Canucks Sports and Entertainment offers several Co-op jobs every semester, each one provides interns with an amazing array of experiences, but how can you land one of these coveted jobs? I interviewed Canucks.com employees Karen Sum and Derek Jory to find out.
If you’ve ever visited Canucks.com, there’s a good chance that as website coordinator Karen had something to do with the content you’re enjoying. Not only does Karen’s job require her to attend home games and visit the Canucks locker room, but if you’re in the Co-operative Education program she could hire you to do the same.
When it came to the hiring process, Karen cautioned against typical mistakes, such as spelling errors and cover letters addressed to the wrong person, but she also offered advice on how to catch her attention: the key is to set yourself apart from the crowd.
“Someone used humour,” she said, “he talked about his own experience, he said he has a Kyle Wellwood jersey for sentimental reasons even though he wasn’t a very good player. It showed personality, and I remembered his resume.” Karen continued, “he was really short and to the point, these are my skills, this is what I want to do, and then the quip about Kyle Wellwood, so that was really effective for me.”
The importance of showing off your personality and connecting on a personal level becomes even more important if you manage to land an interview. “I really like when people tell me personal stories,” Karen said, “because I feel like their answers aren’t as pre-prepared as some other people.”
“There was a guy once,” Karen recalled, “he told me how he learned English by watching hockey… He was an immigrant from another country, he didn’t know any English, but because he was watching hockey he learned it, and that’s why he wanted to work in hockey. I thought it was a really great story.”
If you’re familiar with Derek Jory’s work (and if you’re applying as the web intern you really should be), you won’t be surprised to learn that he also gravitates towards witty and clever cover letters.
Derek is the full-time writer for Canucks.com, he writes game recaps, player features, the Fort Nucks blog and mans the team’s play-by-play Twitter account, @canucksgame. He also has a say in who to hire as the web intern.
When it comes to interviews, much like Karen, he looks for people who can connect and be themselves.
“It’s tough to judge a person on one interview,” he said, “but that’s what we have to do. I just look for people who are being themselves as much as possible.”
Derek continued, “I’ve talked to a couple people where they’ve just clammed up and gave one-word answers, and you can just tell they’re so nervous, and to me how are you going to be when you’re in the locker room with Roberto Luongo? ”
That being said, he understands interviews are tough and nerves are expected, but the key is to make sure your personality can shine through the nerves. “I’m attracted to the type of personality that’s just themselves,” he said. “I think I’m a good judge of character and can tell when someone’s being themselves or just extremely nervous. That’s what makes interviews tough, even I get nervous during interviews, I’m nervous during this interview.”
So you’ve mastered your nerves, or at least accepted that the interviewer could be just as nervous as you are, so what else can you do to wow him?
“I look for people that are like me,” said Derek. “If some department comes to me with some kind of weird request I make sure I say ‘yes,’ I never say ‘no’ to anything… I love when interns go after it…. always trying to figure things out and not just saying I don’t understand. If you have questions – great – and just pressing on and trying new things and being a go-getter essentially.”
Finally, if all else fails, ask your mom for her best cookie recipe and start baking! “I would definitely accept baking as bribes,” Derek quipped. “That’s never happened, but if someone did bake me cookies they would probably get the internship.”