From co-op student to program champion, Rachel Song (MAcc ’11) has been instrumental in facilitating the hiring of Brock University co-op students at Siemens Energy.
On Wednesday, April 12, Song was honoured with the prestigious Alumni Co-op Employer Award at the Co-op, Career and Experiential Education Celebration and Recognition Reception for her outstanding contributions to Brock’s co-op program as a mentor and co-op champion within her company.
Song speaks highly of the education and support she received while studying at Brock University. The Master of Accounting program’s comprehensive portfolio and interactive approaches to learning were key to building a strong technical foundation for her finance career and helped strengthen her collaboration, team building and communication skills.
However, it was Song’s overwhelmingly positive experience with Brock’s co-op program that helped her embark on a fulfilling career with Siemens and its spin-off company, Siemens Energy, in Canada. Even after a decade, Song still remembers the extensive support she and her peers received from the Co-op team to help them navigate recruitment challenges and prepare for success.
“It’s essential that students secure a co-op placement to smoothly transition into their career,” says Song. “This is especially true for international students wanting to secure their first step into starting a new life here. A career experience in Canada is an essential step in that process.”
As Head of Finance, Gas Services RSU Central at Siemens Energy, Song is dedicated to creating opportunities to give back to her alma mater as an alumna and former co-op student.
“I know what it feels like to be supported and how valuable a co-op placement can be, so as soon as I had a chance to give back, I did,” she says.
As a co-op supervisor, Song treats her co-op student hires the same as any of her other full-time employees. She believes that the opportunity is like a critical simulation for students to gain a clear understanding of what the real work environment looks like so they are better equipped to make intelligent decisions about their future. Hiring co-op students also provides employers with an opportunity to create a future talent pipeline, thereby saving precious time and resources when opportunities to hire full-time employees become available.
Song’s genuine passion for helping students grow and reach their full potential has made an immeasurable impact on both students and Brock’s co-op program.
“Rachel has consistently gone above and beyond to ensure the personal and professional growth of Brock’s students that are employed by Siemens,” says Dana Tonus, Manager, Employer Relations and New Initiatives, CCEE.
Song has provided several meaningful work experiences for students — some of which have led to full-time employment opportunities — offered valuable guidance and mentorship, returned to campus as a guest speaker and created an environment that fosters learning and development for students within Siemens Energy.
“Her dedication to the success of Brock’s co-op students is truly remarkable,” Tonus says. “We are grateful for her partnership.”