Co-op Education helps student fast-track career success

When Adam Campagnolo crosses the stage at Convocation next week, his dream job will be waiting on the other side.

The 22-year-old Bachelor of Business Administration student has just wrapped up his final year at Brock’s Goodman School of Business with the knowledge that there is a full-time investment banking analyst position with RBC Capital Markets ready for his arrival in July.

Thanks to his co-op studies, hard work and commitment to extracurricular business competitions, Campagnolo has earned a spot within the highly competitive world of investment banking, offering advisory services to facilitate mergers and acquisitions and help companies raise capital.

Having completed four co-op work terms in the industry during his time at Brock, Campagnolo says that it was the help of one of Brock Co-op’s employer development managers, Ryan Larouche, that gave his career an initial push in the right direction.

“Before my first co-op work term, Ryan introduced me to some contacts at Scotiabank and that helped land me my first finance work term,” he said. “The co-op team can position you to help yourself, and that goes a long way in the business world.”

Campagnolo is among the thousands of students who annually benefit from Brock’s diverse co-op education options, which include co-op employment opportunities in 40 programs.

Larouche was quick to point out that while the Co-op team’s assistance is beneficial, it was the hard work and commitment Campagnolo dedicated to securing full-time employment in the investment banking industry has been the determining factor in his early success.

“Adam is always willing to go the extra mile and put in all of the time needed to exceed expectations,” said Larouche. “It’s our job to guide and help our students get started, and it’s up to them to take action and use those connections and tips to succeed.”

In an industry that often demands extremely long hours and has only a few positions on offer each year, Campagnolo has had to do his fair share of work, at times putting in more hours in one week than professionals in other industries do in two. But he says his love of the job makes it all worth it.

“I think the opportunity to work on deals that headline Bay Street news is really appealing,” he said. “The job is very demanding, but you get to learn from some of the smartest people in finance and have the opportunity to do really interesting work.”

In fact, Campagnolo excelled so much in his work terms that he secured his upcoming full-time position nearly a year before he graduated.

“I signed my offer in August 2017 and it has made the last year really enjoyable,” he said. “I don’t have too many things to worry about and that has helped me relax a little bit.”

As he prepares to enter the world of full-time work, Campagnolo is counting on his co-op skills to help him hit the ground running.

“The skills I learned will help me right away when I start,” he said. “There are so many parts of the job that are important. During my work terms, I got a taste of what it’s like to be an employee and to contribute meaningful work, show value and gain experience as a whole.

“I’m excited to move on to the next stage of my life and I cant wait to go back to work, but I’ll miss Brock because I had a great experience and met some fantastic friends and professors here.”

With his parents there to cheer him on, Campagnolo will graduate on Thursday, June 7 and spend the rest of the spring preparing to take his Chartered Financial Analyst Level One exam, an essential certification for any up-and-coming finance professional.

With the test, Convocation and his July start date on Bay Street just around the corner, Campagnolo reflected that it was the co-op program that has ultimately been the primary catalyst towards achieving his investment-banking dream.

“I had the ambition to join investment banking, and doing the co-op work terms helped me develop the knowledge, experience and resumé that I needed to get into it,” he said. “Without co-op, I know for a fact I would not have been able to get the full-time job that I wanted.”

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