Skip to main content

Christopher Pun

SFU Co-op Student
Beedie School of Business › Management Information Systems

Christopher Pun standing next to a "WorkSafe BC" banner
Demonstrating an openness to receiving feedback and the ability to communicate it can help foster an environment of openness, where the employer and employee feel comfortable discussing anything work related without feeling hesitant or judged.

As university students, we all have likely encountered some form of feedback – either positive or negative; either on the receiving end or while handing out feedback to someone. Like many of my peers, I have given feedback in group projects or team assignments. At the same time, I have also received an abundance of feedback in group projects and team settings. Giving constructive feedback, and receiving it are both important skills and ones that can be challenging. 

I am currently completing my third co-op work term and what I have learnt from working over these few months is how important feedback can be and the pivotal role it plays in professional growth. Additionally, feedback helps foster professional relationships, which I will discuss in detail below.  

Prior to working any co-op terms, I was accustomed to giving feedback to group members and receiving it from my peer or my professors for a project or an assignment. However, feedback we exchanged was not specific to skills, but rather to the work, project, or assignment at hand. For this reason, I did not know what to do with the feedback in terms of applying it beyond the specific task or assignment. But how was I going to use this feedback in a manner that would help me in the long term? This was a daunting question, but what I failed to realize at the time was that my ability to exchange feedback constructively was improving, albeit slowly. 

Christopher and his colleagues at his desk

In my past co-op placements, I had weekly or bi-weekly one-on-one meetings with my supervisor or manager. This provided us with an opportunity to comment on each other’s work, discuss concerns, and reflect on one’s overall progress. In my first co-op for instance, I received feedback from my manager who said that I should be more confident in my decisions. This stuck with me, so much so, that I wrote this down on a piece of paper to as a reminder to myself. This was important to me because it was one of the first few times that I had received feedback on a skill of mine, and not on a specific task or assignment. 

Feedback can be positive, corrective, or developmental. Depending on the type of feedback, it can sometimes be difficult to hear and digest. Sharing feedback, however, is important as it sheds light on “blind spots” about ourselves that we might miss in ever day life. While it is easier to handle positive feedback, a critical view of you or your work can be a bit hard to accept. However, it is important to keep in mind the good intentions of the person giving such corrective or developmental feedback. Ultimately, managers and/or supervisors want to help you learn and grow and prepare you for the next step in your career path. If you are unclear about feedback you receive from them, do not be afraid to ask for further clarification or examples.

Further, reflect on the feedback received and leverage it to develop tactics or strategies that effectively address the concerns raised. What worked well for me was writing, reviewing, and reflecting on this feedback to develop strategies. For this example, one of the strategies I used was to document my decision process and write notes to support my decision. 

Feedback, for most individuals, is a two-way street where the person giving the feedback may also be the one receiving it. Communicating it can be challenging and like any skill, requires practice to get it right. Not only do you have to factor in how you communicate it, but you also have to take into account other considerations such as who your audience is, and the purpose of your feedback. Take the time to thoroughly review the individual’s work and write down notes that you think might be helpful to the person you are providing feedback to. Do not limit your feedback to the task or assignment but try and provide feedback on a skill, and suggest ways to improve that skill and remember to be clear, concise, and specific.  

Christopher and his colleagues taking picture outside his office

Building connections is one of the most important benefits of a co-op placement; building trusting relationships can open the door to countless opportunities. At the heart of most healthy relationships is trust. Personally, I have found feedback to be helpful in building this trust with my colleagues and peer. Demonstrating an openness to receiving feedback and the ability to communicate it can help foster an environment of openness, where the employer and employee feel comfortable discussing anything work related without feeling hesitant or judged.

Completing nearly three co-op work terms has taught me many practical life and professional lessons’ and one of the most important of these lessons was staying open to feedback. At the same time, I believe I have improved my ability to provide it as well, but this is an area I am constantly looking to improve.

Knowing the importance of critical feedback has empowered me to seek out opportunities that allow me to be critiqued and in turn, give me the opportunity to give feedback to others as well. I encourage others to do the same because at the end of the day, feedback is a two-way street that benefits us by highlighting our true strengths and weaknesses that we may not be able to identify on our own.

Beyond the Blog

  • Learn more about opportunities like Christopher's by visiting the Beedie Business Co-op homepage. 

About the Author

Christopher Pun

SFU Co-op Student
Beedie School of Business › Management Information Systems
Connect with Christopher 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.


Christopher Pun standing next to a "WorkSafe BC" banner
The Art of Giving (and Receiving) Feedback
Co-op Reflections, Career Exploration, Workplace Success, During the Work Term

Beedie Business student, Christopher Pun shares what he's learned about the art of giving and receiving feedback in the workplace. 

You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections

Cartoon characters working
How It All Started

Interested in starting a business but don’t know where to start? Don’t know if you can handle it because you’re a student? David has gone through it and succeeded in some ways while failing in others. Learn from his experience in this blog post so you can avoid making the same mistakes.

birds eye view flatlay of a person's work station
The Tables Have Turned

During the lightning round Natalie was shortlisted for a third job interview and was ultimately offered a co-op job! She reflects on her latest interview experience and shares some very important insights you should know to succeed at your next job interview.

person looking through binoculars
5 Tips on Seeking Your Next Co-op

Seeking semesters can be difficult; especially in a pandemic. Samuel, a Business co-op student, experienced this difficulty while searching for their position as a Product Strategy Intern with SAP. Although emotionally turbulent, Samuel was able to persist through their seeking semester and experienced a number of learning opportunities that has shaped their perception on job seeking. Read Samuel's 5 Tips for Seeking Your Next Co-op to learn how to make the best out of your seeking semester.