Skip to main content

Zahara

SFU Student
Arts + Social Sciences

empty
Parliament Buildings National Historic Site of Canada
Parliament Buildings National Historic Site of Canada
My experience within the world of business reminds me daily that I should always keep an open mind because I know if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have experienced either of the work terms I have now completed

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to do a co-op workterm away from home? This term I had the opportunity to do a co-op term at Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) in Ottawa. It all started with a dream of working in another province, followed by applications, interviews and finally a call from HR at ALU offering me a Business co-op position. Excitement filled every inch of my body when I heard the amazing news! Next, there came the logistic of moving away from home and since this was my first time leaving my family, I had many things I had to take into consideration: accommodation, transportation, meal planning, laundry and making new friends. I think the biggest challenge was packing the things I would need for four months into one suitcase, especially knowing that Ottawa had extremely cold winters. Luckily finding accommodation close to work was easy, thanks to help from my co-op advisor.

Everything worked out better than I could have ever imagined and the home sick feeling I had when I arrived disappeared within a few weeks as I was able to settle into my new environment rather quickly. I stayed with a wonderful couple and three other roommates that always kept me company. Their constant presence definitely helped contribute to making my adjustment of living away from home much easier.

As a Program and Operations Coordinator, my responsibilities at work included preparing PDF courseware and the rest of the necessary documents for candidates enrolled in ALU University. I also completed large auditing tasks, editing activities and updated database content regularly. All in all, it was a very rewarding workterm because I got to expand my technical skills, as well as learn new tools to help me stay efficient and organized.

As a General Studies major, I thought that my co-op opportunities would be limited to the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. However, to my surprise, I have successfully obtained and completed two Business Co-op positions. My experience within the world of business reminds me daily that I should always keep an open mind because I know if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have experienced either of the workterms I have now completed. So to anyone considering a co-op away from home, I say go for it! It is a unique, life changing opportunity and a good way to enter the workforce and gain valuable life and work skills.

    • Zahara Nov 25, 2015
      Like to recommend this item
      visibility  12

    About the Author

    Zahara

    SFU Student
    Arts + Social Sciences
    General Studies student 

    You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections, Professional Development, Career Exploration, Seeking, Work Term Extension

    author, courtney, smiling
    A Second Term in Government: More of the Same?

    Having completed my first work term for Health Canada as a Communications Officer Intern, I was eager to try something new, and the government was not where I believed that was going to happen. That is until I was offered a position at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada...

    picture of glichelle pondering a though
    Surviving Workplace Politics

    Ever been peeved with workplace politics? Have you ever been a victim of office politics? One student shares her experiences from the workplace with tips on how to survive.

     

    person with their head in a book
    Responsibility and Success

    One of the most memorable parts of my time in co-op was the collection of accidents, errors, mistakes, and mix-ups that happened in the course of working in the laboratory.

     

    Parliament Buildings National Historic Site of Canada
    library_books
    Blog
    Alcatel-Lucent University
    Co-op Reflections, Career Exploration, Working, Professional Development, Student Success

    General Studies student Zahra did her co-op in Ottawa in a business role.  She shares about her duties as a Program Coordinator. This article was originally published in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Summer 2012 newsletter.

    You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections

    A photo of Laurie Dawkins
    Alumni Spotlight: Laurie Dawkins

    Like a modern day Goldilocks, Laurie Dawkins, a Communication Co-op alumna, spent many years trying out various roles to find the one that was just right. Now, as an award-winning, senior communications professional, Laurie shared how her experience with SFU Co-op shaped how she approached her career.

    Skyscape of Tokyo
    Ly's International Co-op Story

    Ly Viet Vu recently completed his undergraduate degree in the field of Computing Science.  Ly shares how his term with Co-op Japan altered his career path, providing him with the confidence to relocate to Viet Nam and establish his own business.

    A picture of Nile with people around
    By the Nile: A Student's Experience in Rural Africa

    The OLC happily presents the following as Craig Vandermeer’s first interview with the OLC after his return from Uganda Fall Semester 2010. Having finished his undergrad at Carleton University with a degree in Political Science, he is continuing his education here at SFU in the International Studies Master’s program.