Opportunities are Endless as a Softchoice Co-op Student

Robby Middlebrook Softchoice Co-op Student

Currently completing his second co-op term at Softchoice, Robby Middlebrook shares how Softchoice’s company values have led to endless learning opportunities and an engaging work environment.

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Women in Tech Sales: From Sales Rep to Sales Manager

Women in Tech Sales: From Sales Rep to Sales Manager

As an organization that strives towards gender balance, Softchoice took part in a recent weeklong boot camp for women in tech sales in partnership with Talent Minded and The Revenue U.

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Make a Real Difference as a Co-op Student

The Softchoice co-op program enables students to gain hands-on experience across a variety of fields. I recently had the opportunity to talk to one of the co-op students about her experience at Softchoice.

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Proud to be a 2019 Best Workplace for Giving Back

Softchoice is very proud to have been named to the Great Place to Work Institute’s first ever list of Best Workplaces for Giving Back. This list recognizes organizations with a strong employee commitment to giving back, and a robust range of programs that support positive change in their communities.

Taking care and giving back are engrained in the Softchoice culture. In 2004, a group of employees came together to raise funds in response to the Asian tsunamis. This was a galvanizing moment for Softchoice and led to the creation of our first ever employee-led Softchoice Cares Board. Over the past thirteen years, our community champions (we call them “Orange Ambassadors”) have been the driving force behind Softchoice’s volunteer and financial support for international development, disaster relief, digital literacy, and local, employee-driven volunteering.

We see a strong intersection between the business outcomes we drive for our customers and the social outcomes we support through giving back. Our customers play vital roles in society—some educate children, others power communities, and others provide life-saving medical treatment.

At Softchoice, we believe technology should generate economic opportunity and social benefit for all. By unleashing the potential of people and technology, we’re enabling our customers to operate more effectively, make their employees more productive, and serve their communities better.

The success we’ve had as an organization in enabling customer success rests entirely on every Softchoice employee’s individual and unique passion for making a difference. And I could not be prouder to see their dedication recognized. Building on our employees’ commitment to social change, we will continue to harness the full strength of our organizational resources and expertise to shape the future of work and opportunity, to create a stronger, more resilient charitable sector, and provide thousands of people the tools and means for a better life.

If you feel as passionately about achieving positive change and making a difference, come and join us! We’re always looking for passionate people to join our team. Check out our Careers page for a list of opportunities.

Are you a co-op student ready to unleash your potential?

If so, we are looking for you! Softchoice’s Campus Program involves hiring co-op students from a variety of Universities and Colleges for many areas of the business. Our students are hired for their fresh ideas and wealth of knowledge they bring to our teams and in turn, the teams provide the students with real life business experiences that challenge and allow them to make their mark. Essentially, providing impactful solutions to the business – a win-win!

I recently sat down with one of our co-op students to learn more about her experience at Softchoice so far. Cassandra Rano is currently enrolled in the Human Resources Administration Co-op Diploma at Seneca College and has joined us for our winter work term at Softchoice.

What is your role as a co-op, and tell us what you do at Softchoice?

I am the Onboarding and Training Coordinator Co-op student at Softchoice. I do a variety of tasks and every day is something different! Some of the things that I am currently working on are creating interactive adult e-learning courses, facilitating welcome calls for new hires and helping to plan and monitor their onboarding pathway. I also have the opportunity to collaborate with various subject matter experts in the company in order to create effective e-learning for our employees and take old content such as employee cheat sheets and “revamp” them to ensure that content is current and useful.

Lastly, I work with my manager to help deliver live, in-person, presentations about our Solutions and Services business at Softchoice to new hires to the company.

“I don’t feel like I’m a co-op student, I feel like I really play an integral role in the business which is so rewarding.”

What excites you about coming to work every day? 

What excites me about coming to work every day is the feeling of being an integral part of the business. Knowing that the work I do directly affects the employees of Softchoice is a great feeling. I also enjoy having the opportunity to learn something new each day. It’s so fulfilling when you work hard to learn something new, and then have the opportunity to put your hard work to use and to see that come to life!

Cassandra Rano Co-op Student at Softchoice

At Softchoice, we strive to live by our values every day. In your role, how do you see these values come to life?

At Softchoice, I quickly realized that there is a strong sense of community. Not only do your fellow employees have the drive to succeed, but people in this company want to see others succeed as well. It doesn’t matter what an employee’s title is, they are always willing to help and collaborate with you – we take care of each other.

When a company treats their employees with care and gives them the necessary tools to do their job effectively, employees want to be their best self and “show up” each day. To really be a part of an environment like this is indescribable!

“It’s so fulfilling when you work hard to learn something new, and then have the opportunity to put your hard work to use and then to see that come to life!”

If you had one piece of advice for a new co-op, what would it be and why?

If I had one piece of advice for a new co-op, it would be to see yourself as more than “just a co-op student”. Softchoice provides students with meaningful and challenging work and we do play an important role! Once you realize that, you open yourself up to so much more opportunity for now – and in the future.

To learn more about our current and future opportunities, visit our Careers Site or our LinkedIn page!


Closing the gap: Diversity and inclusion in the workplace

Over the course of my career as a people leader, I’ve found that a diverse workforce is critical to bringing a corporate purpose and its values to life—for every employee, across every office, every single day.

Most would agree that it simply stands to reason that corporations should build a workforce that reflects the diversity of the markets in which they do business.  Furthermore, I would suggest that corporations have a fiscal responsibility to embed diversity and inclusion throughout their organizations, because time and time again, diverse organizations prove to perform better.

In Diversity Matters, McKinsey & Company found that more diverse companies “are better able to win top talent and improve their customer orientation, employee satisfaction and decision making, which leads to a virtuous cycle of increasing returns, bringing a level of competitive advantage to those companies that can attract and retain diverse talent.” In fact, gender-diverse companies are 15 percent more likely – and ethnically-diverse companies are 35 percent more likely – to see “financial performance above the national industry median.”

At Softchoice, we have committed to providing an engaging and inclusive environment where every employee can bring their whole self to work. Our results have been positive, but we have learned that diversity and inclusion is a work-in-progress, and we know we can do better. In our annual 2017 employee survey, administered by the Great Place to Work Institute, questions specifically related to diversity and inclusion were some of the highest scoring on the survey:

  • 95% agreed “People here are treated fairly regardless of their sexual orientation.”
  • 94% agreed “People here are treated fairly regardless of their race or ethnicity.”
  • 91% agreed “People here are treated fairly regardless of their sex.”
  • 86% agreed “I can be myself around here.”

When we compared responses from employees of different genders or demographics to the same questions (for example, men vs. women), however, some disparities emerged. This, along with our more recent pulse survey, tells us that we still have work to do.

Here at Softchoice, we have an employee-led diversity and inclusion steering committee, ONEsoftchoice, along with a number of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to work with senior leadership to promote the inclusion of all employees, regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, race, religion or cultural background. I have the pleasure to co-executive sponsor ONEsoftchoice, along with Maria Odoardi, our vice president of Operations. It was these types of committees that drew me to Softchoice, as they were strong evidence of an organization that recognizes the importance of diversity and inclusion (D&I) and that encourages its employees to unleash their potential by being actively involved in an environment that is supportive.

While our People and Growth team will continue to develop strategies and evolve our recruitment, hiring and training practices through a D&I lens, our ERGs will take the lead on engaging employees through networking, mentoring and providing access to external speakers to strengthen our culture of inclusion. Some of our upcoming ERG initiatives will include:

  • Women in IT Hackathon: For its third year, our Leading Women ERG will welcome female employees, customers, partners and students for a day of innovation and collaboration.
  • Virtual panel calls: Just like our International Women’s Day’s event earlier this year, we will host a company-wide Skype discussion panel in May to hear from organizations who support the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Mentoring programs: Our Leading Women ERG mentoring program connects female employees with senior management.
  • Engaging D&I champions on the ONEsoftchoice committee and ERGs: we will continue to leverage our employees’ experiences and passion for promoting inclusion and social impact throughout the organization.

LinkedIn Talent Solutions reports that “today, diversity is directly tied to company culture and financial performance. Also, “78 percent of companies prioritize diversity to improve culture and 62 percent do so to boost financial performance.” The values-driven work we do at Softchoice to create better communities internally and externally—through employee volunteering, community investments, charitable partnerships and diversity and inclusion—is one of the most important ways we’re working to create a powerful, differentiated culture.

Interested in joining a community of professionals making an impact every single day? Visit our Careers page at www.softchoice.com/careers to find exciting career opportunities across North America at Softchoice.