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Tiffany Wong

SFU Co-op Student
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication

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Avel Chuklanov on Unsplash
Co-op is an amazing way to learn more about yourself and what you may (or may not) want to pursue in a career post-grad. You not only grow professionally but you also grow so much personally.

If you are anything like me, one reason that you might have applied for Co-op was because of the many success stories that you've read and heard about. You hear all these fabulous stories of students going through their Co-op term and learning that what they chose to do turned out to be their true passion. People tell you how they’ve found their dream jobs and that they now know what they want to be pursuing post-grad. While these stories can be so inspiring and motivating, I have realized that it’s also important to remember that it’s okay to come out of a Co-op term still unsure of what you may want to do. 

Going into my first seeking semester, I had an idea of the kind of role that I would be interested in but still wasn’t exactly sure. I enjoyed using social media and I loved my graphic design classes in school, so I was excited when I landed a position as a Social Media and Graphic Design Intern for a small non-profit. As this was my first Co-op work term, I didn’t have much experience aside from part-time jobs that mostly consisted of retail and customer service roles, and I wasn’t sure what social media and graphic design work would be like in a professional setting. I wondered, would this Co-op term confirm my interests and show me what I would want to pursue post-grad?

What I learned from my first Co-op term.

My first Co-op term taught me so much and I loved it. Everyone I worked with was amazing and the projects that I got to work on were extraordinary. But when it was over, I realized that what I thought I would want to do post-grad might not actually be what I want to pursue. Don’t get me wrong, I love social media and graphic design, but I learned that this work might not be the exact fit for me. I discovered that I actually wanted to further explore the field of communications and see what else there may be. 

Just because you haven’t solidified your career path doesn’t mean you failed.

Co-op is all about the experience. You’ll never know until you try. It’s easy to forget about wonderful experiences and lessons that you have learned along the way when you don’t get the outcomes that you thought you were looking for. Don’t feel let down if you don’t come out of a Co-op term feeling like you have discovered your one true calling. 

Your first Co-op term will teach you a lot. Both about yourself personally and professionally. It is your first step into the working world, so you’re bound to hit a few bumps in the road. Whether you’ve discovered new interests, solidified existing ones, or discovered that you may want to try something new, you have still experienced something totally new and exciting. It’s okay to come out of your first Co-op term without a solid plan of what you want to do post-grad. You tried something new and are a step closer to discovering your future calling!

It’s more than just about learning skills.

Co-op is an amazing way to learn more about yourself and what you may (or may not) want to pursue in a career post-grad. You not only grow professionally but you also grow so much personally. Not only did I gain valuable work experience but I’ve learned so much about myself. Just because you haven’t totally figured it out yet doesn’t mean you won’t. Now when you go search for your next Co-op or post-grad job, you have that perspective with you! You may even end up somewhere that you never expected or imagined. You got this!

man pointing at screen with words "you got this" on flashing on screen
Credit
@bublywater from Giphy

About the Author

Tiffany Wong

SFU Co-op Student
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication

Posts by Author

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Blog
5 Tips I've Learned as Digital Communications Specialist on Video Editing

Video editing can be hard. And while this video won’t turn you into an editing master, it can hopefully provide you with some information to make the job easier. Being a third-year Communication student with a passion for creating, Brianna Tsang shares 5 tips and tricks that she has learned throughout her 8-month Co-op placement with FCAT (Faculty of Communication Arts and Technology) as a Digital Communications Specialist.

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Blog
How to Boss Your First Work Term and Get an Extension

Landing your first work term can be a lengthy and challenging task, but the work doesn’t stop when your get that offer letter. Navigating your first day, and even first term can be tricky. Continue reading to see four tips that helped me make the most of my first work term and helped me turn my 4-month placement into an 8-month one so hopefully, you can too.

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Blog
A Q&A with a Co-op Alumnus

Today we’re talking to Rifayat Raisa, who graduated in April 2021 from the MA Economics program. During her time at SFU she was able to complete a co-op with Policy Reporter as a Research and Reporting Assistant. With this role she was able to break into the health economics industry and is still with the company today. Continue reading to have a look into her experience with co-op and what she’s learned along the way.

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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...

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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.

 

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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

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Moving From Retail to Corporate: Life as an Operational Specialist at Canadian Western Trust

For three years I worked part-time at TD Canada Trust as a customer service representative and eventually a personal banking associate.

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Communication: So You Love Advertising, But Don’t Know How to Get in the Door

With a love for marketing and advertising, Communication student Lilian Sue discovers how to break into the industry and finds great online resources to improve one's creativity skills during her search.

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Why You Should Consider Applying to Co-op Jobs Unrelated to Your Academic Background

Like many other seeking Co-op students, Leslie struggled to find a co-op job that was relevant to her interests. While her friends were all able to eventually land jobs, Leslie started to feel more anxious and insecure about obtaining an opportunity. Here's how she turned the tables and found a job outside of her initial interests.