Silke Billings: From Student to Full-Time Employee

October 27, 2022

Silke Billings is a SFU student who majors in Communication and minors in publishing. Her co-op journey in the School has been exemplary, consisting of five work terms and leading to her current, full-time position as an Internal Communications Lead within Product Support at SAP, a multinational software company.

Silke took full advantage of the CMNS co-op program. She completed five co-op terms with three different employers and left the program not only with a strong understanding of the communication field but also with a network of mentors. Her first co-op term was as a Marketing and Communication intern for a non-profit, followed by an Outreach/Recruiting position within SFU, followed by an Internal Communication role with SAP. 

We sat down with Silke to chat about her co-op experiences.

How do you balance your coursework for your remaining degree requirements and your job expectations?

Thankfully my employer is flexible with the hours I work. I am currently completing one course per term and have only three courses remaining. Though difficult at first, I've come to create a proper routine for myself, ensuring I stay on task and don't fall behind on my school work. This routine means I have to complete my homework at the same time every week and complete my assignments well in advance of the due date.

What does your day as an Internal Communications Lead at SAP look like?

My day always started with grabbing some free coffee and treats, which is a sweet perk. Literally. I then race to meetings! I manage all the communications for the Product Support, so I develop and execute the communications of a project or campaign, organize and moderate meetings, create content, and manage the internal communication team.

What are your future goals after you graduate?

I would love to continue exploring internal communications at SAP. Internal communications is more my pace than external or executive, as it puts employees/our own people at the forefront, which allows for a more empathetic perspective. Even though every industry has communication needs, I quite enjoy working in Tech and see myself continuing in this industry.

Would you recommend co-op to fellow CMNS students?

Participating in co-op is a no brainer for me. The CMNS co-op team has created a fantastic program to help you get the experience and support that you need. From interview help to workplace advice, they have been an invaluable resource. Co-op gave me the practical know-how of getting a job and helped me meet all of my personal and developmental goals.

What advice do you have for current students?

Expanding your horizons in a low-stakes environment is a great way to make the most of your time at SFU. By taking courses outside of your discipline, completing co-op work terms, joining clubs, and volunteering, you will learn more about yourself and all the potential opportunities life has to offer.