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Life Experience

life experiences

The following authors provide an alternative perspective to academic and professional challenges, as they encompass a range of invaluable experiences that contribute to self-growth and understanding. You will see how gaining life experience can happen through travelling, learning about different cultures and ways of life, and overcoming challenges with the self, community, or society as a whole.

George standing outside, next to a British Columbia sign
Blog
Interview with an Arts Co-op Student: Advice to Future Students

Meet George Gayed, a Political Science student minoring in international studies with a concentration of international security and conflict. In this quick Q&A, George discusses his work in his different positions, goes over highlights and the most valuable things he has learned.

Liam standing with a notebook and a construction uniform
Blog
A Technical Writer’s Guide to the Galaxy

In the sentences that follow, you will learn five very, very important tips that, if heeded, will prepare you for a career in technical writing. If these tips don’t quite have the effect I’m suggesting, it’s not my fault–you probably did something wrong.

Ditij sitting at his desk
Blog
Opportunities are what you Make of it - An Interview with an Economics Student

Meet Ditij Beladiya, a student completing an Honours undergraduate degree with a Major in Economics, Concentration in Economic Data Analytics and Minor in Political Science. In this quick Q&A, Ditij shares about his co-op experience. Read about his interview, his day to day tasks and what he has learned.

Fatima standing in front of mountains
Blog
WHERE Are They Now: An Interview with a Former Master's Co-op Student

Many times, our co-op students graduate from our program, and use these experiences in future positions. Today, we will be interviewing a former student of ours, Fatima Sajid to see where she is now after graduation. Read about how her onboarding processes went, the skills she learnt and how her employers helped her develop said skills.

Calendar with pinned dates
Blog
Expect the Unexpected with Event Planning

I’ve learned to expect the unexpected in the field of communications, but this semester, that was taken to the next level, as event planning became the focus. While most days were fairly regular office hours, I did once spend the weekend as a guide and mic runner for a research summit. Another time, I got to attend a free class in voguing!

Oliver, next to a computer with work on his desk
Blog
Captain’s log: a Co-op Students Guide to Navigating Their First Work Term

If you’re reading this, you’re most likely in the same shoes as I was, fresh out of an academic term and excited but anxious about your upcoming Communication Co-op placement. The question lingering in your head at this very moment is probably “what is this Co-op student rambling about, and can he just cut to the point?”. Well my dear reader, in this final entry of my Captain’s log, I will be going over my transformation from a bumbling Co-op student to a full-fledged Marketing Coordinator and give tips on how you too can navigate through your first work term.

Girl looking into the screen sobbing
Blog
Interview Tips from an Extremely Anxious Cry Baby

I made such great progress throughout the years that Little Nadya would definitely be in awe (and in worry because she’ll need to go through all those interviews). So, how did I do it? It wasn’t easy or comfortable, but that’s how you progress. Here are my tips for overcoming, or at least coping, with extreme interview anxiety.

A wall with a bunch of paintings containing people.
Blog
Employer Feature: An Interview with BC Society of Transition Houses’ Executive Director

Meet Amy S. FitzGerald, the Executive Director at BC Society of Transition Houses (BCSTH). In this quick Q&A, Amy discusses how co-op students adapted to the position, resources the organization provided and tips for future employers and students.

An overview of the city of Coquitlam at nighttime
Blog
Employer Feature: An Interview with City of Coquitlam's Director of Corporate Planning

Meet Graham Stuart, the Director of Corporate Planning at the City of Coquitlam. In this quick Q&A, Graham discusses the process of hiring an intern, the rewards and tips for employers hoping to hire a student.

Nicole standing next to construction material while wearing a construction uniform
Blog
Fish out of Water: Finding my Place in the World of Construction

There is a certain level of confidence you surround yourself with when going into your second work term. Suddenly, you’re not junior anymore and you have some legitimate experience on your belt. That experience can be used as almost a protective shield when going back into the workforce, especially when there’s a new element introduced. It’s no longer remote.

A laptop on a desk with a site containing different scenic images
Blog
What did I do to Extinguish my Co-op Nerves?

This was it. I finished writing my resumes, successfully passed the interview process, and accepted the job offer with cheers of joy. I told my mother with a large grin on my face, but in the midst of my excitement, my smile slightly lowered, and a wave of nervousness washed over me.

Balloons floating in the sky
Blog
How my First Co-op Position Inspired me to Dream

As an undergraduate student who decided to switch my degree from Psychology to Communication on a whim, I was very nervous about my future career path, especially since I felt like I was the only person that had no big dreams in life. Therefore, I decided to apply to Co-op to start piecing together my goals and ambitions.

Laptop on a desk with hands typing on the keys
Blog
The Art of the Start-Up: Wearing Many Hats

I came into it wanting to learn as much as I could. Somehow, I learned more than I thought I would, including about the changeable nature of start-ups. I’ll always be grateful for the flexible work environment that allowed me to gain experience in things I never dreamed of doing.

Sarah Rain
Blog
Indigenous Studies Alumnus Sarah Rain's Journey of Self- Discovery

As a single mom, providing her young daughter with a bright future motivated Sarah Rain to work towards her degree, while also navigating the challenges of work, life, and parenthood.

desktop computer on a wooden desk with plants in the background
Blog
8 Keys to Master the Art of a Hybrid Co-op

So, you've just started your first hybrid Co-op term and you have no idea what to expect or how to navigate a hybrid model of work within the corporate sector. Things may seem a little overwhelming! Here is the good news - there are 8 keys that I have picked up through my own trials and tribulations in a hybrid Co-op term.

Photo of Ashley Kyne
Blog
Advocating for Lasting Change in The Community

Recent graduate, Ashley Kyne, won the Lieutenant Governor General Medal of Inclusion, Democracy and Reconciliation for her advocacy and community service. She reflects on her experiences and learnings during her undergraduate degree, including her work in challenging colonial narratives on and beyond campus. 

Neon lights on a window reading "What is your story?"
Blog
Finding My Story Through Creative Writing

OLC Content Creator, Luis Arce Diaz, shares how the lessons he learned though his Creative Writing courses helped him not only to become a better writer, but to find his own story through exposure to different perspectives on life and writing.

A group of people having a work meeting
Blog
Learning How to Confidently Navigate the Professional World

Nathan shares his key insights during his Co-op experience including the importance of confidence and asking good questions in order to explore new possibilities.

Desk
Blog
Accessible Online Content

Going all digital seemed like the best thing with COVID-19, but for people with access needs that have long been ignored, this past year’s transition to online work and life reflects how accessibility considerations are often an afterthought.

SFU's Academic Quadrangle (AQ) and Reflecting Pond
Blog
5 Things I’ve Learned at SFU

Amrita looks back at her time as a Communication student and shares some tips for incoming students

A group of students laughing together at a coffee shop with their laptops on the table
Blog
Immersing Yourself at SFU

The existence of student-led clubs, unions, and organizations on campus are often taken for granted. Joining such clubs or groups though, can benefit you more than you may realize.

Photo of Angela Vannatter
Blog
Student’s Experience at Careers in Communications

As this year comes to a close and many of you are finishing up your degree, the looming question of “What are you going to do after school?” becomes more real than ever. Angela is here to answer some questions on how she managed to shape her beyond-grad experience.

People riding a rollercoaster
Blog
Overcoming Self Doubt and the Roller Coaster of Getting a Job

Actuarial Science and Statistics student, Dylan McCartney, shares his experience with the ups and downs of job applications and learning as you go.

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