Student stories

BCOM student took her learning to the next level at Workday

Henrika Lim

Workday

When UVic BCom student Henrika was deciding where to go to university, she knew she wanted an adventure. “During my junior year in high school, I yearned for a change,” she says. “I wanted to explore what’s out there beyond the comfortable life I knew, so I decided to seek personal growth and a higher education in Canada.”

Drawing from her experience growing up in the Philippines, Henrika knew she wanted to develop skills that would help her one day establish a social enterprise to uplift vulnerable communities in developing countries. For three consecutive co-op terms, Henrika spent a year in Victoria as an Associate Product Manager at Workday, a leading provider of enterprise cloud applications to Fortune 500 companies, educational institutions, and government agencies. “My role was dynamic to say the least,” says Lim. “The nature of my projects gave me the unique opportunity to gain not only visibility with the senior management team, but also direct engagement with multiple Fortune 500 customers.”

Henrika was given a lot of independence to use the knowledge she had learned in the classroom and apply it to her projects. This included performing industry analyses and conducting customer and user research while supporting user experience teams, engineering teams, and senior product managers. “As my work term progressed, I was given more ownership and autonomy on my projects. At one point I was in charge of planning and organizing a 3-day offsite event where I had to manage a five-figure budget.”

Henrika was also able to visit Workday’s Headquarters in San Francisco’s Bay Area for Workday’s Intern Connect Summit. “The Bay Area is home to many well-known startups and global technology companies,” says Lim. “Spending a week meeting highly talented and motivated people who are using technology to innovate and solve tough problems was incredibly inspiring.”

Over the course of her work term, Henrika focused on cultivating a growth mindset in approaching every challenging task she was given, and consistently rose to the occasion. In fact, midway through her work term, she was recognized as one of the top five outstanding contributors out of 150 employees in the entire organization. “I consider that to be a huge achievement, especially upon learning that I was the first co-op student to have attained that recognition,” she says. 

After completing five co-op terms, Henrika returned to the classroom with valuable skills and experience that helped her excel in her final academic term. “I was able to apply the management lessons and practices that I observed in my co-op to my course work,” says Lim. “I drew from my personal co-op experience to provide concrete examples of theoretical concepts in action. This allowed me to contribute richer insights in class discussions and in written assignments alike.”

Armed with valuable co-op experiences, Henrika has secured a full-time product management role at another technology company in Vancouver after graduation. “As an international student who had zero work experience coming to Canada five years ago, I wouldn’t have attained this without participating in the co-op program where I discovered various career paths, gained relevant work experience, and learned about the professional environment in North America.”

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