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Tell us a bit about your background. What program are you in?

I have a bachelor's and master’s in Public Administration and I'm currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Political Science.

What made you realize that your co-op position was a great fit for you?

With a keen interest in working in the public sector, I focused my co-op search on finding a placement in a public service agency. Thankfully, I was offered a position at the Ministry of Health in the Province of British Columbia, which was the perfect fit for my career aspirations. Moreover, the team I joined was involved in a data analysis project that required skills and experience I had gained in a previous job in my home country, Bangladesh. Given my passion for public service and relevant background, it became clear that this co-op position was an ideal opportunity for me.

What was the workplace culture like?

During my co-op job, I felt like an integral part of the team, rather than a mere newcomer. My team's strong emphasis on social engagement was a key aspect of my experience, as we frequently organized events and spent time together outside of work.

What did the employer do to help you feel comfortable in your position?

My colleagues were incredibly approachable, and I never hesitated to ask them questions whenever I needed assistance. I was encouraged to share my opinions and ideas on various matters, and my input was even solicited on occasion. Overall, I felt like an active participant in the team and was grateful for the welcoming and collaborative environment that helped me succeed in my role.

You had a pretty unique experience where out of nowhere, you were asked to come to Victoria for your co-op experience. Can you tell us more about that and how your experience in Victoria ended up being?

When I received my job offer, I was informed that I would be required to work in-office at least three days a week, with limited option for remote work. At first, this requirement was daunting, as I had just settled into life in Vancouver and was unsure how to relocate to a new city. Thankfully, my co-op coordinator Brandy Welles helped me to adjust my mindset and consider moving to Victoria, which turned out to be the best decision I could have made. I arrived in Victoria during the summer, when the city is arguably at its most scenic, and eventually overcame any difficulties I faced in relocating. Looking back, I know that if I had not made the move, I would have missed out on a truly incredible opportunity.

Seeing how you being open minded and willing to travel to Victoria led to a great experience, what advice would you give students when it comes to being open minded?

In my own experience, I've found that being open-minded can lead to unexpected opportunities that might otherwise be missed. In my case not moving to Victoria would have meant missing out on a valuable opportunity to work in the public sector. Looking back, I am grateful for having been open to this different path, as it allowed me to gain a valuable experience that I would not have otherwise had in my life.

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