Stepping Stones: A Marketing Student’s Co-op Experience
April 2021 – by Areej Khokhar
This month’s PICCO perspective is written by co-op student, Areej Khokhar. Areej joins us in her 4th year of her Marketing program from the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University, Toronto—a program that teaches students to interpret and respond to client needs by analyzing trends, competitive activity, and other factors to develop strategies.
Read on as Areej shares her experience working with PICCO.
Caption: Ted Rogers School of Management, Toronto, Ontario—one of Canada’s leading business schools that brings together people from diverse communities, professions, and experiences to collaborate in new ways (Source: ryerson.ca).
For my second work term, I chose to work with PICCO because I was interested in learning about an engineering firm and what their purpose is. I began my position as a Marketing Administrator at PICCO Engineering in January 2021, for a duration of four months. I became interested in marketing in my first year where I took an introductory marketing course and was introduced to topics such as financial marketing, the marketing matrix, environmental scanning, and STP (segmenting, targeting, and positioning). However, what I found most interesting about marketing is how it is the art of storytelling. I chose this career path because it allows me to be both creative and analytical.
Caption: Areej enjoys traveling and learning about different cultures and food. She traveled to seven countries including France, Switzerland, Italy, Czech Republic, Austria, England, and Pakistan.
When I'm not engaged in my studies, some of my personal interests include traveling, baking, arts and crafts, dancing, and spending time with my loved ones.
It was interesting to see first-hand, the process of the company rebranding; where PICCO Group of Companies has two distinct entities: PICCO Engineering Limited and PICCO Structures Ltd. From a marketing perspective, this has been one of the most exciting parts of my journey!
Experience is the Best Teacher
Many exciting opportunities for personal growth and professional development presented themselves as I learned about the variety of stone materials, how structural engineers build facades, and how it impacts residential engineering and different building types. Working with Sarah Picco, Marketing Coordinator, my primary responsibilities included: managing social media platforms (Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn)—creating posts and capturing analytics’ performing administrative tasks, and conducting research and setting up Google alerts to build stronger project profiles.
What’s unique about this work term is that I started at “PICCO Engineering”—and now we are PICCO Group of Companies! It was interesting to see first-hand, the process of the company rebranding; where PICCO Group of Companies has two distinct entities: PICCO Engineering Limited and PICCO Structures Ltd. From a marketing perspective, this has been one of the most exciting parts of my journey, having the opportunity to experience how—and why—the company transitioned to a new website domain, as well as the design process of refreshing their logo identity.
Caption: Learning a new skill using Adobe InDesign to create ad layouts and digital graphic covers for podcasts, news articles, and blogs.
Applying a Learning Curve One of my highlights was designing a magazine advertisement published in The Natural Stone Institute's March issue of The Cutting Edge. I was introduced to new software, InDesign, which is a page design and layout application from Adobe's Creative Cloud suite. As a first-time user, I was self-directed to online learning—using Youtube tutorials and other sources of information to help understand the main functions of the software. I successfully applied my learning to different projects which included designing covers for the news section of the website and formatting CVs. Overall, I developed a new skill in this role that is valuable to supporting marketing outputs and is a hands-on skill that will be applicable in the future, too!