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

empty
white desk with open laptop, computer mouse, phone, notebook, and plant
Kevin Bhagat on Unsplash
In the end, think of it like this; experience is experience no matter the type. You should be proud regardless of where you end up working and know that you are taking the proper steps to further your career.

Co-op can be an overwhelming process.

You are entering a trial adult experience where you look for and apply for jobs. Don't get me wrong, it's entirely worth it. I would 10/10 recommend Co-op to anyone who would ask, and I am a strong advocate for getting experience for your future.

But what do you do when you are scrolling through the long list of job postings and a wave of companies and organizations blind your eyes? What type of company should you pick when all the roles seem the same?

That's where I come in! I have been very fortunate to have had a chance to experience working in three different sectors that Co-op offers, and I am here to give you some insights about what it’s like to work for each of them.

1. Non-Profit

The non-profit sector is a fulfilling industry to work in. You get the opportunity to work closely with a community and its stakeholders, while expanding your network with other community workers. If you have a particular passion or interest, there are many non-profits that will allow you to make a positive impact. However, I found that non-profit organizations are often limited in their resources due to funding, especially when working in a smaller organization. No fear, you will learn some creative and innovative ways to gain the same results at a lower cost!

2. Start-Up

If you love autonomy and ownership over your own work, a start-up organization may be right for you. Regardless of the industry, start-ups provide you with the opportunity to grow and get your hands dirty in real work. If you have the chance to work in social media or marketing, you may start with a small audience for your company, but you can watch it grow and see your ideas make an impact!

But be prepared to wear many hats in your role! Like non-profits, start-ups can have limited resources and often look for individuals who can be a jack-of-all-trades. While this may seem overwhelming, embrace these opportunities; they look excellent on your resume, expand your skillset and help you become a flexible employee.

3. Corporate

Corporations allow you to work with a large group of people working towards a common goal. If you ever wanted to spruce up your collaborative skills, corporate is the way to go. You will have the opportunity to learn from experts in your field and take a glance into the inner workings of your possible future career. A significant advantage is that you are not limited on resources. Have an idea? Give it a whirl, put some money behind it, and if it works, great! If not, don't stress about bankrupting the company; take your findings and results and apply them to better your strategy in the future. But don't forget, there are usually a few internal stakeholders that you need to get approval from, so, make sure you leave extra time for the chain of command.

In the end, think of it like this; experience is experience no matter the type. You should be proud regardless of where you end up working and know that you are taking the proper steps to further your career.

Although these findings are based on my own personal experiences, I hope this little blog post gave you some insight into what it's like to work in different types of organizations!

Good luck out there; you'll figure it out :)

SFU Co-op Student

Posts by Author

Ditij sitting at his desk
Blog
Opportunities are what you Make of it - An Interview with an Economics Student

Meet Ditij Beladiya, a student completing an Honours undergraduate degree with a Major in Economics, Concentration in Economic Data Analytics and Minor in Political Science. In this quick Q&A, Ditij shares about his co-op experience. Read about his interview, his day to day tasks and what he has learned.

Fatima standing in front of mountains
Blog
WHERE Are They Now: An Interview with a Former Master's Co-op Student

Many times, our co-op students graduate from our program, and use these experiences in future positions. Today, we will be interviewing a former student of ours, Fatima Sajid to see where she is now after graduation. Read about how her onboarding processes went, the skills she learnt and how her employers helped her develop said skills.

Annelyse standing in front of a window
Blog
Interview with an Arts Co-op Student: How a Policy Intern Position Improves your Writing

Meet Annelyse Ross, a Political Science and Social Data Analytics Co-op student. In this quick Q&A, Annelyse shares about her co-op experience. Read about how she discusses how she determines if a position is a good fit for her, what she did in her Policy Intern position and even how she got to travel as part of her position.

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... Co-op Reflections

man sitting at office desk holding dog
Why Co-op is the Most Important Thing You Can Do as an International Student

Being an international student from Bangladesh, I always felt that I did not have the necessary network to succeed in the Canadian workforce even though I feel strongly about my ability to work hard and grow. I felt anxious when looking at my peers who have been working in a job since the age of 16 whereas I was just getting started. This is when I was introduced to SFU Co-op. 

Judith
Working in the Gaming Industry? Here's What I Learned as a Community Manager!

The gaming industry is faced paced and requires you to be on the go, but that's exactly why I love it.

Table and chairs lined up in a classroom with classroom paraphernalia on the tables
The Archana School for Girls

Martyna, Lindsay, Christine and Silvia share their visit to the Archana School for girls and what they have learned from this invaluable experience.