Excited, motivated, anxious, and nervous (just to name a few)- these are the initial feelings I experienced before beginning my first SFU Co-op work term at a shared information services consortium called BCNET.
Curious about the transition to my new role of Communications Coordinator during my first week? Well, thankfully that went as smooth as I ever could have imagined. With the help of the amazing and supportive management and staff at BCNET, along with vital training from the previous Co-op student, my transition was one that I will certainly never forget.
The following are five key tips that not only helped me succeed within my first week, but fundamental tips that I will certainly use as guidance for future jobs.
1. Rest and Relax
The first week will include being swamped with an information overload, so it’s best that you come and remain as well rested as possible. This can be tough, especially with extracurricular activities and commitments outside of work, but try to minimize other events for the week so your main focus can be on the company. Being rested and relaxed at the workplace will allow you to maximize your learning potential, while minimizing the stress of a tired mind and body.
2. Take Notes
During my first week, my notebook may have been the most important tangible product I owned- seriously. Working within an Information Technology company, there is no shortage of new technologies and programs to learn. Having my notebook along the way helped the transition greatly and allowed me to reference back to my notes in case I was ever stuck.
3. Ask Questions
Besides having my notebook with me, this was the most important thing I did during my training. Asking questions during my first week (and I asked a lot of them) was important in expanding my knowledge. Some will certainly shy away from questions during the first week but believe me, your supervisor(s) will really appreciate it as it shows them an eagerness to learn, leading to the ability to succeed.
4. Learn the Environment
For my work term, the office was located in downtown Vancouver, just a stone's throw away from Waterfront Station. This was a new experience as I have always lived and worked outside of the city. Learning the surrounding environment was key for myself; having the ability to know the office space, surrounding area, places to eat, etc, made the work term a whole lot more comfortable and enjoyable.
5. Have Fun and Enjoy the Ride
An SFU Co-op work term can be a nice break from classes, both mentally and financially, so make sure you enjoy every minute of it! Throughout my work term I was able to meet many professionals from various companies and institutions that we worked with. It was great to be able to network with my colleagues and have a chance to have fun and chat about things outside of work.
With a Co-op work term extension, my ride with BCNET isn’t quite over. Until then, I’ll enjoy it as much as possible!