Recent graduate Saakshi Mehta’s co-op journey was rooted in a curiosity for how decision-making works in different levels and sectors of the economy. She worked a variety of roles in the non-profit, public, and private sectors during her time in the Co-Op program.
Mehta (BA’20) started at the Indian Summer Festival, a multicultural festival that opens up dialogue for Indigenous artists in Canada and in India. She credits her role as a box office assistant for forcing her out of her shell by challenging her to talk to a lot of people, collaborate with colleagues over huge databases, and understand work office culture.
“I was a part of a community that helped voice opinions and interests of those often overshadowed, and allowed me to develop the skills I needed to get into the position I eventually saw myself working at,” she said.
Mehta was excited to land a role as a junior analyst at the Financial Services Authority, formerly known as Financial Institutions Commission. Her tasks within the Central 1 Supervisions team included managing liquidity and payment decisions for all credit unions in B.C and some in Ontario.
“My job was like a game of chess, where I had to evaluate and understand the impact of every move I made,” said Mehta. “I would not have been able to adapt to this role if I hadn’t learned how to analyze problems and learn the pros and cons of decision-making in VSE classes.”
Mehta’s ability to analyze situations is what led her to her final co-op job at the Global Mobility Services within Price Waterhouse Cooper (PWC) in Toronto. As a part of the international taxations team, she learned how to provide value to high-networking clients by analyzing and interpreting tax policies, and helping her clients comply with complex U.S. and Canadian tax regulations.
“I took this job because I wanted to know more about tax policies after studying about the impact of tax policies and how clients engage with that in my economics classes,” said Mehta.
For Mehta, her co-op experience created a balance between practical knowledge and what she learned in many of her theory classes.
“My co-op experience provided me with opportunities to say yes to solving challenging problems,” said Mehta. “I could see how my actions and skills translated into solutions that positively impact the community. “