Bell Canada Graduate Leadership Program (GLP) Review

Reading Time: 4 minutes | February 1, 2020

The GLP Program Summary

The purpose is to highlight the fantastic, the u.g.l.y. (aka what others don’t tell you), and just some secret insights into Bell’s award-winning Graduate Leadership Program (GLP).

Current Status: no longer at Bell Canada (TSX: BCE)

Verdict: I’d do it all over again. 2 years of my life after graduation spent at Bell was 100% worth it. It provided me with what I needed to continue onward with my career.

There are different types, but I am reviewing the Bell Consumer Markets and Media Management (CMMM) Rotational Program.

What were my rotations?

  1. Product Manager – Digital Strategy

  2. Project Manager – Small Business

  3. Data Analyst – Dealer Channel

  4. Landing – Product Manager – Digital Strategy

17 Fantastic Bits

  1. Once you’re in the program, you are highly sought after by every single manager.

  2. When it’s time for your ‘rotations’, you interview manager(s) and their teams to select which team YOU want to go to.

  3. You don’t have to know anything about the job to get the role you want.

  4. The grad community is extremely tight-knit, everyone helps you.

  5. I don’t know how I would have landed a product manager job upon graduation without this program.

  6. Competitive compensation package which includes: base salary of $XX,XXX, mobile device hardware, mobile device phone plan with unlimited GB, full dental/vision/health benefits, RRSP matching plans, stock matching plans, family mobile and residential discount plans, The Source employee discount plans, etc.

  7. Experience rotations – in any totally different verticals.

  8. Bell’s vast number of media and sports assets, you get free tickets occasionally! For example, I had the opportunity to go see Bat Out of Hell, Raptors games.

  9. Bell Grad Leadership Team is great.

  10. Take ownership of multi-million dollar projects.

  11. You get an executive mentor.

  12. Presentations to executives.

  13. Additional ad-hoc projects to take part in.

  14. Grad program initiatives – e.g. Grad Olympics, Dragon Boat, Volleyball competitions, Think Tanks.

  15. All grads go through call centres and retail to truly understand the customer.

  16. Grad program has volunteer committees that encourage grad involvement for each cohort.

  17. Other grads you meet.

12 Insider Thoughts

  1. You don’t get to negotiate for your “landing” salary. You can try, but you’ll be told no due to the fact that Bell doesn’t want a bidding war for grads. My thoughts? If you’re good at what you do, or if you are better than others, you should be able to negotiate. Otherwise, Bell (or any other company that has these programs) will lose the best.

  2. Corporate – processes are very thorough and sometimes it takes very long to get something done.

  3. Not all rotations are made equal.

  4. You don’t always get your first ranked-choice.

  5. The location of where your role would be situated might not be the sexiest. E.g. If you want to be in Toronto but it’s in Mississauga.

  6. You get a mentor but not all “mentors” are equal. You might not hit it off with the one you were assigned and it could make things awkward.

  7. Switching from one grad rotational program to another one is not highly encouraged because different departments have different budgets. You’d be messing with that.

  8. Grads still have cliques. Some grads will naturally form groups. Get in or stay neutral.

  9. Some things are very political. Beyond my pay grade. It depends on the teams you work with.

  10. You can only use Bell’s educational assistance scholarship once you land. While you’re rotating, you can’t get it. My thoughts? I think it should be reviewed.

  11. Bell spends a lot of effort in recruiting the best grads from post-secondary. More effort needs to be done to retain the best so they don’t leave. It requires a steep strategy review and needs to dive into the reasons why grads are leaving.

  12. Can you negotiate a salary upon getting into the grad rotational program? I haven’t heard of anyone doing this, however, maybe it’s possible.

5 Quick tips on getting into the program

  1. Get in the internship during your 3rd-year summer – you get to pick between Virgin or Bell brand to work with.

  2. Talk to grads in the program or who have done the program so you understand whether this is something you want to experience – some people like the idea but don’t really have the grit to do it.

  3. If you get an interview, I’d caution you on the display of entrepreneurial, management consulting, accounting, or lawyer ambitions. This indicates you won’t stay long.

  4. Read reviews. Lots of it. Get the 101 and more.

  5. Ask questions. It’s not just Bell choosing you, but you’re also choosing Bell. Don’t you want to know what the day-to-day could be like? Don’t you want to know if you’ll be paid what you’re worth? Don’t you want to know more before you sign onto a 2-year rotational program? You have the right to know everything you want to know about a company before you sign on the dotted line.

Concluding Thoughts

Sending you my best wishes for a rocking few years at Bell Canada!