Skip to main content

Zahara

SFU Student
Arts + Social Sciences

empty
Parliament Buildings National Historic Site of Canada
Parliament Buildings National Historic Site of Canada
My experience within the world of business reminds me daily that I should always keep an open mind because I know if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have experienced either of the work terms I have now completed

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to do a co-op workterm away from home? This term I had the opportunity to do a co-op term at Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) in Ottawa. It all started with a dream of working in another province, followed by applications, interviews and finally a call from HR at ALU offering me a Business co-op position. Excitement filled every inch of my body when I heard the amazing news! Next, there came the logistic of moving away from home and since this was my first time leaving my family, I had many things I had to take into consideration: accommodation, transportation, meal planning, laundry and making new friends. I think the biggest challenge was packing the things I would need for four months into one suitcase, especially knowing that Ottawa had extremely cold winters. Luckily finding accommodation close to work was easy, thanks to help from my co-op advisor.

Everything worked out better than I could have ever imagined and the home sick feeling I had when I arrived disappeared within a few weeks as I was able to settle into my new environment rather quickly. I stayed with a wonderful couple and three other roommates that always kept me company. Their constant presence definitely helped contribute to making my adjustment of living away from home much easier.

As a Program and Operations Coordinator, my responsibilities at work included preparing PDF courseware and the rest of the necessary documents for candidates enrolled in ALU University. I also completed large auditing tasks, editing activities and updated database content regularly. All in all, it was a very rewarding workterm because I got to expand my technical skills, as well as learn new tools to help me stay efficient and organized.

As a General Studies major, I thought that my co-op opportunities would be limited to the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. However, to my surprise, I have successfully obtained and completed two Business Co-op positions. My experience within the world of business reminds me daily that I should always keep an open mind because I know if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have experienced either of the workterms I have now completed. So to anyone considering a co-op away from home, I say go for it! It is a unique, life changing opportunity and a good way to enter the workforce and gain valuable life and work skills.

    • Zahara Nov 25, 2015
      Like to recommend this item
      visibility  9

    About the Author

    Zahara

    SFU Student
    Arts + Social Sciences
    General Studies student 

    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.

     

    Parliament Buildings National Historic Site of Canada
    library_books
    Blog
    Alcatel-Lucent University
    Co-op Reflections, Career Exploration, Working, Professional Development, Student Success

    General Studies student Zahra did her co-op in Ottawa in a business role.  She shares about her duties as a Program Coordinator. This article was originally published in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Summer 2012 newsletter.

    You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections

    Little Ghanaian girl holding a little plant, a sign that reads "Improving the Earth"
    Helping the Environment

    Neil Nunn, a third year Geography student specializing in environmental studies is passionate about environmental, developmental and social justice issues. In this article, the second of a series, Neil discusses the issue of deforestation and shares his co-op adventures at a community school in Ghana.

    A surfer on the beach near Tofino
    Fishing for Experience

    Spend your summer in one of the most vibrant and popular tourist destinations in BC! Make a difference in the operation and performance of a small company, and grow your entrepreneurial skillset in a meaningful way by working for WardoWest in Tofino. 

    team of people working together on a project from a birds eye view
    5 Reasons To Accept a Co-op Work Term Extension

    Communication Co-op student Kit Crowe gives you 5 good reasons why you should accept that co-op work term extension.