When I first began my journey with Co-op at SFU, I was terrified of the prospect of doing an 8-month work term. Having never had any office experience I did not know if I would be equipped to handle the ins and outs of a 9-5. As such, I made a point of choosing my first Co-op as a 4-month work term. Having survived this challenge, I decided that for my next Co-op I would make a point of stepping outside of my comfort zone.
Here are 8 reasons why I feel I made the right call:
1. More Time to Grow.
My first Co-op started and ended before I could really sink my teeth into what I was doing. Just as I began to feel confident in my abilities, the work semester had already ended. As such, I had to make an active point to work towards bettering myself from the onset of this term so that I could set myself up for success for the months that would follow.
2. Becoming Part of a Team.
When doing a 4-month Co-op, while there are still opportunities to make friends and become involved with your workplace and coworkers, people do not want to get too attached to you because you are going to be out of there so soon. An 8-month Co-op really gives you the opportunity to feel like you are a full time member of the team, which in turn yields more accountability among other things.
3. Get into a Routine.
An 8-month work term will enable you to set a schedule for yourself and test out what work/life balance works for you. Since you are going to be there a while, you can take this as an opportunity to get to know who you are as a young adult outside of school. What kind of hobbies you can get into; how you will maintain your chores, friendships, and family.
4. Quality Over Quantity.
Since you are not in a mad dash to finish all your projects, you have the luxury to not only take the time to produce quality work. Additionally, you have the opportunity to reflect and learn from your mistakes.
5. Gain More Responsibilities.
As you learn from past projects your supervisors will begin to trust you more and more, allowing you to take on more responsibilities. As well, they may give you the room to pursue projects that are more in your interest area.
6. Time Flies.
Time is going to go by so quickly regardless so you might as well make the most of it. However, also keep in mind that you are going to be here for a while, so apply to jobs that you actually speak to you.
7. Harder to Leave and Come Back on Multiple Occasions.
For me, the hardest part about Co-op has not been the actual work term; instead, it has been trying to get back into student mode upon completing a Co-op. Therefore, you can save yourself a little bit of heartache by pursuing an 8-month work term during your Co-op journey.
8. Relationships Matter.
I cannot stress enough how important the relationships are that you will make during your work term These are the people that make your term enjoyable and inspiring. If you are lucky, you can call these people your friends and count on them to help you with future employment opportunities.
Beyond the Blog
- To learn more about Co-op opportunities, visit the Co-op homepage.