Skip to main content
SFU Co-op Student

empty
Picture of Adam Kingsmith, an SFU student interviewed by the author about his internship in El Salvador.
Developing work makes you resourceful, you have to work with what you have.

Everyday, the media informs us of new global issues arising in different parts of the world. We think about how troubling the situation is for a little while and then go on with the rest of our day. In most cases, this is where the story ends.

As students, we have an opportunity to pick up the story and take part in brainstorming ideas, implementing changes, making improvements, and making an impact. How? By going on an exchange.

Last spring, SFU student Adam Kingsmith took the chance to travel to El Salvador. During his international internship, Kingsmith worked with C-INNOVA to restructure one of the county’s most important industries, the balsam crop.

“My job was to use all the resources at my disposal to discover why balsam yields are continuing to decrease every year. The local Salvadorian farmers and exporters are not making any money off of the price and demand increases.”

His internship was made possible through AIESEC— the largest student-run organization in the world, which regularly offers internship opportunities across the globe ranging from 6 weeks to 18 months. Kingsmith’s developmental work was one of four different types of internships offered by AIESEC: Management, Technical, Educational, and Developmental.

“Developing work makes you resourceful, you have to work with what you have because the cavalry is never really over the next ridge, it makes you savvy because you have to be careful who to trust and managed to situations that you put yourself in, and it makes you outgoing because you are the one on the ground working with the little guys in order to solve the big problems.”

Since returning, his research has been used as the foundation for a massive fundraising initiative. As a result, fifty balsam-harvesting communities now have the means necessary to sustainably increase their annual yields.

To hear more life-changing stories from exchange participants like Kingsmith and learn about how you can make a difference by going abroad, attend AIESEC SFU’s Exchange Night happening on Tuesday October 4th, 2011 at 5:30pm in MBC 2290.

SFU Co-op Student

You Might Like These... Prospective, Professional Development, Career Exploration

Co-op students jumping in the air
The Co-op Connection Helps Retention

In this blog post, Heather shares with us why co-op is an important experience for all students, whether it be to further career aspirations or to gain future employment opportunities. 

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...

Working on campus
The 10 Minute Commute – Resources and Useful Information for Working on Campus

Have you ever thought about working in a place that you are familiar with?  Perhaps a Tim Horton’s close by? For many students the idea of working at SFU might be a great option, if you prefer a 10 minute jaunt to work after class or an opportunity to learn more about how a university operates.

You Might Like These... Career Exploration

A man dressed as Batman
How To Be More Like Batman

As much as you may hear otherwise, you're not special. If you're like 99% of people, you don't have any superpowers. You're not going to change the world in any significant way. Sure, you've got strengths, and you'll probably help lots of people, but you're not going to single-handedly save the world.

You're not Superman. You're not Spiderman. But here are five ways you channel Batman in your own career development.

Puneet
Learning by Doing: How Co-op Puts Theory Into Practice

Puneet Sran shares her experience from her most recent co-op with Verathon: "As someone who never imagined being an engineer, I have been extremely fortunate to work in such a technical field, among highly intelligent individuals". 

image of PWC building
SFU Co-op Secures International Roles for BBA Duo

Two Beedie undergraduate students, Luming Zhao and Xiwen Zheng, successfully secured full-time roles at the prestigious PwC Shanghai office after completing their co-op work terms there. Read to learn more about their experience, how they did it, and how you can too! This article was previously published in SFU News on June 8, 2015.