Meet Maxwell Johnston:
Maxwell Johnston is a senior Marketing Management co-op student at U of G, working towards a Bachelor of Commerce degree. His co-op work term this semester has been at Scotiabank and he shared many great stories about his time there! As part of the Strategic Marketing Initiatives team under Canadian Banking, Maxwell was involved in strategy and project management for various marketing tactics across the bank, and contributed to impactful projects such as the Velocity program for undergraduate students in which he helped raise money for charity, as well as the biggest International Women’s Day campaign that Scotiabank has run to date. Read more to learn about Maxwell’s co-op experiences, his tips for other co-op students, and his biggest takeaways from his work term.
Tell us about your work term at Scotiabank. What has your role been and what has the atmosphere been like?
“This has been my first work-term in my field of study, Marketing! I am part of the Strategic Marketing Initiatives team under Canadian Banking. The team works on overall strategy and project management for all kinds of marketing initiatives across the bank, like ScotiaAdvice+, Holidays marketing, the Scotiabank Women’s Initiative, and more. The whole marketing team is comprised of kind and interesting folk, and even though this work term has been remote, I have made some lasting connections with my co-workers. The atmosphere at Scotiabank is supportive of your development, goal-oriented, collaborative, and values work-life balance.”
What has been your favourite project that you've contributed to at Scotiabank? What was your biggest takeaway from that project?
“My favourite project I have contributed to at Scotiabank is through my work with the Velocity Social Committee. I am one of the Events & Logistics Coordinators. Our biggest responsibility was running the charity initiative. We were left to our own devices to lead an initiative to raise money for any charity we chose. We ended up running a 50/50 draw, an Uno tournament, and a Trivia night to raise money; we raised over $500 for the MS Society of Canada. This was my favourite because I was able to give back and contribute to the community around me in a positive way.”
Can you tell us more about your role in the Velocity program?
“I am a part of the Velocity program, Scotiabank’s undergraduate student program. We meet weekly, hold events, workshops, connects, and have resources for our learning/development. As part of this program we can develop relationships with the other students at the bank as well as our assigned mentors. We participate in events under our Velocity teams, with competitions and points to be had, it’s a nice way to stay connected.”
How did you get involved in the Velocity program?
“I am a part of the Velocity Social Committee! Comprised of members of the Velocity program who applied and were selected by the Velocity Program Managers. I am one of the Events & Logistics Coordinators. I run events every other Friday during lunch where we play games and chat. I was able to host a variety of Jackbox games like Quiplash, Trivia Murder Party, and Tee-KO. I have a lot of fun in this role as I am basically in charge of making sure people are having a good time.”
What has been your biggest takeaway from this work term in general?
“My biggest takeaway from this work term is that you can get out what you put into your work. If you ask to get involved with more projects and different areas of the bank, your manager will support you in getting exposure to that. If you come in with a smile every day, you will be met with a smile every day. If you ask to make connections and meet people around the organization, your manager will help you facilitate connections.”
“If you aren’t met with the same initiative and positivity you bring into the workplace, you may be in the wrong team. Be authentic and do what is best for you.”
Tell us about your work on International Women's Day initiatives with Scotiabank!
“The International Women’s Day (IWD) campaign we ran this year was the biggest Scotiabank has ever done and I am so glad I was a part of it; it was the coolest project I have ever worked on. It was the collaboration and coordination of so many different people and teams. Our approach was looking at historical quotes from influential women of the past and present, showing what was #SaidBefore, and how it still applies today. We encouraged acting now, so she won’t have to say it again by breaking down the barriers faced by women.”
“As part of the Strategic Marketing Initiatives team we determined the direction of the campaign. I was a part of the daily discussions on where we wanted to lead the campaign, and my input was utilized in different facets of the campaign. I was able to manage how are message would be amplified by our partner organizations and influencers on our social channels.”
“I learned a lot about collaboration in various capacities, project management at high speeds, and what customers engage with. I am certain that these skills helped me develop as a marketer. Overall, I loved working on this campaign because I feel strongly about the message and the impact we made.”
What does co-op mean to you in terms of your academic and professional life?
“Co-op has helped me access the opportunities needed to get me where I am today, and I am glad I am part of the program. The program and my wonderful co-op coordinator, Janet, supported me by helping with my resume and cover letter writing which was helpful early on.”
“Being in the co-op program made me feel required to get a job for my allotted work terms which was motivating. I learned patience and persistency in applying for positions and being a competitive candidate.”
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
“Advice for current co-op students:
- Be persistent in your applications, it only takes one position to start on your career path.
- Go into interviews with the utmost confidence, even if you aren’t actually confident. Act like a person who is and you will start to feel confident.
- Utilize your co-op coordinators as resources, they are there to support you.
- Feel free to email me to chat at: firstname.lastname@example.org.”