Skip to main content

Jeanette LeBlanc

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

empty
London
I was most grateful for my basic office skills gained through my co-op experience. My confidence in this allowed me to focus on other business differences at hand such as a different paper sizing system and their differences in spelling to Canadian English.

As a co-op alumnus, I continue to utilize skills I learnt throughout co-op while searching for work and in the workplace. Most recently, my skills were tested in London, England!

It all started with a friendly conversation, a yearning to travel, a scrap napkin and a draft budget. In small steps, anything is possible, and I knew I could make the move happen. With a degree under my belt and completion of the co-op program I felt equipped to experience a job search in London and see what working there would be like.

As a hub of internationalism, London is vast with opportunity and adventure. I wanted to experience it all and had a year to find it! But first, I needed to find a job.

My research skills were useful for this because job search resources were all new and different there. The opportunities were overwhelming, so I searched for some networking opportunities to find direction and narrow my search. I attended a Network Canada event, where many successful Canadian alumni meet in London throughout the year. From this, I met a few new friends and was referred to a temp agency to get some income while looking for something more permanent.

Whether it’s a temporary assignment or the beginning of a new permanent job, the first day can be an overwhelming one – even more so in a foreign city. I allowed myself ample time for arrival, but added an extra hour in London because the transport system can be highly unpredictable! First impressions of my first London office experience varied from bad coffee to large open floor plans where employees worked in close proximity to each, and the fortunate experience of meeting unforgettably entertaining characters.

I was most grateful for my basic office skills gained through my co-op experience. My confidence in this allowed me to focus on other business differences at hand such as a different paper sizing system and their differences in spelling to Canadian English.

I quickly learned to “mind the gap”, both in the underground railway and in the office, and felt extremely independent as a result of the experience. I later found a company that hired me on permanently for the remainder of my visa, which was gratifying.

It was a life altering experience – about more than just working abroad but also learning about yourself out of your comfort zone. Co-op helped prepare me for some of those challenges.

About the Author

Jeanette LeBlanc

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

You Might Like These... Preparing for a Work Term, Seeking, Prospective, Professional Development, Personal Development, Job Search

person sitting beside a gold lamp, writing something down in their journal
What Learning Objectives Can Do For You

A successful Co-op work term can involve many factors, one of which is developing and working towards meeting your learning objectives. Developing a learning objective helps you to think about what you want to accomplish during your upcoming work term and begin developing a plan for how you’ll achieve success.

Kamil on the phone, looking at the camera
Survival Guide 101: Keys to Office Survival

Welcome to Office Life 101. A wealth of friendly advice for the first time or inexperienced co-op student, and some advice as to what is required of you to not only survive, but to flourish in an office environment.

student leaning on a bannister smiling
Work Safe, Work Healthy

Workplace safety is a critical topic for new workers. This article contains useful information on Occupational Health and Safety regulations in BC, and important tips on how to stay safe and healthy in an office environment.

London
library_books
Blog
Minding the Gaps While Working Abroad
Preparing for a Work Term, International, Career Exploration, SFU Alumni

'Please mind the gap'. To those who have visited England's transportation system these words of caution are heard throughout the day. But for Co-op alumnus Jeanette LeBlanc, the words took on new meaning while working in London during her year-long adventure.

London
library_books
Blog
Minding the Gaps While Working Abroad
Preparing for a Work Term, International, Career Exploration, SFU Alumni

'Please mind the gap'. To those who have visited England's transportation system these words of caution are heard throughout the day. But for Co-op alumnus Jeanette LeBlanc, the words took on new meaning while working in London during her year-long adventure.

You Might Like These... Preparing for a Work Term

out of focus image of a binder and man in the background with the tagline: .... first week on the job?
What To Do: Your First Week On the Job

You’ve applied for the job, gone through the interview, been selected, and now you’re ready to begin your first week on the job! But are you? Read John's tips on how to prepare for your first weeks on the job!

Departures
Your 101 Guide on Working Out-of Province

While it is difficult to secure a co-op or internship placement in today’s declining job market, out-of-province work experience is even harder to come by. If you are going to relocate soon or are thinking about doing an out-of-province co-op or internship, here are some must-know tips and information to help you make the transition smoothly and successfully!

Students in formal attire
10 Must-Have Clothing Items for Work

Putting together a wardrobe of work-friendly options can be intimidating, especially if your a student or recent grad with a limited budget. Elizabeth provides 10 must-have items to transform your closet without going broke.