Skip to main content
Science › Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
SFU Co-op Alumni

empty
picture of marlo in a lab, smiling
Personally, I’ve experienced so much more because of Co-op... It has showed me what I don’t want to do, and what I love to do. I wouldn’t change it for anything.

How did you join the Co-op program?

A friend of mine who was in Co-op encouraged me. As a science student, there are so many options out there, I needed to find out what I want to do for the next 35 year. I joined for the work experience and the connection. In terms of the process, it was very easy – once I was introduced to one of the coordinators, who was so helpful and so personable, I was in.

What does your current Co-op job entail?

Currently I’m working with a PhD student. We are working with an enzyme that plays a part in atherosclerosis, a heart disease. Basically I’m doing all the experiments, all the lab work, and the PhD student is doing the paper work.

What’s most rewarding of your Co-op experience?

Presenting in front of 150 people! Presenting my own data, and in front of coworkers, and to be received well, is very rewarding and a really good experience. That’s a very encouraging, reassuring feeling that I’m on the right path.

Assisting in writing papers, which is very helpful when I apply for grad school and for funding. At work, I’m treated as a graduate student. The respect I gain is very nice.

Has Co-op helped inform your career or academic goals?

It hasn’t altered my goals, but it has validated it. I had always been sitting on the fence on graduate school and doing a PhD. Now after my current Co-op term, I know I absolutely enjoy the work on protein – here you work with cells.

Would you recommend Co-op to other students?

Personally, I’ve experienced so much more because of Co-op. For example, just by going to various conferences has helped so much in terms of acquiring a big picture of what’s going on. It has showed me what I don’t want to do, and what I love to do. I wouldn’t change it for anything.

I also have friends who found future job opportunities, or their PhD supervisor through their Co-op. So if you don’t know what you want to do, if you want to gain that edge in preparing for a future, I’d definitely recommend it.

Beyond the Blog

SFU Co-op Alumni

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... Working

Open laptop on the centre of wooden table, in between a notebook and pencil, a cell phone, and a cup of coffee
3 Reasons to Consider an 8-Month Co-op

In the process of searching for a Co-op job, you may be thinking “an 8-month co-op seems so long, so a 4-month position is probably the way to go”. Read on for Marilyn's reasons why an 8-month Co-op can be so much more rewarding. 

a individual presenting in front of their team
From Volunteer to Manager

Natalie has lots of experience volunteering, but now she's managing volunteers for the first time. Read how she applied lessons she learned from former managers to make the transition with the SFU Food Bank.

Tatum Miller coaching hockey
Early Departures: A Canadian Co-op Experience in China

My passion for hockey has brought me to China to coach hockey for the summer. From Ottawa to China, SFU Co-op has helped me explore my interests and expand my learning while giving me skills, practical work experience and an opportunity to travel.