Lester Chan

Current Workplace: PwC

Title: Senior Associate, Technology

Role: Advisory, Consulting & Deals

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/lesterchankm

As one of the co-founders of RUCSA, I’ve always been a strong believer and advocate for co-op education. I only have this passion because the Ryerson BTM co-op program has provided me with great experiences that have helped kick-start my professional career. I had the opportunity to work for four different multinational organizations over my five work terms.

I spent my first work term at RBC in their Technology group working for a team called Finance Solutions. I supported the project team with implementing a Risk Analytics tool for the business. This was my first co-op, so the role was rather junior, which ended up being a great way to get started and my foot in the door. My second work term, I stayed with RBC but moved to a group called Solution Delivery Services where I was responsible for collecting Business Requirements for a large technology transformation project. I met with analysts and managers all across the bank in different departments to develop business process maps for my team. This was a great experience where I got to leverage some of my learnings from my classes and develop my soft skills by meeting so many different people. For my third work term, I joined CGI in their solutions team where we were helping a public sector client implement a securities processing application. This experience was unique because the project was 100 days behind schedule and 5 different resources were let go during my time there! It was an incredible learning experience being put in a high stress and high intensity environment. I supported the team with developing their functional specifications and testing coordination.

For my fourth work term, I worked at American Express in the technologies team where I helped develop an internal engagement tool for business and technology to use. At this time I realized I really enjoyed the client facing fast pace culture I got at CGI and ended up joining IBM consulting for my final work term. I spent my last work term on an engagement with one of the large banks implementing a shared services organization.

[Confirming my interest for consulting through my work terms, I ended up joining PwC’s management consulting practice following graduation.]

I’ve spent my time primarily in technology and operations with clients in the public sector, telecommunications, utilities and financial services industry.

[My co-op experiences were a huge part of my development into a business professional.]

Not only did I gain work experience on the job, co-op changed the way I approached learning in the classroom. Most importantly, I was able to develop my soft skills (communication, leadership, accountability) during my work term, which I think are crucial for success in today’s work environment.

At the end of the day, co-op work terms are experiential learning, which in my opinion is the most effective type of learning. I highly recommend co-op to any students considering it! I think the stats on students securing great jobs following graduations speak for itself.

Companies worked in:

  • RBC

  • CGI

  • American Express

  • IBM