Your first Co-op experience brings excitement but also the pressure to perform at a high level. Your supervisors may assign you various tasks and responsibilities that test your character. This can seem intimidating, but this is also an opportunity to see what you are made of and develop into a superstar.
In my co-op position, I had the pleasure of working for a non-profit organization on the rise. Being a part of a smaller team meant that my involvement in the organization was instrumental to its growth, and as a result, I had a big role to fill as the Marketing, Communication, and Sales Coordinator. That sounds overwhelming right? At first glance, I agree. However, reflecting on my title now, I believe it brought out my focus and determination to balance these roles. Now, you may be wondering how I did that? Let’s discuss.
This is a term you’ve heard countless amounts of times, but it is essential to your success at any organization. Growing up, I’ve always been the type of person to procrastinate with tasks right up until their deadlines. I changed this poor habit once I realized I wanted to bring immense value to the organizations I was involved in. Using a planner and establishing dates for each task makes life so much easier. Google calendar was my best friend.
Ask For Help
Don’t be afraid to ask your co-workers and supervisors for assistance. Employers don’t expect you to know everything and are always looking to support your success. For example, it may take time to adjust to the language and tone of an organization. Reviewing existing documents and learning from your team can provide you with a solid foundation to produce impactful content.
Develop A Strong Workflow
With any Co-op term, comes many responsibilities and objectives that need to be achieved. Establishing an optimal workflow that organizes and manages your position produces results. During my Co-op experience, this meant identifying the most pressing and important objectives, while working with my supervisor. If you have certain work outcomes that need to be achieved, do external research and the groundwork to put yourself at an advantage. This extra effort goes a long way and leaves a lasting impression on your organization.
Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
This seemed daunting to me before my Co-op experience. But as the work term progressed, I found the courage to do certain tasks which would promote self-growth. As an introvert, calling clients is something I’d normally avoid. However, my team provided amazing support and encouraged my dedication in developing this skill. I would often sit in on co-worker’s calls and slowly take over conversations. My confidence was at an all-time high. Looking back at this experience, I’m truly grateful I took that leap of faith. To put it simply, challenge and believe in yourself.
Co-op is a time for you to learn more about yourself as a professional as well as a person. You can make meaningful connections and thrive under the support of a bright team. I encourage those new to a Co-op to ask your co-workers questions and become the best possible version of yourself.