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Marlo Shackleford

SFU Co-op Alumni
Science › Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

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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

About the Author

Marlo Shackleford

SFU Co-op Alumni
Science › Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

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