Optima Living Provides Students of UBC Sauder School of Business and UBC School of Population and Public Health with Meaningful Work Experience in the Management of Seniors Living Communities

VANCOUVER, BC & EDMONTON, AB / February 21, 2023 – Optima Living, which owns and operates independent living, assisted living, and supportive living communities in Western Canada, is engaging Co-Op and Practicum students from UBC Sauder School of Business and UBC School of Population and Public Health to experience firsthand work and education in the seniors living industry. For many students, this is their first job opportunity in their area of study, and Optima Living is pleased to support and advance their career ambitions and help them learn more about the seniors living industry, one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy today.  

UBC Sauder School of Business  equips high-achieving top talent from across Canada and around the world, with a broad foundation in business theory and in-depth expertise in a choice of business specializations, making them ideal candidates for junior and intermediate roles across any industry through their Bachelor of Commerce Co-op Program. The UBC Sauder Co-op Program considers 2nd and 3rd year BComm students who are passionate about gaining career experience before graduation.

Pre-screened talented students are selected for leadership, teamwork, and strong transferable skills to gain invaluable professional experience while studying. More than a one-third of these Co-op opportunities convert into full-time positions in work areas that include finance, accounting, marketing, human resources, business technology management, and more.

We worked in tandem with Kimberly Chang, Manager of UBC Sauder Co-op Program, and Jana Hinz, Business Development Manager, who assisted in the recruitment process and continue to work alongside Optima Living as we plan to recruit more students from these valuable programs this year.

“We truly appreciate our relationships with employers like Optima Living. We are grateful for the meaningful work experiences and support they provide our Co-op students as they begin their careers,” said Chang.

One of the things that sets UBC Sauder students apart is the diverse professional experience they bring to the marketplace. Through the Bachelor of Commerce Co-op Program, students work for a variety of employers in all different sectors of the economy. By gaining in-demand skills and knowledge to augment their academic credentials, these young people come to the job qualified to make a meaningful contribution.

“Optima Living prides itself on being a key part of the community. University and College partnerships are cornerstone to our recruitment and our engagement with the communities we operate in.  We are pleased to partner with the UBC Sauder School of Business and the UBC School of Population and Public Health to attract star candidates to the expanding seniors living sector,” said Sharon Conway, Director of Human Resources at Optima Living.

At Optima Living, we are pleased to work with Ziyaan Virji, 3rd Year Commerce Student, at our BC Regional Office in Vancouver.

Ziyaan Virji
UBC Commerce Co-op Student
Special Projects Intern, Optima Living

“Working at Optima Living for my first Co-op work term has been an enriching learning experience,” said Ziyaan Virji. “I was able to amplify both my soft and hard skills while learning about the best practices needed to be successful in the work environment. I am extremely grateful for the great work culture I experienced through the embodiment of the company’s values of “Let us Welcome You Home”, and also for the opportunity to learn more about the growing senior living industry in Canada. 

The biggest highlights of my 4-month work term were the multiple opportunities I received to lead and execute projects related to conducting a Market Rate Analysis and implementing a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Project Management tool that had a significant impact on the organization’s success and operations internally and externally.

I am so excited for the launch of this new partnership between Optima Living and UBC Sauder’s Co-op program to provide meaningful work experiences for students for years to come.”

UBC School of Population and Public Health works closely with local, provincial, national, and international organizations to provide students with exposure to the public health field through networking opportunities and collaboration with our partners in their facilities. The program prepares students for career goals focused on either professional practice or research and academia. Population and public health cross disciplinary boundaries, and the school’s faculty, staff, and students are engaged in research and training that reflects a hub of expertise in a broad range of disciplines.

The Master of Public Health (MPH) Practicum is a requirement to complete this two-year program. It is a 6-week supervised experience performed in a professional setting relevant to the practice of population or public health within Canada, or around the world. The Practicum gives students the opportunity to apply their coursework in the field and develop relationships that often pave the way to future employment.

Upon graduation, students will have the skills to practice public health, develop health promotion policies for a wide range of issues, and evaluate existing programs. Graduates have gone on to work as epidemiologists, research coordinators, monitoring and evaluation specialists, policy analysts, community health nurses, health program managers, movement makers, and much more.

About Optima Living

Optima Living—founded in 2007—owns and operates innovative seniors’ living communities throughout Alberta and BC, taking an unprecedented approach to senior life.  Our unique company culture is one where both residents and team members are family.

Optima Living’s North Star, Let us welcome you home, speaks to our underlying principles and the experience seniors discover in our communities.  When residents are home, they feel safe, respected, and welcome.  Home is where one’s voice is heard, their views matter, and they have freedom of choice.

Optima Living’s mission, vision, and values -respect, dignity, teamwork, and doing the right thing- support and build upon our North Star.  Optima Living operates over 2,200 beds providing congregant living options for seniors.  These options range from subsidized to luxury, Independent to Assisted Living, Long-term Care to Memory Care, and Residential Mental Health.  For more information, visit optimaliving.ca. 

This release is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an offer or solicitation to buy securities of any entity.  


Alyssa Barry
Media Relations, Optima Living
[email protected]