. Let them come to their own conclusions.

Elevator pitch? That is Networking Suicide. Imagine trying to pull off that approach in a bar!

The business folks at a networking session are people first and foremost and the usual rules of conduct apply.


4 reasons why a BCom’s best for getting into advertising

10 Nov

What’s the right training for a career in marketing or advertising?

(Design and business schools are not the same and will produce wholly different types of future ad people. I’m going to focus here on the business side of the business.)

So, to the right training: Communications programs? Advertising schools? Commerce?

Based on the evidence I would say that your Bachelor of Commerce degree is your best choice. And here’s the evidence:

1. BCom students are schooled in running a business.

Communications programs tend to produce more rounded students and advertising schools more specifically wired candidates, but they’re mostly all new to business. BCom grads don’t just come in with experience gained through their internships, but with business ideas.

2. They’re more entrepreneurial.

Take a look at the University of Victoria’s BCom program. One of their majors is in Entrepreneurship. The students have to create companies, set business goals and meet them in competition with other students. That throws a lot of confident and road-tested people into the market. They get the importance of money in the process.

3. They’re more confident.

Maybe it’s because the University 4-year program is more grueling than a 2-year Communications degree or a 3-year Advertising diploma. Whatever it is, BCom grads come fully loaded. They know that if they decide not to go into advertising, they have other avenues open. They have more choices available to them I think.

4. They’re more adaptable.

Relevancy is extremely important when preparing students for the working world. The BCom programs do this better than other types because they’re about business and business is always changing anyway. Advertising was in a comfortable nap state for decades until the digital thing blew up. No doubt the programs have been challenged to keep pace.

I’m not for a moment suggesting that brilliant grads don’t come out of other types of programs. I just find the talent pool from the University Commerce programs more consistently able to deliver on these 4 points.

We’ve hired lots of grads from U Vic’s BCom program over the years, and two of them, Media Executive Diana Walter (Class of 2008) and Account Co-ordinator Andrea Merson (Class of 2010 – graduating this week in fact), are currently doing their school proud on our team.

The power of goodwill

26 Jul

Here’s a radical idea: Do something good without any expectation of a return.

Mentor a student. Give your time to a charity. Write a piece of work that a colleague is struggling with. Help a business get on social media.

When I say “without any expectation of a return”, I really mean zero expectation.

Don’t wonder if it will do your karma some good. Or improve your standing in the community. Or even make you feel good about yourself.

Those are all returns.

Do it because it is the right thing to do. Then move on.

The 2009 winner of University of Victoria’s Distinguished Entrepreneur of the Year awards, Sir Terrence Matthews of Mitel, put this magnificent thought in my head a year ago and it has burned a hole in my brain ever since.

Give it away. Without any expectation of a return. Move on.

It was the single most powerful thing anyone has every said to me.

Other than, “Son, it’s better to have everyone think you’re a fool, then to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”

Thanks Dad.

Working the room

20 Oct

Last year Copeland sponsored a table at University of Victoria’s Business Banquet for the 2008 grads. I took along 3 co-workers and our intention, as invited members of the business community, was to work the room, meet some impressive students and line up potential internships for the future. The pre-dinner cocktails room was packed and humming when we arrived.godfather

The BComm students were there to meet us, so I reckoned we would be eagerly constricted by the great coils of the crowd.

It didn’t happen. We got spat out one by one until we found ourselves regrouping at the sidelines and discreetly sniffing our armpits. Plenty of other business people joined us there to watch the student moshpit.

It occurred to us that the grads were happy enough talking to themselves. After all, they had just endured another grueling year of study and exams were over. Revelry, rather than networking, was in the air.

It also occurred to us that many of the students were a bit nervous about meeting us. In later conversations with some of the attendees, I learned that many were intimidated by the event and found the prospect of talking to a business rep to be akin to an audience with a mafia don.

This year I am speaking to the students a few weeks in advance of the evening to give them some tips on how to handle these scenarios to their advantage. Some people are naturally good at working a crowd and others, like me, need a strategy going in.

  • How do you break into a conversation in progess without being stared at like you just crawled out from under a corpse?
  • What 5 essential questions should you have memorized when first meeting a prospective employer?
  • What should you never say?
  • How do you ensure that you will have a chance to follow up the introduction here with further conversations later?

The students may not end up with a job out of the evening, but the ones who did engage us that night, people like Andrea Merson, Suzanne Hobden and Lindsey Maloney, are still in touch with me and know they can count on me to help them out in their careers. They all came with a plan. They asked questions, they listened. They didn’t text their BFFs or drink too much.

The Business Banquet should be a great evening. And really, no one should be worried about waking up the next morning beside a horse’s head.

Next blog: The obligation to mentor.