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Co-operative Education

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girl with safety hat, vest, and glasses standing in front of construction site
I’ve learned from this experience that I should have an open mind and say yes to different opportunities. I shouldn’t limit myself to specific industries because I may know more about them or know I will be comfortable.
Just Because You Don’t Know, Doesn’t Mean You Shouldn’t Try

I was determined to find a position during my Co-op search to anywhere I thought was interesting.

When I saw PCL had an opening, I applied, even though I didn’t know anything about construction.

I’ve heard of PCL before and have seen their logo while driving around; that was my extent of construction knowledge. I couldn’t visualize myself in construction, especially in marketing construction. With no experience in construction marketing, I was still intrigued and applied.

A University Girl in The Big Corporate World Sounded Scary

Coming into an office as my first full-time job was already scary enough but coming into an industry that I knew nothing about was worse.

I may not have become a sudden expert in the field, but through perseverance, patience and asking lots of questions, I have started to learn and develop knowledge of how the industry works.

Working in the construction industry is more exciting than you think. It can be like a contest when bidding for projects or applying for awards.

Marketing That Makes You Think Twice About Why Us

Marketing in a construction company isn’t just about social media but also about winning work through proposals. During the proposal process, the marketing team oversees the strategy, planning and execution with written information required in a request for proposals or qualifications. The extra attention to strategy, key messaging, theming, and an easy-to-read proposal ensures that PCL puts its best foot forward to stand out from the competition. I came in at the right time and assisted with one of the must-win requests for qualifications! I was able to dive right in, aiding with reading the content and editing for consistency and grammar, helping with the creative theming, laying out the edited content into InDesign, taking part in the red and gold team review meetings and taking on the final edits before we submitted.

Having This Open Mind with A Positive Attitude Opened New Doors for Me!

I took on a challenge and realized that learning a new industry isn’t so hard or scary. Being a sponge and learning new sectors is a great asset to expanding your knowledge and learning on a steep learning curve. I find this especially important in marketing and communications because we must understand the business to market it.

This position taught me other marketing strategies besides just social media and advertising. This position was unique because I not only worked on a framework for a marketing plan for the BC Region and marketing tasks for the new St. Paul’s Hospital, but I got exposure to other aspects of marketing that I didn’t know existed. Learning about proposals opened my eyes to how construction companies win work. I also learned that I could apply my skillsets to different opportunities I didn’t know were out there.

I’ve learned from this experience that I should have an open mind and say yes to different opportunities. I shouldn’t limit myself to specific industries because I may know more about them or know I will be comfortable. Without this position, I would have missed out on learning many new things about the industry and my career.

SFU Student Undergraduate
Co-operative Education

Posts by Author

George standing outside, next to a British Columbia sign
Blog
Interview with an Arts Co-op Student: Advice to Future Students

Meet George Gayed, a Political Science student minoring in international studies with a concentration of international security and conflict. In this quick Q&A, George discusses his work in his different positions, goes over highlights and the most valuable things he has learned.

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Applying for Jobs Outside your Faculty: Low Risk, High Reward

Meet Giulia Crovini, an Economics Co-op student. In this quick Q&A, Annelyse shares about her co-op experience. Specifically, she highlights the many benefits of applying for positions outside of your faculty.

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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.

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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.

 

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The Marathon of the Service Desk: A First Nations Health Authority Co-op Experience

Do you enjoy working with computers? Do you find the idea of solving puzzles to be exhilarating? Do you want to help people get introduced to the world of computers? If so, perhaps a Service Desk Analyst will be a perfect fit for you. Follow SIAT student, Michael Sandrin, in his first occupational adventure: working as a Service Desk Analyst for the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA).

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Defeating My Inner Saboteur – Working with a Learning Disability

I never felt that I was good enough from my early years. I was a child that frequently struggled in school. No matter how much I put my heart and soul into projects or homework, I felt constantly knocked down. So a mix of excitement and dread came over me when I was notified that I was accepted into the Knowledge Network Co-op. Continue to read about how I defeated my inner saboteur and learned to work with a learning disability. 

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The Proverbial Foot in the Door | Part One

Feeling stuck on the outside of the job market looking in? Need experience for a job but a job for experience? Read how one Master of Resource Management candidate made his way out of “the trap”.