Excerpted from a post by Lauren Frost. Originally published on UVic News.

To some, moving across the country to work in a completely new industry would seem like a risky decision. To business student Siena Testa, Gustavson’s 2019 Co-op Student of the Year, it was the decision that took her career, academics and professional confidence to the next level.

For her first co-op work term, Testa accepted a job offer from the Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks (CENGN) in Ottawa. CENGN’s members and partners work together to drive innovation and talent development in Canada’s information and communications technology sector. As a human resources specialist position, Testa was tasked with screening applications for the highly coveted CENGN Internship Program, which receives close to 800 applications for at total of 12 co-op positions each term.

When Testa brought an idea to expand the internship program to her supervisor, she was given the freedom to follow through. This independent project, combined with her extraordinary ability to forge meaningful relationships with hiring managers, won her the CEO WOW award, an honour given to a CENGN employee who makes an extraordinary impact on the organization. “The impact of Siena’s departure at the end of the work term has not gone unnoticed,” says Testa’s supervisor Nathalie Guthrie. “She has raised the bar for CENGN’s standard of excellence.”

Jumping outside of her comfort zone opened the door to a life-changing experience. “I am seriously considering a career in human resources now, and Nathalie and I have talked about returning for a second co-op term,” says Testa. “Deciding to accept a job with CENGN was one of the best decisions I have ever made.”

Watch the video below to learn more about Testa’s co-op experience and to see what other inspiring UVic students have accomplished throughout their co-op work terms.


Photo: UVic Co-op and Career