September 07, 2018

The intern experience: What I learned at Tolko

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This fall, as Rose heads back to university to finish her degree in Journalism, she reflects on the summer she spent working with Tolko as a Communications intern.  Co-op and summer students are an important part of the fabric of Tolko. They bring new insights and ideas and we look to them to become the next generation of leaders that will take the company and the industry forward.  We're glad we could provide Rose with a positive and rewarding work experience and we look forward to seeing where her career takes her!

By Rosemary De Souza on August 31, 2018:

Hi everyone, my name is Rose and let me tell you about the amazing summer I had with Tolko. 

To start off, here are a few things to know about me. Before this summer, I was a third-year Journalism major (Marketing minor) at Mount Royal University in Calgary, AB. Just as the school year was coming to an end, I received a call from Tolko saying that I got the job three hours before my Marketing final exam at the university gymnasium. You can imagine the adrenaline rush I experienced as the call that would define my summer and the two-hour exam on branding and marketing theory happened just three hours apart! 

In the end, I got through my exam and had a few weeks to think about my move to Vernon, BC. I did not know what to expect. What was Vernon like? What would be most helpful for my position as a Communications Intern? Was it my background in covering news stories or my knowledge on branding and design?

Turns out it was a little bit of everything. Working at Tolko for the past four months challenged me to think beyond the eyes of journalism, a little bit through the lenses of public relations, and a little more about the Tolko brand. 

The stories I have covered at Tolko speak volumes for the company’s dedication to community service as plant managers, communications coordinators, and supervisors excitedly share their successes and contributions to their local communities. Tolko supports a wide variety of causes, from building playhouses, mini-libraries, recreational parks and donations to children’s welfare, mental health care, environment and education programs.

When I wasn’t writing stories about Tolko’s community investment activities and donations, I spent time studying Tolko’s business to learn more about forestry and the Tolko brand. I learned that Tolko prevents waste by using excess wood to generate power for their production sites. Not only does the company efficiently use all their resources, it also supports reforestation efforts by planting millions of tree seedlings every year. And when both people and our forests were in danger due to the spread of forest fires, Tolko aided by sending people and resources to support firefighting efforts. 

As my internship comes to an end, I leave Tolko valuing social responsibility more than ever before and bringing back to Calgary an experience that has shaped my knowledge of storytelling, business, forestry and Tolko.