Students to Business – Week 5: Navigating Professional Growth at U+

Students to Business - Week 5: Navigating Professional Growth at U+

In this week’s installment of our Students to Business, our high school co-ops at U+ share their experiences, insights, and lessons from their journey in the professional world. From significant projects contributing to U+’s goals to developing essential skills and overcoming challenges, they provide a glimpse into their growth in the workplace. Join us as Shree Rama Mishra and Sanjana Sreeram take you through their week, showcasing the exciting opportunities and lessons that are shaping their future career paths.

What were the most significant tasks or projects you worked on this week, and how did they contribute to U+'s goals and objectives?

This week, my focus was on two crucial tasks that align with U+’s goals and objectives. Firstly, presenting the winter 2024 York Regional Program Project proposal to Kevin was a pivotal moment. This project is not only a testament to our commitment to community engagement but also a strategic move to strengthen our ties in the local region. By showcasing our plans for the upcoming program, we aim to not only meet but exceed the expectations of the community, thereby solidifying U+’s positive impact and reputation.
Secondly, gathering contacts of local businesses for the high school coops task 3 was equally significant. This task contributes directly to fostering partnerships with local enterprises, a key aspect of U+’s outreach strategy. These contacts are not just numbers; they represent potential collaborations that can enhance our co-op programs. Establishing strong ties with businesses ensures a robust network for future endeavors, creating a mutually beneficial relationship. In essence, both tasks this week were pivotal steps in the larger journey towards U+’s goals of community integration and forging impactful partnerships for sustained success.
  • Shree Rama Mishra
I started working on the all-hands-on deck project where I add contacts of the organizations in the spreadsheet. I was also appointed as the lead of the Euclid project where we have to find details of top private schools in the York Region who conduct the Euclid exam and understand their promotional strategies. By playing a role in these projects, I am helping to find sponsors and partners to run U+ Education’s events and to make it better. In the Euclid project, I am also able to find possible methods to promote U+ Education’s courses and to expand its audience base.
  • Sanjana Sreeram

Describe a challenge you encountered during your work this week. How did you approach and overcome this challenge, or what steps did you take to seek assistance and learn from it?

The challenge of presenting to Kevin this week was undoubtedly a formidable one, considering the shift in context from a school environment to a professional workplace. The transition from addressing educators to presenting to a supervisor added a layer of pressure that I hadn’t experienced before. To tackle this challenge, I decided to approach it with a combination of preparation and a shift in mindset. Firstly, I dedicated extra time to thoroughly understanding the winter 2024 York Regional Program Project proposal. This not only bolstered my confidence in the content but also ensured that I could address any questions or concerns Kevin might have. Practicing the presentation multiple times in front of a mirror allowed me to refine my delivery and minimize nervousness.
In terms of mindset, I consciously reframed the situation. Instead of viewing it solely as a presentation to a supervisor, I saw it as an opportunity to showcase my dedication and competence. This mental shift helped alleviate some of the nervousness. Recognizing the need for feedback and improvement, I also sought assistance from colleagues who had experience presenting to Kevin. Their insights and advice were invaluable in refining my approach and addressing specific nuances that come with presenting in a professional setting. Ultimately, the combination of thorough preparation, a positive mindset shift, and seeking guidance from experienced colleagues proved effective. The presentation to Kevin turned out to be a learning experience, contributing not only to the success of the proposal but also to my personal and professional growth.
  • Shree Rama Mishra
While researching for the Euclid project, we could not find the desired results which turned out to be due to certain restrictions imposed by the University of Waterloo. As we did not have time to stay at the same step, I contacted my supervisor regarding the issue, asking for the next steps to be taken. Following this, he guided us as to what to do in this dilemma, and with the instructions that we received, we researched a different set of organizations and found the desired outcomes after intense research.
  • Sanjana Sreeram

Reflect on the skills you utilized or developed this week. Which skills were the most important for your tasks, and how do you see them benefiting your future career aspirations?

This week, I heavily relied on my adept use of time management and prioritization skills. Juggling the preparation for the winter 2024 York Regional Program Project proposal and collecting contacts for the high school co-op task demanded a strategic allocation of my time and resources. Time management played a pivotal role in ensuring that I had sufficient preparation for the presentation while also dedicating the necessary effort to gather contacts effectively. Prioritization was equally crucial as it helped me discern the importance of each task in the larger context of U+’s objectives. Deciding which aspects of the proposal needed more attention and understanding the criticality of securing local business contacts for the co-op program allowed me to channel my efforts efficiently.
These skills are not only relevant in the current context but also bear significant implications for my future career aspirations. Effective time management is a universal skill that transcends roles and industries. It not only enhances productivity but also showcases a crucial aspect of professionalism. Prioritization, on the other hand, is essential in navigating complex work scenarios and ensuring that efforts align with overarching goals. As I aspire to advance in my career, these skills will undoubtedly serve as pillars of competence, enabling me to tackle challenges methodically and contribute meaningfully to any professional setting.
  • Shree Rama Mishra
As I did not work two days this week, I had to inform my supervisors and team members regarding the same. In the process, I got accustomed to the protocols to be followed under such circumstances and therefore, improved my communication skills. In the future, I would be subjected to such situations in the workplace and would have to follow similar procedures, which I would find to be easy due to the experience that I am receiving currently. Along with this, I also utilized my critical thinking skills while tackling the issue faced during the Euclid project, along with which, I shaped my leadership skills in leading a team for the same, which is my second at U+ Education. These are also skills essential for the workplace in the future.
  • Sanjana Sreeram

What interactions or collaborations with colleagues or supervisors stood out to you this week? How did these interactions enhance your understanding of the workplace and the industry?

This week has been quite eventful in terms of collaborations and interactions with colleagues and supervisors. One notable instance was working closely with my colleague Kevin on presenting our joint project. As I shared my work with him, I found that the collaborative effort not only improved the quality of our presentation but also boosted my confidence in discussing and showcasing our accomplishments. Kevin’s feedback and support made me realize the power of teamwork in fostering professional growth and elevating the quality of our work. Additionally, conducting an interview with Carey for a school assignment was a memorable experience. Despite his busy schedule, Carey graciously agreed to be interviewed, demonstrating a level of kindness and cooperation that left a lasting impression. His insights and willingness to share his knowledge not only enriched my assignment but also provided valuable perspectives on the industry.
These interactions have been instrumental in enhancing my understanding of the workplace dynamics and the industry at large. They underscored the importance of effective communication, collaboration, and the willingness to learn from each other. Building positive relationships with colleagues and supervisors not only contributes to a supportive work environment but also opens doors to valuable insights and experiences that can shape one’s professional journey.
  • Shree Rama Mishra
During the team check-in meeting with Kevin on Monday, we presented the project proposal for the Toronto Project and answered all the questions asked. For this meeting, I was asked to organize the meeting, and make it recurring for the following weeks. This interaction stood out to me because the students are encouraged to take on such responsibilities, and are allowed to improve their leadership and communication skills, rather than being a part of a rigid workplace.
  • Sanjana Sreeram

Consider any insights or lessons you've gained about U+'s industry or the professional world in general. How do these insights align with your career goals, and do they influence your perspective on your future path?

Delving into during my time at U+ has been an enlightening experience that extends beyond the realm of project management tools. One key insight is the significance of streamlined and collaborative work processes. has showcased the efficiency that arises from cohesive teamwork, providing a platform where tasks are organized, and communication is seamless. In the broader context of U+’s industry, the emphasis on technology and collaborative platforms has underscored the rapid evolution of the professional landscape. The tech-centric approach not only aligns with the current industry trends but also emphasizes the importance of adaptability and staying abreast of technological advancements.
These insights resonate with my career goals, as they emphasize the need for a versatile skill set and a keen understanding of collaborative technologies. The experience at U+ has fueled my appreciation for dynamic work environments and the ability to leverage tools for enhanced productivity. Influencing my perspective on the future, these lessons emphasize the value of continuous learning and adaptability in navigating the professional world. As I chart my career path, I recognize the importance of embracing innovation, fostering collaborative work cultures, and staying agile in response to industry shifts. The insights gained at U+ serve as a guiding force, shaping my trajectory towards a future where technological fluency and collaborative proficiency are integral components of success.
  • Shree Rama Mishra
While working in both the major projects that were mentioned earlier, I learnt that U+ Education’s industry is very competitive as a lot of organizations are working towards recruiting the potential students present in the market. A lot of programs also depend on partnerships and sponsorships. Hence, research plays a major role in this as the promotional and administrative processes must be continuously adapted and changed. Through these insights, I have realized that I like researching and deriving conclusions. Hence, even if I may not go into the education industry, I would like to be a part of an industry where research plays a major role.
  • Sanjana Sreeram

As we wrap up this week’s blog series, the experiences of Shree Rama Mishra and Sanjana Sreeram offer a valuable perspective on the transition from student life to the world of business. Their reflections on skills development, collaborations, and industry insights underline the importance of adaptability, teamwork, and continuous learning. These insights not only align with their career aspirations but also serve as a reminder of the ever-evolving landscape of the professional world. As they continue their journey at U+, they pave the way for a promising future where innovation, research, and collaboration are key drivers of success. Stay tuned for more stories of growth and achievement in our Students to Business blog series.

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