Skip to main content
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication
SFU Co-op Student

empty
Man sitting on a chair smiling at camera
Masood Abdinejad, a Master of Economics Co-op student
"My tip to [international] students is to stay resilient and positive. Try to avoid comparing yourself to other students and focus on what *you* are doing instead. Everyone has different experiences so just focus on yourself."

Today we’re talking with Masood Abdinejad, a master of economics student in his second year, who’s currently completing a co-op work term at Natural Resources Canada. Learn about his co-op experience as an international student working in a federal government role - a rare opportunity!

Q1: Tell us a bit about yourself

Originally from Iran, I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Fluid Mechanical Engineering and my master’s degree in Economics before coming to SFU.

Q2: What was your experience applying for jobs?

I was constantly applying to jobs. I was concerned at one point that I wouldn’t secure a work term, but focused on staying optimistic and eventually was fortunate enough to land a position with NR Can.

Q3. Q3. What were you looking most forward to in a co-op position before you started?

As an international student, my primary goal was to gain Canadian work experience. Coming from another country, I knew I had to improve my communication skills here in Canada, and that would be important to my success, especially when speaking with native English speakers. This co-op has allowed me to gain more self-confidence in my communication skills, and I feel much more comfortable speaking to others and asking questions if needed.

Q4: What advice would you give to other international students who are currently applying to co-op positions?

My tip to these students would be for them to stay resilient and positive. Try to avoid comparing yourself to other students and focus on what *you* are doing instead. Just because you don’t get an offer doesn’t mean you’re not intelligent, or talented or worthy. It's tough, but try not to think too much about what is beyond your control. While you may be able to control how much work and effort you put into an interview or cover letter, you ultimately can’t control who they will hire or if a job may go through. Everyone has different experiences so just focus on yourself.

Q5: Is there a big difference between the Canadian culture versus your home country? How has it been working here in Canada?

There is definitely a difference between here and my home country. It is interesting to see the range of nationalities of people that I work with. There are many people from different countries here. I’m not treated as if I am just an international student which is nice. My colleagues are all very supportive and it feels like I’ve known them forever. 

SFU Student Undergraduate
SFU Co-op Student

Posts by Author

Elvis standing in front of Simon Fraser University holding a camera
Blog
How to Optimize Workflow and Develop Excellent Time Management

My role as a Communications Assistant has it’s ups and downs especially during busy seasons of the school year where many events run consecutively one after the other. Time management and efficiency are nothing new for us students because we constantly must meet deadlines and make sure we balance work with school

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.

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

Pink carnations coming out of a manila envelope
Letters to Myself: My Co-op Journey

Co-op can be an exciting, rewarding, and terrifying experience. Sometimes, we wish we could tell things to our past self, get advice from our future self or just reflect on how far we've come. In this blog, Katie writes letters to her past, present, and future selves about her co-op journey and the progress she's made. 

Photo of Anna Wolff
Finding That Work Culture Fit

Before hitting submit on that job posting, you may be asking yourself: “Would I blend well with the culture and dynamic of this organization?” For Anna, this question was the ultimatum that steered her away from pursuing a more structured marketing position. Instead, she accepted an opportunity with Silverstring Media. Here, she found her niche creating illustrations for independent media that strongly aligned with her own values and beliefs.

image of laptop with social media screen open
How to Succeed as a Social Media Coordinator

Imagine you get paid to create multiple *twooshes* a day, curate funny gifs, browse Instagram, post awesome pictures and share on Facebook. Yes, being a Social Media Coordinator is very fun, but one must not neglect these four important points to be one.