Recent Business Technology Management graduate Katrina Ann del Rosario (BComm, 2019) reflects on her time at TRSM, her valuable co-op experience and why she wanted to give back to support the next generation of business leaders.
How was your time as a student at TRSM?
In the beginning, I was very intimidated to start my life at TRSM. I grew up in a different country and did not know how university worked in Canada. Over the span of my entire undergraduate career, all I ever wanted to do was to create a new identity for myself. I wanted to succeed for myself and my family. I feel like my undergraduate career flew by. It taught me how to meet deadlines on time and how to manage my career, family, social life and studies.
Why did you get involved in the TRSM community when you were a student?
I knew how important extracurricular activities were in the undergraduate career of a student. I was inspired by my ITM 100 Facilitator to become a Facilitator myself. I was very shy in the beginning and knew that if I joined different programs, I would be able to gain more confidence and exposure to different teams.
When I became an ITM 100 Facilitator, I found my confidence and my passion. I discovered that I really love helping different students, which resulted in me working at TRSM throughout my entire undergraduate life. It also gave me the various soft skills needed to help enhance my résumé while looking for a co-op position. Being a Facilitator gave me the inspiration to do presentations and create reports as well, which became the strongest skill in my career.
How did your Co-op placement at CIBC help you eventually land a job there?
I started my career at CIBC when I had my first work term there as a co-op student. I was able to work in the same department for four to five terms, and when I was about to leave, my Director asked me to continue on there even though I was still studying. I successfully stayed for over six terms as a co-op student.
When I was in my last year, I started to look for full-time opportunities. As a result of being an exceptional student, I was selected to interview for five different full-time positions at CIBC. Eventually, I stayed with my department and worked as an Advisory Application Developer while finishing my undergraduate studies in night school. I was later promoted to be a Scrum Master.
My co-op placement gave me the opportunity to create numerous networks and meet wonderful individuals who have had an impact on my career in different ways. It also gave me an overview of what life would really be like outside the four walls of the classroom.
What do you do at CIBC now?
Currently, I am a Scrum Master in CIBC Technology and Operations. In this role, I am responsible for such duties as enhancing team collaboration and implementing changes within the department, handling change management, project management, acting as the AGILE team lead and recruiting and mentoring graduate and co-op associates in the department.
What award did you receive at TRSM and how did it help you?
I won the THINK Team Award when I was at TRSM in 2015. Receiving this award helped me gain my confidence and prove to myself that I am doing the right thing and that I am on the right path.
Why did you create an Award for Positive Impact on TRSM Community after graduating?
The reason I created the Award for Positive Impact is to be able to give back to TRSM. This school has been a big factor in why I found myself. I would never be who I am today without it. I would like to thank TRSM for helping me in my career and finding CIBC, which has helped me discover who I am. I have met wonderful individuals who I know will be a part of my life forever. As a result, I am forever grateful.
My family migrated to Canada in 2011, and to be honest, life wasn’t easy. I have worked since I was 16 years old at Cineplex to pay for expenses, and have worked all my summers and even the last year of my undergraduate full-time at CIBC. All that I ever knew was that I needed to succeed to make my parent’s sacrifices worth it.
I have realized that all the blessings that I am experiencing is for a reason. I believe my purpose is to be able to help first generation students who are trying to create a new life here in this wonderful country. I hope through this award, I may be able to help others in different ways.
What advice would you give current students?
I discovered that life will never happen the way you plan it. You just need to enjoy every moment that you go through. In times of struggles, you need to know that everything happens for a reason, and even you do not know what it is for. When that time comes, you will be thankful for your past because it will make you who you are. Just take everything day by day and enjoy the ride because you can never get time back and remake your memories.