Skip to main content

Zahara

SFU Student
Arts + Social Sciences

empty
Parliament Buildings National Historic Site of Canada
Parliament Buildings National Historic Site of Canada
My experience within the world of business reminds me daily that I should always keep an open mind because I know if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have experienced either of the work terms I have now completed

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to do a co-op workterm away from home? This term I had the opportunity to do a co-op term at Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) in Ottawa. It all started with a dream of working in another province, followed by applications, interviews and finally a call from HR at ALU offering me a Business co-op position. Excitement filled every inch of my body when I heard the amazing news! Next, there came the logistic of moving away from home and since this was my first time leaving my family, I had many things I had to take into consideration: accommodation, transportation, meal planning, laundry and making new friends. I think the biggest challenge was packing the things I would need for four months into one suitcase, especially knowing that Ottawa had extremely cold winters. Luckily finding accommodation close to work was easy, thanks to help from my co-op advisor.

Everything worked out better than I could have ever imagined and the home sick feeling I had when I arrived disappeared within a few weeks as I was able to settle into my new environment rather quickly. I stayed with a wonderful couple and three other roommates that always kept me company. Their constant presence definitely helped contribute to making my adjustment of living away from home much easier.

As a Program and Operations Coordinator, my responsibilities at work included preparing PDF courseware and the rest of the necessary documents for candidates enrolled in ALU University. I also completed large auditing tasks, editing activities and updated database content regularly. All in all, it was a very rewarding workterm because I got to expand my technical skills, as well as learn new tools to help me stay efficient and organized.

As a General Studies major, I thought that my co-op opportunities would be limited to the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. However, to my surprise, I have successfully obtained and completed two Business Co-op positions. My experience within the world of business reminds me daily that I should always keep an open mind because I know if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have experienced either of the workterms I have now completed. So to anyone considering a co-op away from home, I say go for it! It is a unique, life changing opportunity and a good way to enter the workforce and gain valuable life and work skills.

    About the Author

    Zahara

    SFU Student
    Arts + Social Sciences
    General Studies student 
    Jien Hilario photo
    What’s in a Name? Coming to Terms With Labelling Myself as a Person With a Disability

    If you were to see Jien on campus, you wouldn’t know that she had a disability. She does not use a wheelchair nor does she have a seeing eye dog. She has an invisible disability. In this article, Jien shares her journey on how she came to terms with labeling herself as a person with a disability. 

    Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere
    Why Doesn’t Canada Have a Disabilities Act?

    It is 2018 and Canada has not yet implemented adequate protection and legislation for people with disabilities. When it comes to equality for all, Canada is falling far behind. In this article, Jien discusses the research and reality of why Canada needs a Disabilities Act.

    We Can Do It!
    How to Satisfy Your Inner Activist

    When people think about social justice, they think of things like protests or hunger strikes, but the options don’t end there. These volunteer organizations can help you satisfy your inner activist.

    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

    Hilda Martin Kasyanju Co-op Reflections
    3 Myths About Working in the Technology Industry Out of Town

    Working in a technological industry as a non-tech student is much more exciting as you might have thought of it. Hilda shares her experience and debunks three myths about this niche.

    Mimi Tsai Portrait
    Research and Design: Reflection and Learning with the City of Surrey

    Mimi's co-op as a UX Designer at the City of Surrey provided opportunities to improve user experience by creating digital solutions for city services through user-centered design. Read her story, here. 

    Three women in negotiations
    After the Work Term Ends: 6 Tips for Turning that Co-op Position into a Part Time Job

    The end of a Co-op work term doesn't necessarily mean the end of your relationship with the organiziation you had been working for. Jaclyn found a way to turn her Co-op opportunity, a 8 month Co-op at FISPAN, into a part time gig when she went back to school to finish her degree. Read on to learn how she pitched her new role and position to the company she'd done a Co-op work term with.