NC grad gained key marketing skills working with R&I

Andrea Lopez is a 2020 graduate of Niagara College’s Business Administration, International Commerce & Global Development program. She worked with the Business & Commercialization Solutions team as a Business Research Assistant from May 2019 to April 2020, helping solve business needs relating to operations management, sales and marketing. Andrea is now employed with Wavemaker in Toronto, Ont., as a Junior Analyst, Data & Analytics.

Tell us about where you work: 

Presently, I am working at Wavemaker Canada, located in Toronto. Wavemaker is a media agency, and they work with numerous clients such as L’Oréal, Kruger, Danone, and World Vision. 

Describe your role and what you like about it: 

My current role is a Junior Analyst in data & analytics. I work as part of the e-commerce team and with our client, L’Oréal. My role as part of the e-commerce team is to extract data from various platforms and create visuals with the data for our client. In addition, I aid the account managers in writing reports for the client. This role has allowed me to learn about digital marketing as well as learn about the Amazon and Instacart platforms.

How has your experience with Research & Innovation helped prepare you for your current role?

My experience at Research & Innovation has supported me in every aspect of my current role. While at Research & Innovation, I was able to gain an understanding of the marketing industry. Furthermore, it was effective in developing my business writing skills and the ability to interpret information to develop stories for the clients. These are skills that I continuously utilize in my role every day.  

A memorable applied research project during your time at R&I?

There were many memorable projects I had the opportunity to be part of while at R&I. However, the most memorable project was with Theo’s Eatery. This was my initial project at R&I and with this project I gained a deep understanding of the CPG (consumer packaged goods) industry. Moreover, I enjoyed learning about consumer shopping behaviors and market trends.  

What led you to Niagara College in the first place?

I chose to attend Niagara College because of the International Commerce & Global Development program. The program was interesting and there wasn’t one like it available in my area.

Most memorable experience at NC? 

My most memorable experience was being part of the international case competition in Buffalo. Although my team and I came in second, it was a memorable experience. I was able to put into practice what I had learned in school, along with the skills I had obtained at R&I. 

Is there a particular mentor who influenced you?

During my time at Niagara College, I came across many influential professors. However, the person I believe that influenced me the most is Paula Reile from the Business & Commercialization Solutions [now the Business & Commercialization Innovation Centre] team with R&I. She was an excellent manager and supported me in developing a passion for marketing by recommending resources to better understand the industry. 

“My experience at Research & Innovation has supported me in every aspect of my current role. While at Research & Innovation, I was able to gain an understanding of the marketing industry.”

What advice would you impart to current research students or future alumni?  

My advice would be to learn as much as you can and that the skills you obtain while at R&I can be transferred to any role in the future.

After being in the workforce, what have you learned? 

I have learned that it is important to be constantly developing yourself. This will help in developing new personal and professional skills. 

Proudest achievement since graduating?

My biggest achievement would be the development of my Excel skills. I am constantly looking at ways to improve my skills, as it is important for my role. 

What are you passionate about at the moment?

I am passionate about developing myself personally and professionally. I am always seeking ways to improve my skills. 

Interests outside of work?

I don’t have a set hobby, but I enjoy trying creative activities such as painting classes. I also enjoy reading! 

If you could have a billboard message seen by many, what would it say?

Live in the moment, you never know what tomorrow will bring.