With a passion for soccer fueling past journalism work for the likes of Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Mike Lazar recounts his sudden transition to Co-Op by referring to himself as an athlete in the third person.
Accumulating over 80 credits and completing three quarters of a degree usually rules out any potential opportunity for students to be selected for Co-op, unless you ask Mike Lazar how he beat the odds.
Last year, few would have imagined that the SFU Communication major and aspiring journalist would now be featuring in the roster of IT Services at SFU to bolster the squad in the technical writing position.
Plenty of writing experience proved invaluable to the 25-year-old’s eventual selection. Ongoing contribution to the sports section of “The Peak” newspaper at SFU and reporting at ForzaItalianFootball.com added onto Lazar’s past internship with Vancouver Whitecaps FC as a club correspondent.
Although, the Port Coquitlam native recounted how one crucial email notification granted him the unexpected opportunity to apply for late admittance to Co-op and break away from working outdoors to kick start his career.
“I thought that my shot to break into the Co-op program was long gone,” the student told Communique blog.
“I knew Co-op would’ve given me that valuable hands-on experience in the field.”
Thrilled upon his eventual acceptance, Lazar soon found himself involved in numerous negotiations with other managers across the lower mainland during his search for a new job placement.
Things turned out better late than never, as the Communication undergrad finally put pen to paper on transfer deadline day of his first seeking term. Selection after the very last interview with SFU’s IT Services Director meant he could finally begin plying his writing trade to help reinforce the department in their documentation strategies.
Although, the aspiring writer admitted that his adjustment to the new outfit required plenty more time and training.
“I knew I could write, but I knew very little about the industry itself, so I needed to harness this chance to listen and learn about the many facets within the world of IT Services.
“The coaching and technical staff here at the Strand Hall grounds have been terrific, they’ve given me plenty of good tips and resources to improve my skillset.”
Lazar admits that there was some pressure to make an impact as the first ever technical writer with IT Services, but lauded his head coach Sandeep Sidhu for making sure the transition was a smooth one.
“Right from the beginning she made sure that I could integrate well with the team and make any necessary contributions to our cause,” he added.
“She assigned me tasks that really furthered my development in this role, but also encouraged me to make full use of the training facilities provided such as Lynda.com (editor's note: Lynda.com is now LinkedIn Learning) I was sure to come up with questions for my teammates as well, since their experience and knowledge of the field was crucial to improving my performances.”
Now onto his second consecutive work term in SFU’s lineup, Lazar urged his fellow aspiring Co-op hopefuls to also make the most of their time with a new placement.
“If you step outside your comfort zone, socialize with your team, and get involved, you’ll grow a lot from the experience and enjoy the opportunity.”