Skip to main content
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication
Co-operative Education

empty
girl with safety hat, vest, and glasses standing in front of construction site
I’ve learned from this experience that I should have an open mind and say yes to different opportunities. I shouldn’t limit myself to specific industries because I may know more about them or know I will be comfortable.
Just Because You Don’t Know, Doesn’t Mean You Shouldn’t Try

I was determined to find a position during my Co-op search to anywhere I thought was interesting.

When I saw PCL had an opening, I applied, even though I didn’t know anything about construction.

I’ve heard of PCL before and have seen their logo while driving around; that was my extent of construction knowledge. I couldn’t visualize myself in construction, especially in marketing construction. With no experience in construction marketing, I was still intrigued and applied.

A University Girl in The Big Corporate World Sounded Scary

Coming into an office as my first full-time job was already scary enough but coming into an industry that I knew nothing about was worse.

I may not have become a sudden expert in the field, but through perseverance, patience and asking lots of questions, I have started to learn and develop knowledge of how the industry works.

Working in the construction industry is more exciting than you think. It can be like a contest when bidding for projects or applying for awards.

Marketing That Makes You Think Twice About Why Us

Marketing in a construction company isn’t just about social media but also about winning work through proposals. During the proposal process, the marketing team oversees the strategy, planning and execution with written information required in a request for proposals or qualifications. The extra attention to strategy, key messaging, theming, and an easy-to-read proposal ensures that PCL puts its best foot forward to stand out from the competition. I came in at the right time and assisted with one of the must-win requests for qualifications! I was able to dive right in, aiding with reading the content and editing for consistency and grammar, helping with the creative theming, laying out the edited content into InDesign, taking part in the red and gold team review meetings and taking on the final edits before we submitted.

Having This Open Mind with A Positive Attitude Opened New Doors for Me!

I took on a challenge and realized that learning a new industry isn’t so hard or scary. Being a sponge and learning new sectors is a great asset to expanding your knowledge and learning on a steep learning curve. I find this especially important in marketing and communications because we must understand the business to market it.

This position taught me other marketing strategies besides just social media and advertising. This position was unique because I not only worked on a framework for a marketing plan for the BC Region and marketing tasks for the new St. Paul’s Hospital, but I got exposure to other aspects of marketing that I didn’t know existed. Learning about proposals opened my eyes to how construction companies win work. I also learned that I could apply my skillsets to different opportunities I didn’t know were out there.

I’ve learned from this experience that I should have an open mind and say yes to different opportunities. I shouldn’t limit myself to specific industries because I may know more about them or know I will be comfortable. Without this position, I would have missed out on learning many new things about the industry and my career.

SFU Student Undergraduate
Co-operative Education

Posts by Author

Me on the right next to a wall with the text "Communications and Marketing 2200"
Blog
So, You Finished Co-op: A Letter to Myself

As the C&M team has been (lovingly) reminding me, the sand in my hourglass is running out. And be it the sentimental self-reflector in me, I want nothing more than to sit down with my pre-Co-op-self and tell her about all of the spectacular things that are about to come her way.

Me on the right talking with one of my peers about the Burnaby Mountain gondola! I was enthusiastic about the project and engaging with the public.
Blog
What IS public relations? My Co-op experience with SFU Communications and Marketing

“What is public relations?" This question feels as vague as someone asking me what majoring in Communications studies leads to. I admit that I want to pursue a career path in this industry, but I have repeatedly asked myself this question throughout my academics. In my search to find out, my experience working as a Communications Assistant in SFU’s Communications and Marketing office has given me a clearer picture of public relations.

Three people behind a desk writing notes next to a Life Sciences BC billboard
Blog
What I Learned About Personal Values During My First Co-op Work Term

Your Co-op seeking term is full of opportunities. But without an idea of what you’re looking for, it can be overwhelming. As a newcomer to the communications field, I spent my first seeking term sifting through job after job like a deer in headlights, not knowing what to look for and where to look for it. Continue reading to learn how working with a company that shares my values enhanced my co-op experience.

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

Flow field around an F1 car
Maximising Your Learning Experience

Gursher shares with us his experience working for various fields within engineering. Read about his valuable experience in the co-op program! 

Cartoon characters working
How It All Started

Interested in starting a business but don’t know where to start? Don’t know if you can handle it because you’re a student? David has gone through it and succeeded in some ways while failing in others. Learn from his experience in this blog post so you can avoid making the same mistakes.

Two women talking
Learning to Thrive in Discomfort

"Discomfort isn't bad - it's just stepping outside of your comfort zone." From embracing once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, to seeking out constructive feedback, Magali offers ways to survive and succeed in a new work environment.