Skip to main content

Christy Liu

SFU Co-op Student
Beedie School of Business › Marketing

empty
A photo of the author
Not only did I expand my portfolio, but also improved the skills I had and gained some new ones.

A year ago, I was full of excitement as I started my first day of work as the Communication and Marketing Assistant for SFU International Co-op at Work Integrated Learning (WIL). The International Co-op program provides opportunities, guidance, and resources for students to gain international work experience. I was looking to apply some of the knowledge and skills I had for marketing, design, and writing. Originally, I only planned to complete one work term at SFU. However, at the end of my four months, I was given the opportunity for another four-month extension. Eventually accepting the extension offer, I must say it was one of the best choices I’ve made, here’s why: 

1. You Can Learn More Skills in an Environment You’re Already Comfortable With

After working for four months at Work Integrated Learning, I had already adapted to the environment and work culture there. I had a good relationship with my supervisor who was flexible and encouraging and had met a lot of my co-op learning objectives from my first work term. After choosing to accept an extension, I was asked to come up with new learning objectives. I indicated that I wanted to improve my video editing, writing, and social media skills. I knew I would be able to achieve some of those more challenging objectives as I didn’t have to worry about adapting to the workplace.

2. You Can Take On Bigger Projects and Add to Your Portfolio

Extending my work term gave me a chance to take on bigger projects. One such project was developing the Country Profiles pages on the International Co-op website. The goal of this project was to organize the many different resources of videos, articles, and photos that highlight International Co-op experiences in the most popular countries amongst students. Through this project, we were able to discover which countries needed more resources developed and also helped encourage students to go on an International Co-op by making it easier for them to find information.

Aside from the Country Profiles project, the highlight of my second work term would have to be the many video interviews I did with SFU students returning from their International Co-op work terms. I interviewed students who worked in China, Spain, Nepal, Korea, and other countries, who shared their experiences working and living in these different places. One video that I worked on was an interview with Erik Bainbridge, a Political Science student who did all four of his co-op work terms in three different positions in China. For Erik’s interview, I put together an OLC article as well as included him in the Co-op China video on YouTube. From putting together the videos, my communication and video editing skills have definitely improved, which are assets to achieving a future career in marketing and design.

3. You Can Build Better Relationships With Your Co-Workers

Aside from the skills and experience, I had more time to develop my relationships with co-workers. Your overall job experience really does depend on the people you work with as my co-workers were one of the main reasons working at SFU was so exciting and memorable. Whenever we worked on our own projects, we would give each other constructive feedback, advice, and encouragement. Spending another term in my position allowed me to go to more work social events and have more meaningful conversations with others. The strong relationships I’ve developed broadened my knowledge and inspired me to become more confident towards my career goals of working in marketing and design.

Overall, I must say that I have grown a lot through my eight-month co-op work term with SFU International Co-op at WIL. Not only did I expand my portfolio, but also improved the skills I had and gained some new ones. In addition, I made valuable connections and friendships with my co-workers that I plan to maintain. Even though extending my work term caused me to fall a bit behind in my studies, I can now make deeper connections between my education and work experience and have more skills and knowledge to offer future employers. If you are considering a work term extension, or if the opportunity comes up, I really encourage you to accept it!   

Beyond the Blog

  • Considering doing an International Co-op? Wander over to the Country Profiles page to see where you could go! 

  • Watch all of the International Co-op videos produced by Christy on the SFU Co-op YouTube Channel and be sure to subscribe! 

About the Author

Christy Liu

SFU Co-op Student
Beedie School of Business › Marketing
Be sure to connect with Christy on LinkedIn by visiting her profile here.
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... During the Work Term, Professional Development, Workplace Success, Workplace Transition, Communication

Co-op coordinator wth student during site visit
Make the Most of Your Co-op Site Visits

Your Co-op Coordinator, supervisor, and you in the same room -- time for a site visit! Co-op site visits are a time for reflection on your work term including what could be improved and what has been great so far.

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.

 

grey paper bag spilling peanuts with the words "pay packet" written on it
Salary and Benefits: What you Need to Know

Calling all job seekers. If salary and benefits are important to you, learn the art of negotiation while discovering what compensation packages include and what to ask when the time comes to negotiate for them.

You Might Like These... During the Work Term

Two women on a zoom meeting looking at a marketing campaign
Joanne Kim: Working in the Cosmetic Industry as a UI Designer

Ever wonder what it would be like to work in the cosmetic industry as a UI/UX Designer? If so, read more about Joanne's co-op experience with Three Ships Beauty!

Man and woman sitting and listening at the Wosc Centre
Paving the Way for Community Engagement

Engaging with our communities provides opportunities to connect, grow, and give back. Jasleen shares how her co-op with the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue lived up to SFU's reputation as Canada's most engaged university. 

The author
How to Write an Awesome Cover Letter

Applying for jobs can seem tedious and through my experiences, I have compiled six tips that can help you improve your results and get noticed!