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  • Writer's pictureSarah Merriam

Halifax's Best Co-op Experience

When 365 Experience’s CEO, Avery Birch, hired his first co-op student to help tackle the busy summer demand and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, he never anticipated that one role would turn into three, and that one year later he would have successfully employed several students from varying post-secondary institutions.

“What our program has now become is an experiment factory where new ideas are tested, and students are put in real scenarios of building products, negotiations, and running the business as a whole." - Avery Birch

Recruiting co-op students at 365 Experience has helped the business to grow, according to company COO, Stephen Lays. He states that “even with only an academic background, new thoughts and attitudes help us find the small improvements that directly contribute to our profits.”

365 Experience’s co-op program not only helps the business to blossom, but provides co-op students with an exceptional opportunity to advance their skills in an ever changing and fast paced start-up environment.

Sophia Milonas, a recent graduate from Dalhousie University’s Commerce Program, was 365 Experience’s first co-op student in 2020. She refers to her time at the company as “one of the best jobs [she’ll] probably ever have.” This popular sentiment held among 365 Experience co-op students makes you wonder… what makes a co-op term at 365 Experience so great?

Inspiring Leaders

It’s no secret that the people we work with have a huge impact on our job satisfaction and motivation to succeed at work. Nick Francis and Mateo Munoz, third year Commerce students at Dalhousie University, completed their first co-op terms together at 365 Experience. When asked about the highlights of their work terms, they each put great emphasis on the positive environment that is fostered by the company’s leaders.

Mateo says that CEO, Avery Birch and COO, Stephen Lays always made going to work both exciting and inspiring. He says “Avery is the type of person who can instantly connect with anyone. It seems like everything he does surrounds having fun and getting the most out of life and that’s something he spreads to all the people around him.”

Nick, who worked alongside Mateo, says he learned how to tackle problems in an effective and efficient manner due to working alongside Steve. He further states that “[Steve] brings energy and kindness to the workplace which contributes to the unbeatable environment at 365 Experience.”

365 Experience Team Axe Throwing!

Avery and Steve both care greatly about team building. All students share their memorable adventures of surfing, axe throwing, snowboarding, and tidal bore rafting with the team at 365 Experience. These activities undoubtedly help to create a fun and collective workplace for everybody, fuelling their ability and desire to create the most supreme work.

Valuable Work Experience

Josh Franchuk, a fourth year Commerce student at Dalhousie, completed his second co-op at 365 Experience. Working at a start-up allowed him to learn every aspect of how a small business operates, giving him valuable knowledge to carry with him throughout his future endeavors.

He was also able to directly apply skills learned through schooling to his efforts at the company, such as developing business plans, financial projections, and more. In return, his time at 365 Experience helped him to better understand topics in the classroom; Josh recently learned the 23 steps to starting a business, and was able to refer to his time at 365 Experience where he witnessed these steps taking place first-hand.

Sarah Merriam – 365 Experience’s first Public Relations student from Mount Saint Vincent University – is currently closing up her summer co-op term with the company. “This co-op has given me the opportunity to truly test out my skills and knowledge that I have learned throughout my degree by directly applying it to my efforts within the company,” says Sarah, who further states “I can leave my time at 365 Experience feeling confident as a PR practitioner before entering the workforce.”

Freedom & Growth

A common theme among the responses of those who have completed co-op terms at 365 Experience is the admiration for the freedom they are given in regard to their work. Campbell Pickard and Will Puffer, fourth year Commerce students at Dalhousie University, are near the end of their summer co-op with 365 Experience. They both emphasize the independence they have experienced with their work. Campbell stating that when working for the company you are “given a lot of authority to do whatever work you want to do.” Will backs up this statement by saying that he has been able to discover how he works the most effectively and efficiently by having lots of control over his work and how he operates in the workplace.

Brendan Hubbard, also a fourth year Commerce student at Dalhousie University, says that the exposure to so many aspects of finance and business operations has helped him to gain an overall confidence with his commerce capabilities. “Avery’s style of being a boss gives you the opportunity to succeed or fail and help you learn from that,” explains Brendan, while adding that he always felt like he could do anything he put his mind to while working at 365 Experience.

It’s Your Time

If you are a Commerce or Public Relations student looking to complete a co-op term with an energetic and fast-moving start-up company – one that values what you can bring to the table – 365 Experience is the place for you.

365 Experience Team Surf Day!

“I would highly recommend this co-op to any university student. Having the ability to see all the moving parts of a business in practice is invaluable. At 365 experience you can clearly see the impacts your work is creating and you have the ability to be a truly valuable asset to the team. This in itself is already a huge benefit over working at any large organizations. To make it all even better, the work environment at 365 experience is amazing.” - Mateo Munoz
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