Skip to main content

Shina Kaur

SFU Co-op Student
Arts + Social Sciences

empty
Shina Kaur
Communication encompasses everything else!

When I first heard the title of my future co-op job, I was confused as to what it meant and how exactly someone could be successful in it. After four months, I can say I still might not fully understand the impact of my role, but I do know how I can do it successfully. I am the Engagement Programming Assistant (EPA) for the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) here at Simon Fraser University. I can break down the role into three different parts: empowerment, transition, and communication. Empowerment involves the Peer Connections Mentorship Program and the 56 mentors that are a part of the program. Transition is about their mentees better known as the incoming first year students at SFU. Communication encompasses everything else!

Empowerment

As the EPA, I have 56 students, some 3rd and 4th year, mostly 2nd year students who are committed to making a difference within FASS and SFU. They are mentors, taking time out of their day to help another student that needs it. I get to coordinate them and empower them. Through one on one meetings or back and forth emailing, my tasks include providing support where it is needed. Whether that means changing their availability for a volunteer event or helping someone figure out their priorities for the term. The biggest event with mentor participation this summer has been FASS Camps. This three-day camp was an introduction to SFU for incoming first year students. Over 55 students registered and over 30 mentors volunteered for all three days and as the EPA I was coordinating all of them. Making and revising the morning and afternoon mentor schedule for each day with updates was a daily task. During the camp, I was ensuring the mentors were facilitating conversation among all the participants and the students felt comfortable throughout the three days. The feedback from them highlighted that the event was a hit. Multiple hand-written comments were about the mentors, how amazing they were, and how they added to the overall friendly environment that existed in FASS camps.

Transition

The mentors exist because there are students that need them. As the EPA, I am working to integrate the new (international and domestic) students into FASS through the mentors. Helping students transition into university life and doing what I can to help them have a successful first year. That includes having mentors be knowledgeable about all the resources offered at SFU and knowing what to suggest when a student asks for help. As well as ongoing connection with the students and being willing to reach out if they don’t, to check in and see how their semester is going. Since these are all tasks I cannot do alone, it is my responsibility to ensure my mentors know to do these things with their mentees and help ease their transition.

Communication: The Everything Else!

As the EPA, communication is a vital part of this role to separate all the different programs I am helping coordinate and ensuring their success. In addition to the peer mentors, we have Peer Educators, the Departmental Student Unions, and Social Media marketing. Peer Educators help facilitate the FASS FAM’s, the DSU’s are responsible for student engagement within their departments, and I control the social media updates on fass.engage Instagram and Facebook pages.

This engagement role would not be complete without the EPA’s willingness to transition, empower and communicate within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. All of this was the summer semester, I can’t wait to see what fall will bring.

Beyond the Blog

  • Shina Kaur Oct 22, 2018
    Like to recommend this item
    visibility  14

About the Author

Shina Kaur

SFU Co-op Student
Arts + Social Sciences
Connect with Shina on LinkedIn!

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.

 

Shina Kaur
library_books
Blog
What Does It Mean to Be a Engagement Program Assistant?
Co-op Reflections, Communication, Professional Development, Community Engagement, Academic Success

What does an Engagement Program Assistant do? In this blogpost, Shina shares with us what it means to empower the students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the importance of communication! 

Shina Kaur
library_books
Blog
What Does It Mean to Be a Engagement Program Assistant?
Co-op Reflections, Communication, Professional Development, Community Engagement, Academic Success

What does an Engagement Program Assistant do? In this blogpost, Shina shares with us what it means to empower the students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the importance of communication! 

You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections

A woman in a suit talking to a man
What Happens When You "Don't Want to Bother Your Boss" with Questions?

“Should I ask my boss what to do, or am I being annoying and asking them too many questions?” Leo emphasizes the importance of establishing a clear line of communication with your supervisor and not being afraid to ask for clarification.

A picture of Olivia Chan
How My Student Club Involvement Scored Me My First Co-op- Recruiter Perspective

Joining a student club is an excellent way to develop transferable skills! Olivia shares how her campus involvement not only helped with skill development and securing a co-op position, it eased the transition and helped differentiate Olivia from her peers. In her own words: "If you want to be one step closer to finding your dream co-op, I suggest starting with community involvement!"

Image of a Chinese building
Adventures in China with CIBT

Each semester, the International Co-op office posts a multitude of Co-op jobs for students looking to have a unique, some would say life-changing, experience by going to work outside of Canada. Many of the positions open to students from all faculties are for English instructors. Find out more about Ben's experience teaching English in China...