Skip to main content
Communication, Art + Technology

empty
A portrait of Marilyn sitting outside with a cup in her hand.
Credit
Courtesy of Marilyn Brimacombe
One of my biggest takeaways from Co-op is to be eager and hungry for new experiences, tasks, and skills.

This blog was originally on the SFU Communications Collective blog on June 30, 2021.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi, I’m Marilyn and I’m a third year Communications student. I grew up as a competitive figure skater and once I retired, I started coaching figure skating, but I’ve always had an underlying passion for social media and digital marketing. Once COVID-19 hit, I decided to take advantage of the situation to pivot to getting experience in the communications field through Co-op.

What was your first Co-op experience like?

In my first Co-op, I was the Digital Communications Assistant for 8 months with The Faculty of Communication, Art, and Technology (FCAT) at SFU. One of my key roles was to manage and create organic and paid content on the FCAT social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Whenever there was a big event coming up, such as Convocation, I worked behind the scenes to promote these events by sending out emails to RSVP for the event, scheduling social media posts, and update the FCAT website with current information. This Co-op allowed me to gain fundamental communications and social media marketing skills and it was amazing!

Tell us about your current Co-op position.

Currently, I’m in a 4-month Co-op as the Community Engagement Assistant at Parkinson Society BC. Most of my work surrounds Parkinson SuperWalk, which happens annually in September raising awareness and money for Parkinson’s disease. Recently, I’ve been holding interviews with individuals with or associated with Parkinson’s and I’ve been doing some work around promoting SuperWalk on social media as well. It’s been cool being able to experience working for a non-profit organization, also since my last Co-op was at SFU. So far, this Co-op has brought me new experiences and skills already through how the Society runs and the communications tasks that I’ve been doing.

What is your biggest takeaway from your Co-op experiences so far?

One of my biggest takeaways from Co-op is to be eager and hungry for new experiences, tasks, and skills. I learned that being open-minded leads you to some amazing opportunities, and that just being eager to learn new things by asking your co-workers and your supervisor any questions you may have career wise is so important! Be curious about the communications field and be hungry for more there is to offer.

What do you wish you knew before starting Co-op?

One thing I wish I knew before starting Co-op is that doing an 8-month Co-op is so worth it. I kind of went into Co-op thinking that an 8-month Co-op would be too long, and that I’d be taking too much time away from taking courses if I did one. But I ended up getting my Co-op at FCAT (an 8-month) and went into it open minded and I don’t regret it one bit! I think doing an 8-month is so valuable because you get the chance to learn more skills and get really good at the tasks you do in the role.

Why should students consider joining the Co-op program?

Reflecting on my 2 Co-op experiences, I think that Co-op is such an important part of your degree and experience at university. You truly do not get the experiences and skills that you gain in a Co-op in your courses. In my opinion, Co-op is so necessary if you want to level up your resume and finish your degree with experiences and skills required for jobs in the communications field.

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... Graduate Students

Man working on laptop
My Experience as a Web and Data Services Developer at Beedie School of Business

I have had previous experience working with web-based technologies, but mostly in the academic context. Working as a co-op student at the SFU Beedie School of Business, I had the opportunity to work in development, but to also work with business analysts and clients directly, to understand their requirements and implement them. In this post, I explain how this co-op exceeded my expectations.  

A picture of Alan in front of a Fraser Health COVID-19 VACCINATION poster.
How to Make a Difference While Working in Health Care

Do you want to make a difference in your community? Are you interested in working in health care for your co-op work term but don’t know if you have what it takes? Read about the skills Alan found helped him have a successful work term in health care.

Troy's office with the blog title overlayed
A Glimpse Into The Privy Council Office | Part One

In this first part of the series, Troy Liu sits down with the senior policy asdivsor at the Privy Council Office (PCO) to gain insight on the challenges of the role. Read on to see what adivce the senior policy advisor gives on professional development, and work-life balance.