Skip to main content

Communique Editor

SFU Staff
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication
Co-operative Education

empty
Oscar smiling at the camera next to his dog
Remember that your network is your net worth

After applying to 50 jobs and going out to 12 interviews, Oscar Wong wasn’t sure he was going to land his first Co-op. Finally, on the last day of the semester, Oscar was hired at a health tech start-up for a digital marketing role and he has never looked back. Now, as a Communication alumnus working as an Internal Communications and Design Specialist at Electronic Arts, Oscar is happy to share more on how he navigated from Co-op to career. 

Why did you join Co-op?

I joined Co-op because I wanted to get more hands-on experience and explore what fields of communications I wanted to work in. I knew from the get-go that I wanted to work in tech because I find all the innovations are just so cool. The Co-op advisors helped me prioritize what kind of company and role I wanted to work in, but more importantly, how to stand out from the hundreds of applications with a well-tailored resume and many rounds of mock interviews.

What advice do you have for students seeking their first Co-op job?

In the beginning, I was afraid of getting rejected, but soon you’ll learn that it's inevitable and you should think of your rejections of lessons. Don’t let them devastate your confidence because there are a lot of factors that go into hiring someone and it’s never personal. Spend some time crafting your applications so they are tailored to the company and don’t sound generic. As long as you keep trying and talking to your Co-op advisor, things will get better, but persistence is the key.

What kind of work did you do in your Co-op terms?

I first worked for a telemedicine company called Porton Health. It was a start-up, so I wore many different hats, including digital marketing/social media and UX research creating different content such as blog posts, explainer videos, and technical writing pieces. I also got to work directly with the development team to help improve the web app experience.

In my second and third Co-op terms, I worked at SAP for the Managing Director’s office, running internal events, programs and communications for three offices across Canada. Externally, I supported corporate social responsibility projects such as Autism at Work and the Templeton STEM Program. I even got a selfie with Premiere Horgan when he visited for an announcement. The achievement that means the most to me from my time in Co-op is when I helped to develop the communication materials and visual identity for a global initiative for SAP Labs Canada on a national scale. 

Did you have any challenges adapting to work in the tech industry?

Being in the tech industry, it was sometimes hard for me to understand some technical jargon or systems, however, the best way to learn is by going out of your way to research what’s going on in the industry. Try to reach out to developers and ask them to explain things to you. The tech industry is ever-changing, so it’s critical to keep up with the trends and innovations out there. 

What do you think you gained from your Co-op terms?

Hands-on skills such as how to manage your professional relationships, writing a well-crafted email and having the confidence to push back on certain things at work. There were a lot of highlights - I think that all of the connections and friends I made because of the Co-op program have shaped my career in general.

Did you do anything else at SFU that specifically contributed to you landing these positions?

I tried to join student clubs and take on different roles to gain experience. I took on the Corporate Relations Coordinator role with the Student Marketing Association and was the VP of Internal Relations for the CMNSU. Also, taking classes like Pub or IAT set me up for success by giving me the hands-on marketing/design experience and different perspectives to offer in my first job. 

What do you do in your current position at EA, now that you have graduated?

My team and I manage all of the internal communication for our organization called Development Technology and Services across 26 cities globally and provide communications support for the Project Management Office. I strategize with my team to build an engaging, inclusive, and fun culture where employees are empowered to innovate, understand how their role plays into the greater EA ecosystem, and feel a sense of ownership of their work and EA. We also focus on learning and development to improve organizational performance and manage change initiatives such as organizational restructuring. My favourite part of the position is the creative communications work I do. Whether I am writing a blog post, designing a brand identity, or creating a podcast from scratch, it never gets old! 

Do you have any advice for students starting their careers?

Remember that your network is your net worth. I think networking is such a buzz word, but what it means to me is to create genuine relationships with people and pick their brain on the valuable lessons they have learned in their career. These conversations have given me so much guidance on how I can better myself as a professional and inspired me to strive for bigger dreams. If you’re applying for jobs now, I recommend making a personal website and diversifying your skillset, and above all, keep networking!

  • Communique Editor Oct 30, 2020
    Like to recommend this item
    visibility  72

Author

Communique Editor

SFU Staff
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication
Co-operative Education

Posts by Author

Image of False Creek
Blog
Cycling Out of a Cycle

As I was finishing my third and final lap biking around the Stanley Park Seawall, my legs felt like Jell-O. I never biked this much before (a whopping 53 km that day, by the way), which made me wonder why I agreed to go on a “short” bike ride with my new co-workers at Vancouver Coastal Health. Looking back, however, I am glad that I agreed to join the bike ride. Continue reading to learn how this activity got me to know my co-workers outside of work – something that I didn’t know I needed.

Collage of 6 social media posts
Blog
Full-Time Co-op, Part-Time Artist: It Can Be Done!

I’m a student at SFU and on top of that, though, I’m a freelance creative. I do a bit of everything. As my first Co-op work term approached, I got nervous. I was terrified, frankly, that I would have to stop creating if I wanted to pursue full-time work. Keep reading to learn about how I learned to balance working full-time and being a freelance creative. 

A person typing on a computer.
Blog
5 Email Etiquette Tips Every Employee Needs to Know

You probably know that dreadful feeling you get after opening an email that is so long your finger gets tired from scrolling. While the process of sending an email may seem intuitive, there are many considerations that should be made before hitting that “send” button. Therefore, I present to you, essential email etiquette tips every employee should know.

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.

 

Oscar smiling at the camera next to his dog
library_books
Blog
Alumni Spotlight: Oscar Wong
Co-op Reflections, SFU Alumni, Student Success

After applying to 50 jobs and going out to 12 interviews, Oscar Wong wasn’t sure he was going to land his first Co-op. Finally, on the last day of the semester, Oscar was hired at a health tech start-up for a digital marketing role and he has never looked back. Now, as a Communication alumnus working as an Internal Communications and Design Specialist at Electronic Arts, Oscar is happy to share more on how he navigated from Co-op to career. 

You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections

Two people mountain climbing
Who Knew Co-op Would Confirm My Career Choice and More!

As a fourth year Biomedical Physiology student, Amy wished to pursue a career in family practice medicine. In this article, She shares how her co-op at CHANGEpain Clinic confirmed her career path, but also went well beyond that. 

Three men in swim gear standing closely together on a boat in the ocean.
Severin's Tropical, Scuba Diving Co-op Adventure

In summer of 2013, SFU Biomedical Physiology student Severin Vaillancourt headed to The Bahamas as a Field Research Assistant with the school's Marine Ecology Lab. He shared recollections of his underwater adventures and more with International Co-op.

Decision
To Extend Your Co-op or Not: A Guide for Making the Decision

As a co-op student, one of the toughest decisions you will make is whether to extend your contract or to go back to school. In this blog, I provide a detailed guide to help you decide whether to extend, or not to extend.