In the process of searching for a Co-op job, you may be thinking “an 8-month co-op seems so long, so a 4-month position is probably the way to go”. Going into my first Co-op term that was exactly my thought process, but once my 8-month Co-op was coming to an end, I felt really happy to have been in the position for that length of time. Here are the reasons why an 8-month position should be one of the items on your checklist as you’re on your job search!
In my position, it took about a whole month just to get settled and truly understand the role and my tasks in the position. So, having a 4-month position might even be more like a 3-month position! With 8 months, you have much more time to bask in the role by taking on new tasks and learning new things. In my 8-month Co-op with FCAT at SFU, my key role was to create content and manage their social media challenges. By the end of my Co-op term, I was really comfortable and knowledgeable with doing the steps to create the posts and a posting schedule.
My current supervisor and I developed a really awesome connection, and a big part of that was due to the 8 full months. I was able to connect with my co-workers on a deeper level through regular meetings and working closely together for projects and campaigns. My supervisor and I got to know either other personally on a deeper level, which I feel is valuable in terms of networking and building connections in the industry. Being in an 8- month position gives you a really strong foundation of connections for your future co-op positions or jobs.
During the second 4 months I got to experience completely different opportunities and tasks that I never even got to do in the first 4 months. I got to plan and strategize completely different campaigns and work with people that I never got to work with in the first term. Again, in my Co-op with FCAT at SFU, I had the opportunity to work for SFU Publishing once a week and build their social media strategy from the ground up (something that was NOT a part of my job description). Since I started helping the Publishing Program out during the second half of my Co-op, I never would have been able to do if it was only a 4-month Co-op! Moreover, you’d have the chance to take advantage of the time you have in the position and learn new skills and experience things that you want to have on your resume. For me, being able to help SFU Publishing build their social media strategy from the ground up allowed me to add that experience and skill to my resume.
In conclusion, in an 8 month term you really get the hang of the things that you're working on and doing. It's always good to get to the point of feeling super comfortable with a skill! My 8-month Co-op ended up being a huge point of entry to the Communications field for me, and I couldn’t recommend doing an 8-month over a 4-month Co-op enough. Throughout the 8 months, I was able to learn so many new skills and experience new opportunities that I never expected I would get!
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