Next to Succeed

An Innovative Paid Internship Program

Jump-Start Your Career with Top Executives

 

We launched the Next to Succeed program in 2014 to attract, develop and retain the leaders of tomorrow. Next to Succeed is an innovative paid internship program that gives hand-picked candidates the opportunity to learn directly from top Walter Group executives in finance/investment, marketing and R&D.

Working closely with upper management, interns will take on specific projects with tangible value for the organization, all while maximizing their own training, development and growth. This is a one-of-a-kind chance for promising young talent to explore exciting new horizons and fine-tune their existing knowledge.

Ryan Boyd’s Next to Succeed experience, 2014 intern

Overview

The Next to Succeed program targets up-and-coming professionals at undergraduate and graduate levels who have their sights set on becoming the corporate leaders of tomorrow. Over the course of their three-month paid internship (actual length will depend on the interns’ availabilities), they will have the opportunity to put all their business acumen and leadership skills into practice. They will work closely with top executives for the duration of the program, in addition to dealing directly with the board, as well as the President and CEO. During the course of their internships, each intern will be assigned a major project to complete by the end of their internship, and present to the board. We believe that this internship can provide invaluable insights and instrumental guidance to enable candidates in fulfilling and fast-tracking their subsequent career ambitions.

Student in Finance

Opportunity

We are looking for one (1) intern to join the team at Walter Financial and collaborate with the Senior Investment Officer as well as the President and Chief Investment Officer in carrying out a project that will have a significant impact on the firm’s business.

Project

Previous interns have honed their skills while contributing to key company initiatives.

  • Investment project in the U.S. stock market

    Supervised by Mathieu Bernier, Senior Investment Officer, Walter Financial

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    Investment project in the U.S. stock market
    • Intern Renaud Paquin, Bachelor of Finance, HEC Montréal and current enrollee in the MSc Finance and Accounting program at the Imperial College London in London, England

    Investment project in the U.S. stock market

    Supervised by Mathieu Bernier, Senior Investment Officer, Walter Financial

    The project:

    Renaud was asked to lead an investment project focusing on the Industrial and Consumer sectors of the U.S stock market. During his time with Walter Financial, he developed a quantitative filter that was used to screen hundreds of U.S. companies based on Walter’s investment criteria. The results of this initial analysis generated a list of over twenty attractive businesses. He then used fundamental investment analysis to further narrow the list to the most interesting opportunities, which he submitted to senior management. The project resulted in an investment of over $2 million in a selected public company.

    Benefits for the company:

    Renaud’s analysis will help guide future investment activity by Walter Financial in the U.S. market, and the team will continue to closely monitor the opportunity set he brought forward to management’s attention. The two tools he developed with his supervisor, namely a quantitative filter that rates businesses based on quality criteria and an Excel template linked to the Bloomberg database used to provide a quick financial snapshot of potential investment opportunities, will greatly facilitate day-to-day portfolio management operations.

    Intern’s learnings:

    This was a rare internship opportunity, allowing Renaud to take charge of a full investment process and see it through from beginning to end. Not only was he involved in analyzing companies in target sectors, but he also identified the most promising businesses and made strong recommendations for his top ideas, one of which was subsequently selected to enter Walter Financial’s portfolio. The process gave Renaud the chance to present his final investment idea to Walter’s executives and to the Investment Committee. He actively participated in a number of meetings with analysts and company management, which gave him broader insight into how investment professionals think and make decisions. 

Student in Marketing

Opportunity

We are looking for one (1) intern to join the marketing team at Walter Surface Technologies and collaborate with the Vice President, Marketing, in carrying out a project that will have a significant impact on the firm’s business.

Projects

Past interns have built their skills working on substantial real-world applications.

  • Market research and inside-outbound sales centre pilot project

    Supervised by Donato Pirro, Vice President, Marketing, Walter Surface Technologies

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    Market research and inside-outbound sales centre pilot project
    • Intern Anokhi Dalvi, MBA student, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

    Market research and inside-outbound sales centre pilot project

    Supervised by Donato Pirro, Vice President, Marketing, Walter Surface Technologies

    The project:

    Anokhi was assigned two major projects. The first one was a market research, where she tried to unravel customer needs by mapping out the customer journey and constructing multiple buyer personas. Through the process, she had to design a survey and also conduct interviews with a representative sample of buyers, with the goal to understand the decision process to chose Walter products or not. Her second project was to design and lead an inside-outbound sales centre pilot project to sell products directly on the phone and book appointments for the outside sales team. As the project lead, Anohki was in charge of hiring, training and managing a new sales team, finding ways to gain cold-calling leads, constructing a telemarketing script and incorporating new strategies to gain sales and book appointments.

    Benefits for the company:

    The project on market research provides Walter with recommendations on marketing and sales strategy that could be used to attract and retain new end-users. The recommendations include a marketing strategy plan to ensure Walter is reaching its end-users at the correct time in their buyer journey. The buyer personas will help focus the sales team better and understand the needs of the end-users. The pilot project was a test for a possibility of a permanent inside-outbound sales team, at the end of which Anokhi handed a detailed analysis and provided recommendations that will help Walter make the decision.

    Intern's learnings:

    The Next to Succeed internship provided Anokhi with two very diverse projects, both of which tested her ability to network, problem-solve, design and lead. The first project tested her marketing concepts and gave her a first-hand experience in how to conduct, analyze and use market research to improve the company’s sales and marketing efforts. The second project gave her experience in setting up an entire team by determining its structure, operations and agenda. Through these important projects, she was able to rely on an open-door policy that allowed her to knock on anybody’s door, including the president and vice-presidents. Coupled with the breadth of responsibility she was given, it gave her an invaluable opportunity to learn at an exponential level.

  • Product line marketing plan - Abi Menon, intern 2016

    Under the supervision of Donato Pirro, vice-president, Marketing, Walter Surface Technologies

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    Product line marketing plan - Abi Menon, intern 2016
    • The intern Abi Menon, MBA student, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

    Product line marketing plan - Abi Menon, intern 2016

    Under the supervision of Donato Pirro, vice-president, Marketing, Walter Surface Technologies

    The project

    Abi's project was to develop a marketing plan for Walter's tooling line in the U.S. market. He was fully responsible for the market study, the line's positioning and pricing. He managed the pilot program with select distributors, a task that included planning trials, in branches as well as online, in order to develop a detailed implementation program. He produced a new promotional video for the line and managed a social media advertising campaign. His final report includes recommendations to implement a full rollout across the U.S.

    Benefits for the company

    Tasking an intern with this assignment allowed the company to ensure someone would be fully dedicated to it. Abi's commitment ensured that the research would be done appropriately, allowing the company to make an informed decision on whether or not to go ahead with the launch. At the end of the project, Walter received a detailed implementation plan that opens the door to a multimillion dollar market.

    Intern's learnings

    The Next to Succeed internship provided Abi with a 360-degree view of the company, as it gave him the opportunity to work with company executives and board members. He was able to observe how executives must deal with difficult decisions and defend them with conviction. He also got to see that executives often have a clear vision, and that time and effort are required to ensure all teams align with this vision.

  • Strategic plan, annual forecasts and cost analysis - David Wright, intern in 2015

    Under the supervision of Michael Christodoulou, former President and COO, Walter Surface Technologies

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    Strategic plan, annual forecasts and cost analysis - David Wright, intern in 2015
    • The intern David Wright, MBA student, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

    Strategic plan, annual forecasts and cost analysis - David Wright, intern in 2015

    Under the supervision of Michael Christodoulou, former President and COO, Walter Surface Technologies

    The Project

    During his internship, David was responsible for three major projects.

    • Organize and participate in a three-day meeting for company leaders to develop a 10-year strategic growth plan. This project involved researching relevant market intelligence, competitor information and internal operation reports in order to participate in the development of this important plan.
    • With each company head, the COO and the CFO, develop a detailed yearly forecast for the next five years for each country where the company operates, and define tools to achieve measurable goals with regards to strategic planning.
    • For the company’s BioCircle line in Canada and the United States, analyse the customer list and develop a tool to understand the cost structure for service of this business line and how it differed by region. Then, develop a new offer structure that would allow to better serve the customers while making the business less costly for them and more profitable for Walter.
    The benefits for the company

    All three projects are new initiatives for the company and are now important parts of the business on a daily basis. For instance, the 10-year strategic plan is the first thing discussed in executive monthly meetings and lays out specific tasks to be accomplished by each country team to achieve the long-term goals. All of David’s projects were positively received by the management team.

    The intern’s learning

    David learned that each day, leaders are bombarded with urgent but less important tasks that keep their attention in the present. One of the challenges he found for management in any company is to keep the team strategic and focused on the long term. Management must empower their teams to handle the daily activities and keep their focus on making good long-term decisions.

Engineering

Opportunity

We are looking for one (1) intern to join the marketing team at Walter Surface Technologies and collaborate with the Vice President, Research and Development, in carrying out a project that will have a significant impact on the firm’s business.

Projects

Previous Next to Succeed participants have had the chance to take on stimulating challenges as part of their internship project.

  • Protocol for the electrochemical marking of aluminum surfaces

    Supervised by Patrick Lapointe, Vice President, Research and Development, Walter Surface Technologies

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    Protocol for the electrochemical marking of aluminum surfaces
    • Intern Inez Tanu, chemical and biological engineering student, University of British Columbia

    Protocol for the electrochemical marking of aluminum surfaces

    Supervised by Patrick Lapointe, Vice President, Research and Development, Walter Surface Technologies

    The project:

    Inez’s main project: the marking feature of Surfox, an additional feature to this innovative product mainly used as a weld cleaning system. Marking on metals like stainless steel was no issue, but aluminum presented a challenge. Inez was put in charge of developing a defined procedure with clear proofs for marking on aluminum surfaces. This included the responsibility of a project worth thousands of dollars for standard testing on Surfox marking feature. She also had to oversee the process for compliance to industry standards such as the UL969 Standard for Marking and Labelling systems. Another project she worked on was to develop a new solution for Surfox that was addressing the customers’ needs, a project that gave her the opportunity to meet Surfox end-users and discuss their experience with the machine.

    Benefits for the company:

    For Inez, it was a first experience in the metalworking industry, which brought a new perspective to the R&D team. As she had a different expertise than the rest of the team mainly composed of mechanical engineers, she was able to give beneficial advice on how to improve Surfox products. The R&D projects she conducted will allow the company to market Surfox marking features better based on her experiments and standard testing. Inez’s research and development on marking also revealed that Surfox is not only suitable for aluminum and stainless steel, but other materials as well, thus expanding the potential applications of this product. Her full dedication to the project ensured that the customers’ needs on Surfox products were handled before the main annual industry trade show.

    Intern's learnings:

    With her internship at Walter, Inez was able to get a new industry experience. But more than that, she had the opportunity to design and conduct her own experiments, and lead a project from beginning to end. In addition to building her technical skills, she was able to grow as a future manager by being included in department and board meetings, during which she could observe and learn about upper management duties and responsibilities in a professional setting. Moreover, she had the chance to have a say in the company and get involved in the decision-making process. Working closely with the product managers, this internship gave her an insight of management from an engineering perspective. 

  • Surface property test prototype - Natasha Allice, intern in 2016

    Under the supervision of Patrick Lapointe, vice-president, Research and Development, Walter Surface Technologies

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    Surface property test prototype - Natasha Allice, intern in 2016
    • The intern Natasha Allice, Bioresource Engineering student, McGill University

    Surface property test prototype - Natasha Allice, intern in 2016

    Under the supervision of Patrick Lapointe, vice-president, Research and Development, Walter Surface Technologies

    The project

    The Bio-Circle division had launched an R&D initiative to measure the cleanliness of metal surfaces after a process such as polishing or cutting had been performed. Until now, there had been no standard procedure for measuring metal surface cleanliness and documenting the results for the purpose of quality control. Natasha was tasked with the development of this project. She started with the analysis and research that had been done at Bio-Circle to develop a functional prototype. She had to take into account specific parameters to ensure that she would get reliable measurements that could be replicated, while taking manufacturing costs into consideration. At the end of her internship, Natasha had succeeded, producing a prototype that is currently in testing phase that will lead to the eventual marketing.

    Benefits for the company

    By committing to this project, the intern allowed the company to quickly develop a functional prototype. Her field trials with customers accelerated her understanding of their needs. The introduction of this product on the market brings further credibility to Bio-Circle in the area of metrology. Through her participation, Natasha also contributed to reinforcing the company's relationships with its customers.

    Intern's learnings

    During her internship, Natasha was able to leverage the learnings acquired in university by applying them to an actual project, and acquired new knowledge and skills, including becoming an independent thinker. Being able to immerse herself in a professional environment and being included in departmental meetings has allowed her to observe duties and responsibilities that top executives and project managers must undertake on a daily basis, in addition to giving her the opportunity to proudly present her project to members of the board. Next to Succeed has provided her with the level of confidence that will allow her to jumpstart her professional career when she graduates.

  • Smart passivation tester - Cyril Tremblay, intern in 2015

    Under the supervision of Patrick Lapointe, vice-president, Research and development, Walter Surface Technologies

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    Smart passivation tester - Cyril Tremblay, intern in 2015
    • The Intern Cyril Tremblay, Chemical Engineering student at Polytechnique Montréal, Université de Montréal

    Smart passivation tester - Cyril Tremblay, intern in 2015

    Under the supervision of Patrick Lapointe, vice-president, Research and development, Walter Surface Technologies

    The project

    When Cyril started his internship, the company was finalizing its passivation tester, a portable probe that measures the invisible barrier that keeps stainless steel from oxidizing or rusting upon contact with its environment. This is a new and unique tool on the market. The technology works with a smart phone app and allows the user to keep test data in a cloud. Of course, like most technologies, its use required some explanation. Cyril was charged with developing educational materials, both for marketing and end user purposes. He also helped test the app and the Web site to spot bugs and fine-tune the tools.

    Benefits for the company

    Having an intern work on this project brought a new set of eyes to it, as the company had been working on this for a few years. The intern was able to confirm that the interfaces were clear and make good recommendations as to how to improve the product. His contribution and the fact that he took charge of the educational material definitely allowed Walter to deliver a high quality final product within the timeline required. The launch had been planned at the end of August - a goal that would not have been easy to attain without his help. And customers seem to appreciate the product and understand how the technology works, thanks to the educational material developed by Cyril.

    The intern's learning

    In addition to learning about the treatment of metal surfaces, Cyril's internship gave him the opportunity to work in a lab environment and experiment with passivation, a concept that isn't being taught in his program. The hands-on demonstration of passivation and the way the tester works to measure it helped him better understand what would be the basis of the educational material he was asked to develop.

Natasha Allice's and Abi Menon’s Next to Succeed experience, 2016 interns
David Wright’s Next to Succeed experience, 2015 intern
Cyril Tremblay’s Next to Succeed experience, 2015 intern

Qualifications

Successful candidates will have the following profile:

  • Full-time student or recent graduate from a finance, marketing or engineering program in a Canadian university at the undergraduate (bachelor’s) or graduate (master’s, graduate diploma, PhD) level
  • Demonstrated academic excellence and leadership traits
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent interpersonal and teamwork skills
  • Highly organized and detail-oriented
  • Ability to manage deadlines and multitask effectively
  • Fluency in English and French required for the finance internship; considered an asset for the marketing and engineering internships
  • For the finance internship, enrolment in the CFA program would also be an asset

The internship will take place over a three-month period between May and August 2018. The Walter Group will offer competitive remuneration and a housing stipend* for the duration of the program. Foreign students are welcome to apply, provided they have a permit allowing them to work in Canada.

*Greater Montreal residents are not eligible for the housing stipend.


Application Process

We have now completed the recruiting process for the Next to Succeed 2018 edition. Please come back in the fall for all the details about the 2019 internships.