Did you know there are co-op students at Monte Creek Winery? It’s true! “Co-op” stands for co-operative education, and it is a program in universities where students can spend a semester or several working for a business while earning course credits at the same time. Because this was Monte Creek Winery’s first time with co-op students, we asked them to talk a bit about themselves, so you can get to know them and what they thought of working at the winery. Read on to learn a bit about the four we had working with us this summer: Allie Bittante, Celina Li, Michelle Mauro, and Matthew Olson.

 

Alexandra (Allie) Bittante – Marketing Co-op

“Monte Creek Winery provided me an opportunity to narrow down the very broad spectrum of marketing jobs that exist to a couple of things that I think I might want to do after graduation.”
– Allie Bittante, Marketing Co-op

 

Allie Bittante

What program are you taking and why?

I am one semester away from graduating with a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in marketing and a Computer Science Diploma from TRU. I’ve always loved problem-solving, and that’s a big part of what marketing is- identifying problems in customer communication, and developing creative solutions to drive sales, generate leads, and all those other fun buzzwords we get to use in marketing. The Computer Science Diploma is really just giving me additional resources to bolster my problem-solving skills- I’ve gotten particular use out of my web design classes.

Why did you choose to work for Monte Creek Winery?

Wineries are much more diverse than most people realize, and with a small business, you get to do a little of everything. Monte Creek Winery provided me an opportunity to narrow down the very broad spectrum of marketing jobs that exist to a couple of things that I think I might want to do after graduation.

What are some of your hobbies?

I love art and books- I’m starting to get into photography as well. In the summer, I’m a big fan of hiking and fishing.

What are you taking away from this co-op experience?

Lots of new skills! I’ve spent time designing creative for ads, managing the website, building newsletters, planning campaigns, content writing, and even analyzing and strategizing to improve newsletter performance. I’ve also gained a deep appreciation for the wine industry- I’d love to work for a winery again, someday.

Is there anything else you’d like to say about being one of the co-ops at Monte Creek Winery?

Monte Creek Winery was a great experience, and the managers were very supportive. I’d recommend them highly to any future co-op students.

 

 

Celina Li – Sustainability Co-op

“I am… interested in finding different ways of incorporating sustainable practices into small businesses. My goal is to develop strategies that could eventually enhance the health of the ecosystem around the winery.”
– Celina Li, Sustainability Co-op

 

Celina Li, Sustainability Co-op at Monte Creek Winery

What program are you taking and why?

I am currently studying Forestry at UBC. I started the program due to my passion for the environment and nature.

Why did you choose to work for Monte Creek Winery?

I especially love how Monte Creek Winery is located in mountains – what forestry student can say no to mountains?  In the meantime, I am also interested in finding different ways of incorporating sustainable practices into small businesses. My goal is to develop strategies that could eventually enhance the health of the ecosystem around the winery.

What are some of your hobbies?

I love watching cat and dog videos! (Yes, I love both of them :D)

What are you taking away from this co-op experience?

I have been participating in multiple urban planning and designing projects, which I found to be very interesting.

Is there anything else you’d like to say about being a co-op at Monte Creek Winery?

I would like to thank all my supervisors and peers for their endless support and hard work that brought this wonderful summer to me. It was a true pleasure to work with everyone.

 

Michelle Mauro – Human Resources Co-op

“I chose Monte Creek Winery based on their vision and sustainability mission. My values aligned with what they had to offer as an organization. It meant a lot to me to work somewhere relatable….”
– Michelle Mauro, HR Co-op

 

Michelle MauroWhat program are you taking and why?

I’m in the business program at TRU, majoring in human resources. I’m passionate about people and I want to contribute to a healthy and happy workplace whether that be through recruitment & selection, health & safety, or diversity & inclusion.

Why did you choose to work for Monte Creek Winery?

After researching different organizations…, I chose Monte Creek Winery based on their vision and sustainability mission. My values aligned with what they had to offer as an organization. It meant a lot to me to work somewhere relatable, and I was willing to take on the challenge.

What are some of your hobbies?

To list a few, I enjoy being outdoors, specifically swimming, playing soccer, and hiking. I love cooking, traveling near and far, and learning a new language (slowly but surely)!

What are you taking away from this co-op experience?

Throughout my work term, I learned many skills to kickstart my career. I touched on recruitment activities, health & safety, grant funding, employment law, organizational charts and systems, HRIS and time-off scheduling, and much more! There are times I felt uncomfortable being a beginner, but it encouraged me to build confidence within myself to grow and learn from those feelings.

Is there anything else you’d like to say about being a co-op at Monte Creek Winery?

You will have the opportunity to be resourceful and work independently while learning so much! I loved learning about viticulture, wine bottling, and sustainability initiatives such as sustainable farming, Ocean Wise certification, and biodiversity. Monte Creek Winery encompassed much more than a summer Co-op experience for me.

 

Matt Olson- Finance Co-op

“The thing that I am taking away from this experience is that there are many different elements that have to co-operate in order for a business to be successful. Coordination and communication are key for a modern business to succeed.”
– Matt Olson, Finance Co-op

 

Matt Olson

What program are you taking and why?

I am taking a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in finance and a minor in economics at TRU. I chose finance because I feel like too many people simply work for their money, but finance allows for the opportunity to make money work for you. Finance also really interested me because so much of the world is influenced by the markets, and being able to understand them seems like a valuable skill.

Why did you choose to work for Monte Creek Winery?

I chose to work for Monte Creek because I saw a valuable opportunity to work with a rapidly growing brand and help them expand and increase their share of the wine market.

What are some of your hobbies?

I like to work out, golf, and mountain bike.

What are you taking away from this co-op experience?

The thing that I am taking away from this experience is that there are many different elements that have to co-operate in order for a business to be successful. Coordination and communication are key for a modern business to succeed.

Is there anything else you’d like to say about being a co-op at Monte Creek Winery?

The team at Monte Creek is excellent. You’ll always feel welcomed if you work there.