Niagara Business Development Group

I am Farzana Islam and I reside in Bangladesh. It’s been almost 1.5 months since I have started working here as a virtual HR placement intern. Though it is very early to actually describe my overall experience of working here but so far, it’s been exciting as the people are very friendly and they encourage creativeness. I would like to say that the most amazing privilege of working here is I am doing all the work from home with the help of my computer and they let you do actual business tasks that not only help you to accomplish knowledge about the real international environment of a business but also help you to gain experience and skill about actual business work. I have to work minimum 4 hours a week and I got the chance to choose my working hours as well. I’ve been involved in the development of training modules in order to help future entrepreneurs to have a successful business, posting vacancies and looking forward to get the opportunity to be a part of many important tasks in future.

I would like to express my gratitude to Maria Rekrut for initiating and providing international opportunities like this, Chris Hill (my supervisor) for guiding me and Evan way for helping me whenever I need help. Hope this exciting journey of internship will help me to gain new knowledge, skill and experience that I am looking for as well as will take me closer to my goals in future. Thank you guys!!!

Doaa Gamal

Hi all :) I am Doaa who gained an international internship with one of the most amazing companies in the world, which is Niagara Business Development Group (NBDG). Yes, I am saying that as I enjoyed my intern there while working with Chris Hill or even with other interns and colleagues, they are all awesome and working hard for making Niagara Business Development Group better. So, I appreciated and respected it too much.

While my internship with Niagara Business Development Group, I got a chance in working and gaining an experience in what I am passionate about, which is, Marketing / Digital Marketing via different areas, such as: (Blogging, Social Media, writing a Book, Creating Property Listings for Niagara on the Lake Cottage Rentals etc). It was an awesome opportunity to me for having professional goals during my tasks and working hard for making it true.

Too, I learned via that an amazing internship how to be flexible, how to make a search for gaining a professional information, how to deal in a professional way, how to be a friendly with others, the concept of writing reports for my working tasks, and how to deal with different cultures, backgrounds and so on. I think it added a lot for me and I hope I was an added value there too :) . So, my advice to you right now, is to try it today! Just go ahead and figure out what`s going on there :)

Evan Way

My name is Evan Way and I am in my final year at the Memorial University of Newfoundland. I applied for a position in the HR department in order to learn more about HR on an online platform. 
After spending 5 months working with Chris and Maria, I can honestly say that I have learned more than I could have ever imagined. Not only have I gained practical knowledge about my field, I have also gained transferable skills that I wouldn’t get in a normal office setting. 
I’ve gained personal management skills like time management, and task prioritization from working independently, I’ve gained communication skills from dealing with a lot of people over many different dialects, and most importantly, I’ve learned the true value of the skills and knowledge that I have obtained while working here. 
Thank you for the amazing experience.

I also learned how to use the PiktoChart website to create visually appealing infographics. I learned about many amazing tools that will help in my future career in marketing. I enjoyed being able to be creative while I made content for social media. I understood the value of keeping track of when the posts are posted and what kind of content was in the post through the use of an editorial social media calendar Excel spreadsheet.

I also did research on when is the best time and day to post for each type of social media. Each type of social media has a different time and day that is best to post on for the most engagement, likes, and follows. It was interesting to find out where most of the business was coming from for the vacation home rental business. I created blog posts and articles about how vacation rental homeowners can increase their presence on Instagram and how to deal with negative online reviews.

I created visual content for a wine and chocolate tasting tour package giveaway. Overall, I learned many different aspects of social media marketing. These are skills I will carry with me in my future career in marketing. I’m thankful to have found this internship and to have had this experience. All the best to the future interns!

Farzana Islam
12:30 am.. My phone ringing!!! Panicked, would be the best word to describe my situation considering the continuous ambiguous thoughts and feelings I was experiencing. Bearing in mind that there was ½% chance of me getting selected for my very 1st international internship, I was experiencing flashbacks of the past few months of tiring and monotonous experience of searching for a chance to gain international experience through an international internship. Finding a good international internship opportunity is very hard considering the fact that very few employers usually ponder hiring international candidate rather than hiring candidates from inside the country. In addition, there is the matter of cost to consider when you have to relocate to another country if you get selected for an international internship. With everything in mind, I was getting tired and hopeless and then I saw the advertisement of virtual internship in Niagara Business Development Group and applied immediately. I came back to reality when my phone started ringing. It was 12:30 am at night because the company is situated In Canada as well as the 12/13 hours of difference in time. It was my interview call from Niagara Business Development Group. I received the call and answered few questions and the interview was over. The day after interview I got to know I was selected and I accepted the internship offer.

Peunde Mbengue

My First day working with Chris Hill who is one of the Niagara Development Organization Group mentors, I was very nervous that I would not have all the necessary credentials to be successful due to the fact that it was my first experience and everything has to be done online I felt better when I was talking to Mrs. Hill over the phone, and she seemed very patient and understanding.

My first job was doing research about Meetup. Meetup is a social networking site that allows people in different places to communicate easily. It connects people with the same interest to form a group. Also I was searching about why people were joining group like meetup to socialize with people. After learning the concept of meetup, I was familiarizing myself about different organization sites that my mentor was hosting. The sites were designed for business persons who are seeking advice about their business that they have already started or businesses they would like to start.

Chelsea Brinson

My name is Chelsea Brinson. I am a senior at the University of North Carolina – Charlotte majoring in Communications with a concentration on health and a minor in Public Health. I am expected to graduate December 17, 2016 so you must know I am super excited. August 2016, I started interning with Niagara on The Lake Rentals and I must say I have absolutely loved it!!!

I worked with Chris Hill who was marvelous, understanding, caring and the definition of a hard-working women. Balancing full-time job, internship, school and getting ready for graduation was quite hectic, especially working for Amazon during the holidays, but I am soooo happy that Chris opened this opportunity for me and kept me motivated. I started as a Social Media and Community Management Intern but helped with editing and publishing some of the great real estate books that are/will be published on for purchase. I learned a lot about social media and the real estate industry. I wouldn’t trade this opportunity for the world. There are amazing interns and directors and it’s going to be sad departing from such an amazing team.

Whether or not you’re volunteering your time to gain valuable work experience, looking to start your own business in the future or simply seeking to fulfill a requirement – an internship will help you accomplish your future.

I’ve only just begun my journey as an intern at The Niagara Business Development Group. Yet, I’ve already witnessed how their unique combination of years of experience working with international companies and interns alike will aid in my future career success, as it already has with countless others.

During the internship, I have learned how to be an effective professional, and "small" etiquette skills that can carry me a long way in the job market. For example, I have learned how to properly leave voice messages in a professional manner, and how to send a proper E-mail. In addition, I did assignments that were related to my field to help sharpen my skills. 

The best part about this internship is the fact that it is remote, which gave me the flexibility to work at my own pace and on my own time. At the time I committed to the internship, I was taking rigorous courses that I needed to graduate, and working with Niagara Business Development Group helped me ease the stress.

Again, I would like to thank Niagara Business Development Group for allowing me to partake on this wonderful and outstanding opportunity. I will be continuing to work as an intern in order to gain more professional skills. If you are reading this and looking for an internship, I would definitely recommend Niagara Business Development Group. 

Olivia Llamas

I am Olivia and I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Maria Rekrut for giving me the opportunity to to be part of her team performing bookkeeping duties, as a result I could develop my skills and learn the accounting system. This was my first professional experience in Canada and everything that I learned helped me to find my current job in Toronto, it was easy to find a job because during my internship I gained the Canadian experience that employers look for. I truly recommend to students being part of this project because it a perfect place not only to gain practical hands on experience but also to learn more about the Canadian workplace culture.

Katelyn Hillman

My name is Katelyn and I am a senior journalism major. Finding an internship was a very difficult process, but I’m very thankful that I ended up interning with Niagara Business Development Group. The fact that this internship was online was very convenient so that I could easily balance a school and work schedule, but that was just the cherry on top.

I really enjoyed working with Chris Hill, she was always very caring, patient, understanding and helpful. Any time I needed help with something, Chris was very happy to explain things to me or help me fix mistakes.

I loved getting to practice real world things that you don’t always get much, if any, experience with in the classroom. Not only did this experience help expand upon my skills, but it also gave me more insight on future career options. For example, I never really considered doing public relations work, but after doing radio show write ups, I learned that I really enjoy doing PR work.

My favorite thing about this internship was editing books and putting them up on Amazon. How many people can say that they have edited works that are published at the age of 22?  I’m very thankful for the experience that I gained from this internship and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Thank you very much, Chris. 

Katie Lopez

My name is Katie and I am finishing my final semester at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY.  I worked with Chris at Niagara Business Development Group for about five months as a business development intern. 

As part of my internship, I worked with many different website managers negotiating agreements, I created property listings for Niagara-on-the-Lake Cottage Rentals, and I helped Chris with additional tasks that strengthen my experience.

As an international business major, this was the perfect internship for me because it gave me the international experience I needed.  It was also a great internship because it was virtual.  This gave me the chance to work around my busy school and work schedule.  Thanks to Niagara Business Development Group I was able to get a full time job because of my experience.  I would like to thank Maria Rekrut and Chris Hill for giving me this great opportunity.

Second, I was assigned to write different topics about today’s business world. I started to do different research about how the business world operates, how today technology has changed the business world, and the possibility of staying at home to create your own business. This research includes the possibility of doing business with people in different countries, and how United States and Canada are helping people with disabilities to be active and respected in their societies without discrimination or rejection.

I gained a lot of knowledge in my internship. I am more knowledgeable about the importance of today’s technology because with Niagara Development Organization Group all my work was based online. I improved my communication skills by communicating with Mrs. Hill over the phone, Skype, and email.  I embrace today’s internet because it has allowed business people to communicate easily. Niagara Development Organization Group has given me the opportunity to work with a company that is not in the U.S. I was able to handle the biggest challenge which is there was no physical interaction,

I will always embrace the experience that I have learned in my internship program because it was very beneficial, and it is something that I get to keep in me forever. I learned through this internship that giving up is not an option because the world is kind of set up that way. Everything is possible in life. I will have successes and failures in my present and future goals. Failure does not mean I am not capable to be successful because most famous and successful people in today’s world have failed at something once in their career goals. I am not expecting things to be easy for me because I already know nothing is easy in life. From now on I will concentrate my life on working extremely hard to find a job that I will enjoy doing every single day. Everything depends on my present goals because it will lead me to be successful in the future.

Meredith Davis

The purpose of acquiring an internship varies from person-to-person. No matter the reason, internships provide a stepping-stone for future career success.

Personally, my search for an internship started with the simple purpose of fulfilling a graduation requirement. Although I am only at the beginning of my internship position – I’ve already come to realize what I’ll gain from this is so much more.

Building your resume and getting credit towards your college degree may be the driving incentives in finding an internship. They will even place you one step closer to obtaining the career of your dreams. However, the real importance lies in your ability to perform in that career.

Through my internship at The Niagara Business Development Group, I hope to achieve what many others already have: real-world experience that cannot be found in a classroom. Thus far, I’ve already felt the incredible guidance they provide, unlikely seen in the workforce. The projects I’ve been assigned not only enhance skills I already possess but also help me acquire new ones. I’ve even been given the ability to “test drive” different aspects of a business career to determine the best fit for me.

Danyelle Bray

My name is Danyelle Bray and I am a graduating senior at Tuskegee University. I would like to thank Niagara Business Development Group in Spring 2015- Spring 2016. I am majoring in Political Science and want to further pursue my graduate degree in communications and Journalism.

Working with this company has taught me patience and more efficient and effective ways of writing. The section that I’ve worked in within his company was Editorial/Journalism aspect. I worked with writing Press Release, Writing articles, and setting up radio/podcast interviews for Maria Rekurt.

I am truly thankful for the opportunity that was presented to me. It was a challenge at times for me because of the flexibility that it offered online, but I really did the best that I possibly could to remain successful in the business. I would recommend this for students who has a passion for virtual businesses. But overall I have gained skills that will carry me through my future endeavors.

Thank you!

Dominique Williams

My name is Dominique Williams, and I am a graduate of Clayton State University, majoring in Communications and Media Studies. I worked with Niagara Business Development Group in the Fall of 2015 during my last semester of my undergraduate years. I must say, committing to an internship with this group was the best decision I could have ever done!

When I was accepted for the Communication internship over the summer of 2015, I did not know how this opportunity will become a benefit for me. Over time, I began to realize how great of an opportunity this was, and what can this do for my career and personal development skills.

Bi Liu 

I graduated from University of Maryland, College Park in 2015 with BS accounting degree. During my last semester, I worked with Niagara Business Development Group for several months as an accounting intern. As an intern, I recorded and organized a variety of property expenses using MS Excel. I am glad that I had such a great internship experience with Niagara Business Development Group.

From my past month's aggressive job-hunting experience, I realized that an internship during the school year was very important for getting a job after graduation. Most employers won't ask you for your GPA, instead they will ask what is your accounting experience that makes you qualify for the job.

Doing an internship with Niagara Business Development Group was one of the smartest things I've done during my school years. This virtual internship offered me a very flexible schedule that could accommodate my school schedule even though I took 18 credits. It also helped me strengthen my accounting skills. I would recommend this accounting internship to accounting students who want to take accounting as their future careers.

Ariel Lee Johnson

I received my bachelors in journalism with a Psychology minor at Georgia State University. I thoroughly enjoyed my summer internship with Niagara Business Development Group (NBDG) and although it only lasted 60 hours, I achieved a lot working for them.

This unique, remote organization allows you to strengthen your skills at your own pace, whether you’re the person to do a little bit a day or work hard in short bursts of time. Deadlines were not of priority, because they search for quality in their team.

Their team is kind, hard-working, and available on the weekends! I loved that I could submit work in accordance to my hectic school schedule. I highly recommend this program if you have little time to travel to an internship site and would rather work in the comfort of your own home. Because of NBDG, I am now a published writer, learning the business side of journalism.

Bessie Haddaway

My name is Bessie Haddaway. I’m a marketing student in college. I worked with Niagara on the Lake Cottage Rental during the summer of 2015 as the Social Media Marketing Intern. I learned a lot from this experience. I became more familiar with the use of social media for business. I learned about many great tools for social media use, such as HootSuite and Canva.

HootSuite is an online program that lets one manage accounts, schedule posts, and upload content to multiple social media accounts from one website. Canva is used to create visual content for social media through the use of various fonts and professional photos.

Kay Chen

I started to establish my Canadian career since I had my internship with Maria Rekrut in Niagara College. I really appreciate that Niagara Real Estate Group provides a great platform so I can put academic knowledge into practice. I advanced my integrated marketing communication skills and had gained practical experience during my internship.

I would like to thank Maria for this opportunity. Maria Rekrut is a professional and knowledgeable person, she helped me to achieve success after graduation at Niagara College. I would recommend this internship as a starting point for future students looking for professional experience in the future.

Halie Weiss

Through my internship at Niagara Business Development Group I was able to broaden my professional skill set by leaps and bounds. As a marketing intern I was placed on a project to help write and publish a book from almost start to finish. With having no prior knowledge in the field of book writing I was able to put in intensive research with my contact Chris, and I was able to open my education further than I ever had before. One of the most important aspects of this internship to me was that I was able to work all online. I was able to pick up at any time in any state and work productively with Chris on various projects. As I stated previously my time at Niagara I was able to obtain and sharpen skills that I did not previously have such as editing, publishing, and enhancing my time management was key to being so successful at this company. I am very excited for my future in the marketing world and can’t wait to see how I can use the skills I obtained here in my career. I would suggest this internship to everyone who is willing to put in the hard work because the payoff is well worth it!  

Dayne Michael Hopkins

In the past few months I have gotten the chance to use many of the skills I’ve taken from my college courses and apply them to my work here. I got to research and help in the process of writing and designing a book, which was a very fun and interesting project. It was fun seeing the whole process unfold from start to finish. I also got to help set up a podcasting show online, which was something I had not heard of doing before, but it gave me a whole new look into ways of online marketing. One of the greatest parts about this internship was the ability to work around my extremely busy school schedule, and do it from anywhere I could use my laptop. My contact Chris, was very nice and helpful along the way in completing projects and staying in contact with me when I had questions. It has been a fun and exciting learning experience these past 4 months. I would definitely recommend this opportunity to other students looking to gain some valuable experience, not only in the business world, but with a heavy emphasis on being able to communicate effectively. 

Fernando Delgado

During my internship at Niagara Real Estate Group I've learned a lot of different skills working closely with Maria Rekrut, whose attitude and management helped me to gain hands-on experience. I recommend everybody who is about to finish their education at Niagara College to start an internship to learn more about the Canadian workplace culture as well as the experience from a company that has been there for a lot of years. The internship experience will help the recent graduates to perform perfectly in their future positions. 

I would like to thank Maria for all her help during the time that we've worked together and also for giving me the opportunity to become much more efficient at what I do, that was definitely a stepping stone in my career growth.

Student Testimonials- wall of fame

Yunhua Xie

My name is Clytle.I used to be a market development trainee at Niagara Business Development Group.When i interned with Maria, I learned and practiced lots of market developing skills, like how to use social media, or use online tools,and most importantly,how to build network. It's network and people that make a business work. That's also what i learned from Maria's business.And also it change my mind set too.Now I'm chasing my dream in Toronto, fighting for my lifetime career,that is, letting more ppl know how money work for them, and also we giving opportunities to ppl who need change

Gong Lina

I am very pround that I was on Maria's team! She is an amazing entreprenuer and we can learn a lot from her work with social networks and social media, which is critial to business these days.

You have to understand the description of the cottage, the history, the downtown area, and other examples that works in this profession. You have to research and promote through posting properties through popular websites that are about this platform. While interning at the company the Chris was supportive in helping with the decision making, when it came to working on several projects that she wanted to do. I put every effort in understand this internship better than the last one I had. Chris is such a sweetheart of a supervisor, she is will to take the time and help you learn the work. Chris was willing to give ideas on how to start and finish the additions in the rates, description of the cottage, and bringing fresh ideas.

The more you progress, more projects will be asked of you to do by either. As the internship progresses the supervisor gave me more hours to work on making up the hours in school and decided to keep me as a worker. Chris encourages communication at all times when it comes to moving on the next projects or sales they offer.Another thing that caught my eye about the internship, is having excess to the internet made it easier to do the work. One time I worked from an airport before getting aboard to catch a flight. It was relaxing as your in need of a cpu and emails. It was very interesting to work from an airport but the work was finished by the time I was done. This internship is very friendly, fast, efficient, and straight to the point, which was one of the reasons why I loved it so much.

Brianna Tyler

Interning at Niagara on the Lake Cottage Rental, has taught me a few things about adapting in the work areas with listing properties. When working as an intern, I found that it was easier working with the company as they planned your tasks and told you to constantly research properties and other websites to promote the company. Niagara on the Lake Cottage Rental was an exciting internship that challenged me to become more aware of the skills and knowledge I obtained in college that deals with marketing on a global perspective.

The Chief Executive Officer, Maria Rekrut, is a seasoned professional who has more than three decades of experience, springing from business facilitation to development, and mentoring young minds to grow in today's increasingly challenging job market. 

Maria is more of a trainer rather than a boss, a mentor,one that is optimistic, and a goal getter. Maria was able to impact in me business developing skills through the use of social media. Also,I built my customer relationship skills which is an imperative aspect of building and protecting once clientele base.

Kehinde Onabadejo

Niagara-on-the-Lake-Cottage Rental is a place where students gain practical hands on experience, the skills needed by today's employers. Professionalism is their culture, and student success their utmost priority.

Business ethics and development is a vital part of the organization, thereby student learn how to grow their own business or masters entrepreneur skills, such as marketing mix which a business needs to survive in today's overwhelming competitive economic market.

I also did the keyword research for Maria’s YouTube videos. Before I finish my internship, I was given the opportunity to train another student who is going to take over my job. The whole experience has opened up my mind about the importance of the social media and the possibility of my future career.

This has been a great journey to work with Maria for my internship. Maria is a very loving person, and we always have a lot of fun times together when we are working. I learned a lot of things about vacation rental business, social media for business, keyword research and updating youtube video scripts. I also learned how to use these sites for business: Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, Reddit, Instagram, Tumblr, Google +, Pinterest and much more. This is absolutely an interesting learning experience. It opens my mind as a student who is about to start his career. Thanks for your patience and encouragement, Maria! I wish you all the best.
Eric Hu

My internship at Niagara Cottage Rental During the internship, I was taking care of the listing sites for Maria’s cottage rental business. I made sure to have an interesting advertisement to attract people to come and ask for more information. It is very important to put what customers want into the ads and emphasize it.

 I was also helping Maria to write her book. Maria and I spent hours and hours together to figure out the direction of the book, title, subtitle, chapters. It leads to another important part of my job: keyword research. It is crucial to know what people are looking for online, then we can put the most searched words into the title, subtitle, body of the book and so on.
Kenny Lu
Thanks to Maria's brilliant opinions, I learned to do some starting level investment by myself. I applied a mortgage and bought a house in Canada after only 8 months staying in here. I am very happy about the new house and feel so happy and lucky that I met Maria Rekrut as my practical teacher out of school!!