Skip to main content
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication
SFU Co-op Student

a surprised woman with her hands over her eyes
I could not have asked for more supportive management, I couldn’t have asked for kinder co-workers, or for a better Food Bank Assistant team. To all those that I had the wonderful opportunity to work with for this co-op position, THANK YOU!

It doesn’t feel like long ago when I started training for my position as Student Engagement Coordinator at SFU.  In fact, the 8 months flew by and I can’t believe I’m done!  In a nutshell, my job was to manage the SFU Food Bank and the Food Bank Assistants who volunteered to run it, as well as manage the Center for Student Engagement and the appointments and bookings at the center.

My last week on the job was a bit hectic as I had a lot of projects to wrap up and I wanted to make sure that I had everything ready for my replacement.  Amongst the end-of-my-job-chaos, there were many laughs, surprises, and some bittersweet moments too.

Natalie posing at the reception office

Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

I was so thankful for all the work the Food Bank Assistants put into the past semester (or two!) and I really wanted to make sure they felt appreciated, so I put together a little “memory book” documenting some of the fun we had and made a copy for each of them! I really got into making it and hoped that they would like it too! 

Amidst finishing up projects, prepping to train, and creating the Food Bank Memory Book, I was totally oblivious to the secret ploys going on in the office.  My amazing supervisor did two things:

  • She asked all the Food Bank Assistants to write about experiences they had with me, and she put this into a scrapbook!

  • She also circulated a handmade thank-you card to all the staff I worked with!

At my ‘farewell’ party she presented a beautiful handmade scrapbook and handmade thank-you card.  I nearly fell over!  Here I was thinking I was going to surprise the Food Bank Assistants with this epic (if I say so myself!) Memory Book and yet I was the one who was surprised!  It was overwhelmingly heartwarming to know that the volunteer team put time aside - especially during the exam period - to write such kind comments!  I was also touched by the kind comments my coworkers put in the thank-you card.  But the icing on the cake was when I realized how much time my supervisor must have put into the scrapbook and the card.  There must have been hours of prep work she had to put in! 

I was certainly glad I waited until I was by myself to read and look through the scrapbook and card, otherwise it might have been embarrassing...

I planned to give the Food Bank Assistants the Memory Book I made for each of them at the semester-end thank-you social.  After some chaotic Pictionary drawings and laughs, I excitedly gave out the Memory Books to each of the volunteers, and it was pretty awesome to see them flip through the pages and exclaim when they saw themselves or at a funny comment.  I was feeling pretty smug that I was able to surprise them, when all of a sudden one of the Food Bank Assistants pulled out a gift that the Food Bank Assistants all put together.  In the gift bag, there was a beautiful hand-drawn mug and a thank you card from each of the volunteers.  Wow!  Again, I was just overwhelmed by the sheer kindness of the wonderful team that I had the privilege to work with.  It was a total shock that they would be giving me anything, because they were the ones volunteering!  Again, I was wonderfully surprised.


These past 8 months have been an amazing learning experience for me and I really enjoyed working at SFU.  Not only did I learn a lot, but also there were so many laughs and there were so many fun memories.  I could not have asked for more supportive management, I couldn’t have asked for kinder co-workers, or for a better Food Bank Assistant team.  To all those that I had the wonderful opportunity to work with for this co-op position, THANK YOU!

I’m definitely sad to leave, but hey- I have to graduate eventually, right? 

Beyond the Blog

SFU Co-op Student
Connect with Natalie on LinkedIn or Twitter Natalie is a Communications and English graduate with a love for writing and learning. In the midst of her first co-op workterm as a marketing assistant, where she learned many practical skills and life lessons that inspired her to write this blog series. She volunteered at SFU as an Orientation Leader, and a FCAT Mentor.

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.


You Might Like These... Workplace Transition

work station with a guitar and hat stand next to it, pictures hung up on the wall
My Co-op Experience During an Ongoing Pandemic

This was Ethan's second co-op semester and it started off similar to their first. Little did they know, this work term would be completely different. Having already had experience in an office environment, things went smoothly as Ethan picked up their work tasks in stride. However, the first couple of months on the job flew by compared to what was yet to come. Read on to find out more! 

green background in Final Cut Pro platform
Fun at SAP
Giselle Li had great experiences doing her co-op at SAP. In this article, she recorded one of her setbacks during work and how she resolved it. She also shares what it is like to work at SAP and the events and opportunities that are available there.
picture of Bill
Shifting Co-op Experiences: From Office to Home

Over Bill's five terms of Co-op experience, the past two (in Summer and Fall 2020) have provided a rather unique experience. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bill was given the opportunity to work remotely from home and found himself needing to adapt to a very different work environment in terms of task planning and time management. In this blog, Bill hopes to share some of these experiences as well as some challenges that he faced while working remotely