The Alzheimer Society of Ontario (ASO)

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Placement Organization: The Alzheimer Society of Ontario (ASO)
Position Title: Research & Communications Assistant
Number of Possible Placements Available: 2
Working Site’s Location: 20 Eglinton Avenue West, 16th Floor, Toronto


Company Bio:

Founded in 1983, the Alzheimer Society of Ontario (ASO) is the province's leading care and research charity committed to helping people with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias by:

1. Providing care, support, information and education for people living with dementia
2. Funding research to find a cure
3. Educating decision-makers about the need for improved health care services and qualified health care workers to support people with dementia
4. Increasing awareness of dementia and its impact on the whole family

With a network of 30 Societies across Ontario, we offer Help for Today through our programs and services for people living with dementia and Hope for Tomorrow…® by funding research to find the cause and the cure.


  • Coordinate with local Alzheimer Societies in Ontario to collect key client, donor, and supporter data through the use of data collection tools such as surveys and focus groups.
  • Work with the Communications, Marketing & Fund Development team to write and coordinate digital and print marketing and communications collateral.
  • Support ASO’s Programs and Public Policy team to organize and analyze program data across all local Societies in Ontario.
  • Assist in identifying gaps in data and information that the Society could utilize in its marketing and communications materials.
  • Liaise with the Communications, Marketing & Fund Development team to draft print collateral to entice local clients to attend Alzheimer Society programs and fundraising events.
  • Identify potential affinity organizations for sponsorship and/or partnership opportunities across the province


  • Ability to research and summarize and analyze findings clearly.
  • Comfort with working independently and as part of a team.
  • Strong writing and editing skills
  • Proficient in both oral and written communication.
  • Punctual and professional in their approach to the work assigned.
  • Willing to experiment with new approaches to communication and media.

Additional Assets:

  • Ability to work with database software such as Raiser’s Edge and digital marketing programs and services such as Google Analytics & AdWords, and Adobe Creative Suite.
  • French language skills.
  • A personal connection to someone living with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia

Student Experience:

Stefania Gargaro

What kind of work did you do? Over the past 3 months have a done a variety of tasks and projects. Some of the tasks I have been responsible for include: is creating content for Facebook and Twitter using a tool called Sprout social, tracking our views and news presence with Meltwater and creating advertising posters for our seminars and events. Further, I have also done some research with the fund development coordinator, by researching grants and programs that the society can apply to for funding. In addition, I have worked closely with the Music Project by creating a social media marketing plan to help boost the user engagement and donations. As well as took lead in creating the first annual newsletter for the music project and entitled it: "The Year End Symphony". Finally, the team has been working on a web-transfer project, I have assisted by identifying pages that will be carried over to the new site. These major tasks as well as other small tasks have made up my experience thus far.
What was your overall experience?
My overall experience has been incredible and I look forward to attending placement every week. My manager and team, make me feel like a real member of the team and not just an intern. Natasha has been an incredible supervisor and is a career inspiration. Natasha is always patient, provides feedback and is willing to teach me new skills that allows me to expand my skill set every week.
What skill sets did you develop throughout the process?
Some of the skills I have developed, is to write in a tone that is user friendly and will attract people to posts and newsletters. I have also been introduced to some key applications such as; gather content, Meltwater, google analytics and sprout social. Technical applications are crucial to the success of a communications job, as being capable to gather the most information from these sites allows us to continuously improve the website, social media accounts or general outreach.
How has this prepared you for a career?
This has prepared me for a career by providing me with practical skills. Being placed in workplace and learning relevant jobs skills makes me feel more confident going into the second half of the placement and future career. Although I have actively been in work environments for the past 6 years, being able to get hands on experience in my field has been excellent and is best way to prepare students for work post graduation..
If you had to recommend this course to someone, what would you say?
I would recommend this course to everyone! Having practical experience after 4 years of theoretical experience, is exactly what every student needs. This allows students to have the opportunity to work on a resume and interview skills as well the opportunity to explore what work in a communications field will be like.