Skip to main content
Communication Co-op Student

Article Banner
A smaller company like mine can offer many opportunities that you might not find in a larger corporation.

When I first started seeking, like many of you, I imagined myself working for big, well-known companies. I often ignored job postings that I thought wouldn’t look glamorous enough on a resume. I would also refuse to apply for jobs where the pay wasn’t as great as I wanted it to be. I focused a lot on wage, the company name and its location, since I wanted to work downtown.

It wasn’t until I began to work at a startup company, Periphery Digital, a digital marketing and public relations company, that I realized the skills and experiences I was collecting would be what mattered most. A smaller company like mine can offer many opportunities that you might not find in a larger corporation.

Less People = More Responsibilities Per Person

Something that I noticed right away was that every single person in the company carried a great amount of weight. Start-up companies often have smaller teams so they allocate more responsibilities to each individual. I was hired by Periphery Digital as a Project Manager (PM), trained for two weeks, then started doing some basic PM tasks. As someone who had very limited experience other than retail, I was very fortunate to have gotten a position this advanced right from the start, especially in a new industry for me. As cliché as it sounds, it was a perfect sink-or-swim situation. I learned the fastest by “throwing myself in the deep end of the pool”. For example, I had to learn about not only the general structure of the industry, but also what the process and time frame of each real estate project looks like in order for me to properly schedule and manage each task. It was a huge learning curve, but I am sure I took on more responsibility faster than if I had been in an entry level job at a larger company.

Lots of Freedom

While I was training to become a PM, I took an interest in Community Management with an event the company was organizing called Chopstick Fest: Vancouver’s First Chinese Food Festival. My duties with Chopstick Fest were entirely different from the projects I had been managing with real estate clients. I would have never had this freedom of jumping into an entirely different department and managing multiple projects simultaneously if it weren’t for the start-up environment I was in. I was given a lot of freedom in what I wanted to learn and what projects or tasks I could take on throughout the duration of my co-op work term.

Communication

Something that thoroughly impressed me is the time everyone took to communicate with one another. I had the chance to ask questions, voice my concerns and challenge how things were done. This was not only allowed but encouraged. Beyond that, I also had one-on-one meetings with my supervisor every week to talk about feedback on my work while also getting a general projection of what my tasks were for the next week.

These are just my personal experiences and opinions from working at a start-up company. Keep in mind that finding a friendly, supportive work environment has a lot to do with the company itself, your co-workers and supervisors.

Sadly, as I am writing this blog post, it’s one of the last days of my co-op work term. My experience working at Periphery Digital was like nothing I ever imagined. I learned so much from everyone in the company – their friendliness and support definitely made me a better employee. I wish everyone the best on their co-op work terms and hope my perspective can help you out when you are seeking for your next co-op job.

Communication Co-op Student
visibility  82
Feb 3, 2017

You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections, Professional Development, Career Exploration, Seeking, Work Term Extension

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...

picture of glichelle pondering a though
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.

 

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.

 

You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections

Nancy and the children in their class smiling
Beyond Comfort: My Co-op in Korea with TaLK

Nancy applied as an English instructor in South Korea with the intention of just adding another bulletpoint to their resume. However, the experiences they have gained from teaching and living abroad has made their co-op so much more meaningful than what can be written on paper.  Read Nancy's story to learn more about Teach and Learn in Korea. 

Rock climbing woman
Tanya's Kinesiology Co-op: Take Two

After completing co-op work terms with two different employers Tanya wanted to address some of the challenges she has experienced during their time in co-op, and she hopes to help other students who may be facing similar problems in their own work terms. Tanya's two co-op terms lead to two very different co-op experiences. In this two-part post, she shares the differences between them, and what she learned from them.

Claire and her students
Heat in Catalonia: Lessons from International Co-op

A student desperately wanting to have class outside suggested we put the decision to a vote. An overwhelming amount of hands went up for having class in the sun and I paused to think about how I could adjust my lesson plan without a chalkboard. The students saw my hesitation and said, “but Claire, don’t you believe in our right to have a democracy?”. This was when I knew I would learn a lot more than just how to teach, from my international co-op term in Catalonia.