Coming from a very competitive business environment, where the pursuit of present profit, or the trade off for future higher one were always the drivers in decision making. I was hesitant to the idea of applying for an internship position at Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI), as part of the concluding step of my Project Management Program at PACE.
Motivated by the positive comments of many that knew the organization, I was easily persuaded to apply. But my doubt did not stop with my application, and it continued until I started interacting with MPI staff.
I was thoroughly interviewed, tested, and background checked. I started my internship without big expectation, only with the curiosity of someone that is both: Taking his new set of knowledge for a spin, and of one that is eager to work after putting work life on hold to study full time for a year.
I was greeted on my first day, by very friendly staff. They stressed more than me while seeing the amount of learning modules I had to read and get tested on before I could start using the company’s work system (74 modules in total).
Once I started working and got to sit down with the Project Management team at the Physical Damage Research & Training Centre, I was impressed by the amount of projects focus on safety driving, imposing safety standards, complying with vehicle inspection, earning and keeping a repair shop licence, training, and many others.
Research is being conducted on the new materials vehicles are using, and if body shops in Manitoba are keeping updated on new repair techniques, so vehicles are not sent back to the streets without being properly reconditioned to meet the standards.
The impact of self-driving cars as a safety issue, and going into details such as: Working with the fire department to know how are they going to cut open an electric vehicle, that has charged wires all over its structure in case of a catastrophic accident, without putting the life of our first responders, and passengers in danger.
The frequency of vehicle inspections: Auditing the process to guarantee that all drivers are complying with the mandatory requirements. Coming up with new systems that will ensure a safe, easy, and smooth transition to the future, by understanding today the impact new issues will have on driving tomorrow.
During my time at MPI, I also attended the weekly auction of vehicles and parts. The auctioneer, a guy in a cowboy hat with a red handkerchief around his neck that looked as if it was brought out of a movie, sold a car every 15 seconds, with the help of his team.
My internship experience has been excellent. I learned a great deal about the industry and changed my impression of the work MPI does. After reading this blog, as you drive home today, know that a very well trained group of people are thinking a step ahead what can be done to improve safety, and service while keeping the industry lowest insurance rates.
I encourage other students to take advantage of the professional internship program, as you will meet interesting people, expand your professional network, learn about a different business model than the ones you have been exposed to, and gain a much needed Canadian work experience.
Written by Jorge Molina
International Student from the Dominican Republic
PACE Project Management Diploma, Class of 2016