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SFU Co-op Student

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an SFU student wearing her graduation gown

First, let's pretend I did not borrow (steal) this title from a TV series. In case you have no idea what I am talking about, feel free to watch the TV series "grown-ish." This is not a paid ad (though I wish it was).

After making your resume look as good as possible and doing your best at an interview, getting a job feels so good! Next, you have to do the job and do it well. Once you start working, a few anxieties can creep in from not being sure if you are entirely qualified for your new role.

As university students, many of us do not yet have the qualifications for "real world" communication or marketing jobs. (No offence to retail, McDonald's or Starbucks!) Getting qualified is tricky because to get a job, you need qualifications and to gain qualifications, you need a job.

It's fascinating to finally get that job (and start planning how to spend the money), but it's also reasonable to feel some pressure. That's why I have a few things to remind yourself of when you're feeling anxious about being qualified-ish:

Reminder #1: You Made it this Far

  • The fact that you got the position means you have the kind of skills they are looking for.
  • Remind yourself that you would not have been chosen if you didn’t have something to offer. 
  • Co-op employers know that you have little experience and they want to work with you.

Reminder #2: Everyone Knows you are a Co-op Student

  • This means there is less pressure to know everything right away as your workplace should be a learning environment. 
  • It also means there are people ready to show you how to do things and increase your skills.

Reminder #3: Questions, Questions & Questions

  • Once again, this is a learning environment so when you are not sure about the task, you have to work on, ask someone with the experience and knowledge. That’s how you learn, after all. 
  • Do not worry about looking like you do not know much as you are not expected to know everything.

Reminder #4: A Little Research Never Hurt Anybody

  • It helps to research the tasks assigned to you. For example, if you are asked to create a Communication Plan, do not hesitate to research tips and guides on how to make a good one. 
  • You can also research in the form of asking questions to the person who has assigned you with the task. Or else, asking people who have performed the same or similar tasks for tips and guidance.

Reminder #5: Have FUN!

  • It’s easy to get caught up in the pressures of working and adjusting to the 9-5 schedule. However, try and enjoy what you do, become interested in your activities and build relationships in the workplace. 
SFU Co-op Student

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