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Melanie Procyshyn

Commerce student Melanie Procyshyn has always been excited about commerce and its role in the economy, but when she began her studies at the University of Victoria in 2021, it was recommendations from UVic alumni that inspired her to study at the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business.

A creative storyteller

Melanie is posing in a packing warehouse at Portofino Bakery, wearing a white blouse and red tartan skirt. She has long, red wavy hair. Melanie is holding up two packaged loaves of Portofino bread.
Melanie Procyshyn on-site at the Portofino Bakery.

On her very first co-op work term as the marketing coordinator for Portofino Bakery, Melanie worked on organic and paid social media, event planning and community involvement, and brand consistency.

 “This work term allowed me to use my creativity in our ad campaigns and video. The position requires you to put yourself into the customer’s perspective to understand their needs,” Melanie says.

From graphic design courses tailored to marketing, to extracurriculars like competing on UVic’s JDC West team in a business competition against twelve major Canadian universities, Melanie’s academic skills prepared her to excel in projects like working with an external videographer to create video advertising about the company’s newly-achieved B-Corp certification. 

Learning from mentors

With mentorship from her supervisor and Portofino’s Director of HR, Julie Adams, Melanie explored her fresh ideas and gradually became more independent on major projects, like planning employee appreciation month along with fellow co-op students.

“One of the things that stood out to me about Julie’s leadership is her open-door policy,” says Melanie. “Having the opportunity to come in and ask questions is vital as a co-op student, because the only way to learn is to ask questions.” Having worked directly with co-op students for the past ten years, Julie has fostered a dynamic learning environment where students can gain knowledge and experience while the company benefits from fresh perspectives and innovative ideas.

What's next

As for what’s next? Melanie is excited about pursuing marketing—she’s excited about its vital role in fueling a company’s growth. But she plans to take advantage of her next co-op work terms to explore new areas, like finance. After all, with her experience in marketing, she’s become comfortable with the idea of change. “Be open to the idea that everything you planned to happen may end up going in another direction,” she advises fellow co-op students. “The world can be unpredictable. Things can change on a dime and you have to be ready for it!”