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Sarah Elawa

SFU Co-op Student
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication

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girl sitting in front of laptop and computer monitor screen with emails open
Besides all the career advice I received, I was also able to meet many people who work for SFU in other capacities and build some strong connections within the SFU community.

Are you interested in knowing what it is like to do a Co-op term with an SFU Co-op program? If so, continue reading to learn about my extremely positive experience working as the Digital Design and Communications Assistant for the SFU Surrey Co-op Programs.

1. You get to build your network and get quality career advice

During my Co-op term, I had a unique work arrangement where I got to work with not only one but four different Co-op programs! The programs I worked with were the Interactive Arts & Technology, Sustainable Energy Engineering, Mechatronics Systems Engineering, and Software Systems Co-op programs, all based on the Surrey Campus. Naturally, I got to know multiple Coordinators, Program Assistants, and Student Advisors who had numerous years of experience helping students get jobs. As one would expect, I definitely took advantage of that and gained tons of invaluable career advice from my colleagues. Besides all the career advice I received, I was also able to meet many people who work for SFU in other capacities and build some strong connections within the SFU community.

2. You get to help fellow students find Co-op jobs

In my opinion, one of the most rewarding parts of working for the SFU Co-op programs is being able to help other students find jobs. Though I was not directly giving students advice on their resumes, cover letters, or interviews, I got to work on a few different projects that helped market students to employers. One of those projects was creating visuals called ‘Student Profiles’ that highlighted a few Co-op students and their key skills. These visuals were then posted on some of the Coordinators’ LinkedIn profiles for their 500+ industry connections to see. Then if employers saw a student who had the skills they were looking for, they could easily contact them. Another project I worked on was creating booklets that contained the resumes of a few students who had not found jobs towards the end of the semester. These ‘Resume Books’ were then sent to potential employers still looking to hire a Co-op student for the upcoming semester. 

3. You get to connect with other students working for the SFU Co-op program

Interestingly, the SFU Co-op program itself employs a significant number of Co-op students. So during the term, I got to meet a lot of different students working with the other Co-op programs, including the Business, Communications, and Computer Science programs. We had bi-weekly virtual social meetups where we talked about everything from our dream jobs to our favourite true crime podcasts and played games like skribbl.io to Among Us. Besides our bi-weekly meetups, I also enjoyed working with other Co-op students on a few collaborative projects.

4. You get to learn more about different majors and faculties

As a Communication student, I will admit that I did not know much about what the Mechatronic Systems Engineering or Sustainable Energy Engineering students did before my Co-op job. However, over the last few months, it has been fascinating learning more about these faculties and all the exciting projects their students are working on. While at this job, I can honestly say that I have developed a newfound appreciation for all the hardworking, passionate, and innovative MSE, SEE, SIAT, and SOSY SFU students!

In conclusion, if you are a Co-op student currently looking for a Co-op job, I would highly encourage applying to any role working for an SFU Co-op program itself. You never know, working for an SFU Co-op program might be the perfect place for you to broaden your skills and experience.

3 black and white pictures of people working on small machines, with red text saying "mechatronics systems engineering resume book summer 2021"
Mechatronics Systems Engineering resume book that Sarah created during her Co-op term
laptop and computer monitor on a wooden table displaying emails
Sarah's workspace during her work term

About the Author

Sarah Elawa

SFU Co-op Student
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication

Posts by Author

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Co-op Reflections, Communication, Professional Development, Personal Development, Networking, Student Success, Workplace Culture, Workplace Success

Wondering what's it like to do a Co-op term with Co-op? If so, check out Sarah's experience working as the Digital Design and Communications Assistant for the SFU Surrey Co-op Programs, where she had had the opportunity to work with four different Co-op programs!

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Not sure what career path you want to take? Computing Science Co-op Student, Cody Santos, was not sure either.  Read about his first co-op term at Mobidia and what he learned because of his experience there.