4th year Bachelor of International Economics
Most recent co-op job: Global Exchange Program Intern – Desphande Foundation (India)
An internationally-focused degree, a global co-op experience
As a Junior Trade Commissioner at the Canadian Consulate in Boston, Liam Orme worked with a team supporting Canadian startups in the Boston ecosystem, connecting them with resources and market opportunities.
Liam’s second co-op term saw him moving further abroad to take a position with the Deshpande Foundation, an economic development organization and incubator for social enterprises in Karnataka, India.
While the model of startup incubators is familiar across North America, they are a newer presence in many regions of India. “Many of the startups in that area focus on technology for agriculture, for farmers, but also for helping to bring some technologies that we might find more commonplace—like 3D printing—to a new audience to see what creative solutions come of it,” Liam said.
With his first two jobs covering more than 12,000 kilometres between them, Liam’s co-op experience has reflected the global focus of the Bachelor of International Economics program. To make the most of the diverse work opportunities available, he encourages co-op students to prioritize the expectations they have for a job, and do their best to put aside considerations such as location or familiarity.
“The more you narrow down the search, the fewer chances you give yourself to find something unexpectedly meaningful,” he explained.
He also stresses the importance of keeping your goals in sight during the course of a work term.
“I would encourage people to take stock of their situation while they’re on co-op, to say okay so, what can I do to get more out of this?” Liam said. “It sounds corny, and it sounds exactly like what co-op would want me to say, but it does help, even if everything is already going well.”
Liam said his co-op jobs may not have changed how he thinks about future career goals, but they have provided some useful context.
“I probably came back from Boston more confused than when I left, because I got a great horizontal picture of what was happening in the city and I had hardly scratched the surface,” he said. “That really showed me how many different opportunities there were out there. It was a particularly potent reminder that any weird and wacky combination of interests that I have can probably be met in the form of a job somewhere.”