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Marilyn Brimacombe

SFU Co-op Student
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication

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Open laptop on the centre of wooden table, in between a notebook and pencil, a cell phone, and a cup of coffee
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In an 8 month you really get the hang of the things that you're working on and doing. It's always good to get to the point of feeling super comfortable with a skill!

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”. Going into my first Co-op term that was exactly my thought process, but once my 8-month Co-op was coming to an end, I felt really happy to have been in the position for that length of time. Here are the reasons why an 8-month position should be one of the items on your checklist as you’re on your job search!

1. You get the opportunity to expand your knowledge and experience

In my position, it took about a whole month just to get settled and truly understand the role and my tasks in the position. So, having a 4-month position might even be more like a 3-month position! With 8 months, you have much more time to bask in the role by taking on new tasks and learning new things. In my 8-month Co-op with FCAT at SFU, my key role was to create content and manage their social media challenges. By the end of my Co-op term, I was really comfortable and knowledgeable with doing the steps to create the posts and a posting schedule.

2. You develop a deeper connection with your employer and supervisor

My current supervisor and I developed a really awesome connection, and a big part of that was due to the 8 full months. I was able to connect with my co-workers on a deeper level through regular meetings and working closely together for projects and campaigns. My supervisor and I got to know either other personally on a deeper level, which I feel is valuable in terms of networking and building connections in the industry. Being in an 8- month position gives you a really strong foundation of connections for your future co-op positions or jobs.

3. You have the chance to learn new skills through new tasks/opportunities that come up

During the second 4 months I got to experience completely different opportunities and tasks that I never even got to do in the first 4 months. I got to plan and strategize completely different campaigns and work with people that I never got to work with in the first term. Again, in my Co-op with FCAT at SFU, I had the opportunity to work for SFU Publishing once a week and build their social media strategy from the ground up (something that was NOT a part of my job description). Since I started helping the Publishing Program out during the second half of my Co-op, I never would have been able to do if it was only a 4-month Co-op! Moreover, you’d have the chance to take advantage of the time you have in the position and learn new skills and experience things that you want to have on your resume. For me, being able to help SFU Publishing build their social media strategy from the ground up allowed me to add that experience and skill to my resume.

In conclusion, in an 8 month term you really get the hang of the things that you're working on and doing. It's always good to get to the point of feeling super comfortable with a skill! My 8-month Co-op ended up being a huge point of entry to the Communications field for me, and I couldn’t recommend doing an 8-month over a 4-month Co-op enough. Throughout the 8 months, I was able to learn so many new skills and experience new opportunities that I never expected I would get!

About the Author

Marilyn Brimacombe

SFU Co-op Student
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication
Connect with Marilyn on LinkedIn

Posts by Author

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Did your Co-op Term Confirm your Career Path? It’s Okay If It Didn’t.

If you are anything like me, one reason that you might have applied for Co-op was because of the many success stories that you've read and heard about. While these stories can be so inspiring and motivating, I have realized that it’s also important to remember that it’s okay to come out of a Co-op term still unsure of what you may want to do. Continue reading to learn about what I learned after my first Co-op work term.

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Imposter Syndrome and Finding My Confidence With Co-op

Michael joined SFU’s Co-op program during his first year and quickly realized one thing as he began the job search process: projecting confidence and composure are key to showing your best points and skills. Continue reading to learn more about how Michael dealt with imposter syndrome and found his confidence with Co-op. 

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Is your career portfolio feeling a little outdated? Tune in to a local makeover phenomenon that's taking the job market by storm: SFU Co-op. Communication Major Jessica Doherty knows first hand what co-op can do for building confidence, contacts, and a killer resume. Read on to follow her on her journey from drab to high profile.

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In her third year as a Communication major, Sheena Rupani returns home to Mumbai, India and proves that an SFU student has what it takes to compete on the international marketing scene. In a setting where high stakes rely on time management and clear cross-cultural communication, this international co-op celebrity takes self-directed study to the next level.

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3 Reasons to Consider an 8-Month Co-op
Working, Co-op Reflections, Professional Associations, Professional Development, Workplace Success

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. 

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Innovation and government might not be two words that one usually expects to find in the same sentence. Toren's experience proves this idea wrong. Toren describes his experience working as a Co-op student for the Federal Government.

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My Transition to Toronto: A Guide for Students Going Away for Co-op

Planning upfront saves you from last minute hustles. This article will prepare you for co-op in a city outside Vancouver where new opportunities and variable threats are waiting.

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My Journey With TaLK: Bumpy and Uncertain Beginnings

The TaLK program offers an incredible opportunity to live and work in Korea as an english teacher to a group of Korean speaking elementary school students. One SFU student is currently teaching in Korea, and shares her experience with us.