COVID-19 Economic Recovery Series: Edwards Mitacs research intern assists local property management company to develop a resident benefit package

Joelena Leader

The Edwards School of Business (Edwards), in partnership with Mitacs, a national not-for-profit organization that supports research and training programs across Canada, launched the Mitacs Business Strategy Internship (BSI) program over the summer/fall of 2020. The partnership with Mitacs provides Edwards students with opportunities to apply business concepts and theories learned in the classroom to real-world settings that will enable businesses to address challenges arising during the COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing on their business knowledge, student interns analyzed the challenges faced by organizations to develop strategies, enhance business capacity, and find creative solutions.

Madison Guran is a 3rd year Edwards student majoring in Finance with a strong interest in marketing and international business. She has been interning with Real Property Management Professionals Inc. (RPM) researching innovative solutions to improve maintenance processes, communications, marketing and health and safety for owners and tenants. Guran is also involved in the creation and implementation of a resident benefit package for clients which is an additional service that follows the tenant’s rental journey from beginning, middle to end.

Some of the services that are included in this package are new air filters shipped to the tenant’s unit quarterly, credit reporting for on time rental payment and home buying assistance. “RPM understands that renting may not be the end game for tenants, and they want to be the first-choice solution for tenants when they begin thinking about buying a property,” she Guran. “The goal of the resident benefit package was to establish it in the Saskatoon and area market and then implement it across the different RPM offices across Canada.”

According to Guran, the purpose of the resident benefit package was to establish a first mover advantage and to narrow down the niche that differentiates RPM from other property management companies in Saskatoon. “As a result, RPM is able to establish an optimal value proposition by providing a service that is a value to tenants, owners and RPM, and through this process it aims to create intimate and meaningful relationships with clients,” said Guran.

“Through this internship, I learned the most about leadership from my supervisor Carla Browne, both indirectly and directly,” commented Guran. “I learned how aspects of empathy, transparency, courage, and continuous learning are very important in a leadership role and it was amazing to see the concepts that I learned class be translated and put into practice in a work setting.”

For Guran, being matched with a property management company was a serendipitous moment because she has always been interested in real estate and property management and this internship gave her an opportunity to learn more about these fields. Additionally, she explained how the internship allowed her to grow her network. “I was able to network with the different RPM offices across Canada and North America and with the resident benefit package we partnered with different companies in the United States,” said Guran.

Guran shared that the internship also provided her the opportunity to learn more about marketing and marketing services and to apply the research and analysis skills she gained during her position to other work-placement opportunities. Moreover, as a result of this internship RPM has offered to hire Guran on in a marketing role post-internship.

For students considering the Mitacs BSI program, Guran strongly recommends that they apply and to not be afraid to ask questions along the way to grow your experience.

“The purpose of the internship is to learn more about the industry and your supervisor also wants to help you grow,” explained Guran. “The more questions you ask, the more that you are able to contribute to the organization and increase your personal growth.”

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