Skip to main content
Applied Sciences › Engineering Science › Electronics Engineering
SFU Co-op Student

Karen Ly-Ma
Take the time to find out what you love to do and what is most suited for you.

Sometimes just taking a step outside of your comfort zone and embracing the unfamiliar is all it takes to find a truly worthwhile and rewarding experience. For me, that was a step into my co-op.

I am nearing the end of my second term at LMI Technologies in the Hardware Engineering department. After completing four terms of co-op, I can wholeheartedly say co-op has been one of the most worthwhile and rewarding experiences of my degree. Stepping away from all your peers and professors and into the work field can seem quite intimidating but it is definitely an opportunity that is worth taking.  Here are 3 reasons why co-op is worthwhile!

1. You Get to See the Path You Are Headed in After Graduation

Co-op allows you to gain experience in a variety of fields. Essentially you get a peek at what your future career will look like. You will learn what you excel in, what you can improve in and whether you are headed on the right career path.

I am studying Electronics Engineering and working at LMI has definitely helped to expand my background in Hardware and Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA). I have had the opportunity to design a few printed circuit boards and cable drawings that have been produced and integrated into larger board designs. One of the most satisfying aspects about work is knowing that your assignments do have an impact on projects that other teams are working on. At school you receive a letter grade when you complete a project, but at work you actually get to see how your project contributes to creating a final product.

2. You Get to See the Practical Side of What You Learn in School

In Engineering Science, many of the Electronic courses I have taken are heavily theory based. Several times, I have wondered to myself "When will I ever use that theorem again?" or "What is so fundamental about this concept?"

When working at LMI, I realized that these theories and concepts are very useful and handy when troubleshooting printed circuit boards or when analyzing schematic designs. Co-op really allows you to see the conceptual side of your studies being put into practical use and applied to everyday work.

3. You Get to Network With People That Share Your Passion

Co-op allows you to meet and work with professionals in your field of studies. It may seem intimidating to start at a company and to not know a single person, but this helps to prepare you for your job after graduation.

After working at LMI for two terms, I have had the opportunity to work with and be mentored by many wonderful people who share the same interest and goals. I have gained more confidence and have a better insight on how to adapt well into a work environment. When doing a co-op that relates to your field of studies, you will naturally tend to meet others with similar interests, passion and drive.

This co-op has really given me a better vision on the career path I want to follow and the goals I want to achieve. Take the time to find out what you love to do and what is most suited for you. To be able to truly do what you love, you must know what you love, and you can only know what you love if you go out of your way and search for it.

SFU Co-op Student
Connect with Karen on LinkedIn.
visibility  112
Sep 9, 2015

You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections, Professional Development, Career Exploration, Seeking, Work Term Extension

author, courtney, smiling
A Second Term in Government: More of the Same?

Having completed my first work term for Health Canada as a Communications Officer Intern, I was eager to try something new, and the government was not where I believed that was going to happen. That is until I was offered a position at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada...

picture of glichelle pondering a though
Surviving Workplace Politics

Ever been peeved with workplace politics? Have you ever been a victim of office politics? One student shares her experiences from the workplace with tips on how to survive.

 

person with their head in a book
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.

 

You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections

white desk with open laptop, computer mouse, phone, notebook, and plant
Non-Profit, Start-Up or Corporate: What's Right for You?

Co-op can be an overwhelming process. You are entering a trial adult experience where you look for and apply for jobs. But what do you do when you are scrolling through the long list of job postings and a wave of companies and organizations blind your eyes? Continue reading to learn about Carissa's experience working for a variety of industries. 

Image of the Author during the Internship
It’s Part of My DNA: An Interview with Amber Funk Barton

An interview with the artistic director of a contemporary dance company. Brittany speaks to Amber about her upcoming solo work, past work and background in dance, thoughts on opportunities for emerging dancers, and more!  

Person Holding Prosthetic Arm
How My Personal Projects Landed Me a Research Co-op Helping Others

Find out how Sohail's personal interests helped him land a Co-op opportunity at Texas Instruments Launchpads!