About this Person

About this Person

Manager, People at Verve Senior Living

Katherine is a co-op employer at Verve Senior Living. Her organization worked with their first co-op student from U of G in 2018 and she shares the positive experience they had. 

Katherine is the Manager for Human Resources at Verve Senior Living, an organization that has 34 retirement communities across Canada. Their mandate is to create environments where seniors feel inspired to experience fulfillment, and the HR department was looking for a co-op student that would be the right fit for them. As a past University of Guelph employee, Katherine knew U of G co-op students were dedicated to their work, and prepared to go into their field to make a positive impact. Verve had created a new role within their Corporate Office, and found the right co-op student for their organization, Peter, from the Bachelor of Commerce program at U of G. 

The HR department at Verve touches on all aspects of the retirement communities: hiring the right people, employee and labour relations, building capacity through training & development initiatives, and day-to-day functions. Peter worked on helping the Operations team, the Finance team, and the HR team at Verve with a variety of projects, assisting with data management. "Peter brought in new information and knowledge from the classroom to be able to solve problems in the workplace," shares Katherine. In his role, Peter made significant contributions to project planning for new developments at Verve. In addition to this, he had a big influence on budgetary process within the Operations team by creating efficient processes and work flows. By giving Peter the opportunity to take on challenging tasks in his role, they helped develop his professional and leadership skills as well. It was a working relationship the resulted in many benefits for both the co-op employer, and the co-op student. 

Peter enjoyed his work term at Verve so much, he nominated the organization for the Co-op Employer of the Year Award in 2018, citing the support and opportunities given to him as key reasons for the nomination. Katherine from Verve also had plenty of praise to share about Peter. With a connection to agriculture research, Peter was able to bring new knowledge to a food program for residents called "Living Loving Local" and also bring the programming to life at corporate. "He was able to bridge the gap between the residence and corporate side of the business by bringing aspects of residence programming to the office," shares Katherine. 

Verve had hired Peter into a new role within the organization, and thanks to the success they experienced with Peter, they decided to continue hiring a co-op student every 8 months to support their Operations, Finance, and HR teams. Katherine says, "I would 100% recommend this [hiring a co-op student] to others in the senior living industry." Verve aims to give their co-op students a leadership role and allow them to have a lasting impact on the organization through 8 months of dedicated work. 

Experience Profiles

  • Alyssa graduated from University of Guelph having engaged in course-integrated experiential learning in the curriculum. Outside the classroom, she worked for Student Housing Services, the work study program and held an undergraduate research assistant position. 

  • Phoebe started off her university journey by signing up for an experiential first year seminar. She went on to do an Undergraduate Research Assistantship (URA), multiple project serve reading week programs and was a peer helper with the Wellness Education Centre.