Skip to main content

Anu Chouhan

OLC Student Writer

empty
Smantha Garcia on the SFU track smiling
A few years ago, I had no idea what I wanted to do after I finished my degree. Now, I feel completely confident as I graduate

Samantha Garcia graduated this past June with a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology, with a Co-op designation for her four Co-op work terms. By participating in the Co-op program, Samantha has been able to work at three diverse placements, allowing her to gain experience in the private and public sectors of her intended career path. Her first two work terms were at Arbutus Manor, a senior’s retirement community owned by Amaca Inc. Her second term was at Fit City for Women, a ladies-only gym, and her final term was at LifeMark Health Inc., a private Canadian physiotherapeutic company.

Samantha spent her first two Co-op terms at Arbutus Manor as a fitness coordinator. Here, she managed five fitness programs a week for the community’s residents, along with two walking groups. She also coordinated trips to various locations to take the residents to, such as the beach or a nearby park. “They are an opportunity for the residents to get out in the community, as well as sneak in a bit of exercise with all the walking we do,” she says. Samantha’s biggest learning curve while working at Arbutus Manor was learning to communicate with seniors, as it required a great deal of patience and understanding.

At Fit City for Women, Samantha was a trainer and receptionist. The working environment was quite fast paced, as she would often meet with new clients and help them train within the same appointment. “It was a learn-as-you-go environment,” Samantha recalls. “It required a lot of quick thinking.”

At LifeMark Health Inc., Samantha worked as a kinesiologist providing exercise therapy treatments for clients, most of whom were suffering from work-related injuries. Here she led daily activities, helping clients recover in a group setting. “This was my most memorable work term placement,” she notes. “This was my first time working with injured people, and that helped me understand just how long the recovery process can be, physically and mentally. I was glad to be trusted and respected by the patients, who treated me like a clinician, not a student.” By working at LifeMark, Samantha was exposed to the ins and outs of the Workers Compensation Board (WCB), which is a big sector for kinesiologists.

In the end, Samantha was able to come out of the Co-op program with a competitive edge, along with a more focused idea of what she would like to do in the future. “A few years ago, I had no idea what I wanted to do after I finished my degree. Now, I feel completely confident as I graduate,” she says. Not only was Samantha able to make many great contacts through Co-op, she was also able to pay for most of her degree through the program, while her part-time employment paid for the rest.

For Samantha, the most valuable benefit from participating in the Co-op program was the chance to develop professionally. “I had great resources at my disposal and Co-op advisors are always there when you need guidance.” She says. “Since there are not very many courses offered on rehabilitation, I was able to learn more about these areas while on the job.”

In early July, Samantha accepted a position at SFU as Recreation Coordinator for Fitness. In the future she intends to find work in a clinical setting and may pursue a physiotherapy masters degree.

“Co-op was such a great experience,” She says. “I wish more students would look beyond the fact that it takes extra time and money, because the experiences gained from it are totally worth it.”

About the Author

Anu Chouhan

OLC Student Writer

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.

 

Smantha Garcia on the SFU track smiling
library_books
Blog
Samantha Garcia: A Co-op Student's Success Story
Co-op Reflections, Professional Development, Career Exploration, Student Success, Workplace Success, SFU Alumni

Samantha Garcia graduated this past June with a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology, with a Co-op designation for her four Co-op work terms. Read all about her experiences here!

Smantha Garcia on the SFU track smiling
library_books
Blog
Samantha Garcia: A Co-op Student's Success Story
Co-op Reflections, Professional Development, Career Exploration, Student Success, Workplace Success, SFU Alumni

Samantha Garcia graduated this past June with a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology, with a Co-op designation for her four Co-op work terms. Read all about her experiences here!

Smantha Garcia on the SFU track smiling
library_books
Blog
Samantha Garcia: A Co-op Student's Success Story
Co-op Reflections, Professional Development, Career Exploration, Student Success, Workplace Success, SFU Alumni

Samantha Garcia graduated this past June with a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology, with a Co-op designation for her four Co-op work terms. Read all about her experiences here!

Smantha Garcia on the SFU track smiling
library_books
Blog
Samantha Garcia: A Co-op Student's Success Story
Co-op Reflections, Professional Development, Career Exploration, Student Success, Workplace Success, SFU Alumni

Samantha Garcia graduated this past June with a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology, with a Co-op designation for her four Co-op work terms. Read all about her experiences here!

Smantha Garcia on the SFU track smiling
library_books
Blog
Samantha Garcia: A Co-op Student's Success Story
Co-op Reflections, Professional Development, Career Exploration, Student Success, Workplace Success, SFU Alumni

Samantha Garcia graduated this past June with a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology, with a Co-op designation for her four Co-op work terms. Read all about her experiences here!

Smantha Garcia on the SFU track smiling
library_books
Blog
Samantha Garcia: A Co-op Student's Success Story
Co-op Reflections, Professional Development, Career Exploration, Student Success, Workplace Success, SFU Alumni

Samantha Garcia graduated this past June with a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology, with a Co-op designation for her four Co-op work terms. Read all about her experiences here!

Smantha Garcia on the SFU track smiling
library_books
Blog
Samantha Garcia: A Co-op Student's Success Story
Co-op Reflections, Professional Development, Career Exploration, Student Success, Workplace Success, SFU Alumni

Samantha Garcia graduated this past June with a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology, with a Co-op designation for her four Co-op work terms. Read all about her experiences here!

You Might Like These... Intercultural Communication

An array of fruits laid out on the ground while a man on the side bends down to pick an apple up
Our Neighbourhood: Gariahat, Kolkata

Martyna provides a quick tour of the neighbourhood where the SFU Health Sciences Co-op Team is living in. From fresh fruit stalls to unusual afternoon traffic, take a look at what the girls have been up to in India. 

Nathan Boey
How Asking Good Questions Can Advance Your Career

As a co-op student with little experience, it sometimes seems like all you are doing is asking questions. That is why it is important to make sure you are asking good questions. What are good questions? They are evidence of your thought process, ability to think outside of the box, and knack for problem solving. Read this article to learn more about what makes a question good, and how to make questions your competitive advantage.

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.