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Ria Multani

SFU Student Undergraduate
Arts + Social Sciences › Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies | Arts + Social Sciences
Co-operative Education › Local Co-op

Location:
As a Communications Assistant at the ISC, Ria handles all social media platforms, creating content for students, relaying information to students and faculty members, collaborating with departmental heads, and editing the bi-weekly newsletter. While at the ISC, Ria has learned to grow into a position she was weary about and open up to new possibilities that come her way.
Experience Details
Semester
Fall
Spring
Summer
Year
2022
During my Experience
Learning and Adaptation

I have been with the Indigenous Student Centre (ISC) from Spring 2022 - Fall 2022 term. I work as a Communications Assistant, which means handling all social media platforms, the bi-weekly newsletter, creating content, and connecting with students and staff.


Going into my first term with the ISC, I didn’t have much experience in communication, and what is required of this role, only that I would be working with social media. I have used different media platforms and was able to create mediocre graphic designs, but I wasn’t sure how this would work for this role. I also hadn’t worked in a professional setting before, as most of my part-time jobs were in the service industry, so this role was daunting. It made me wonder, am I fit for this position? Can I grow in a fast paced environment? How would I take feedback and ask for support? I applied for this position, having little experience and as a GSWS major, I was stunned. However, I soon realised that co-op is a place to learn and grow, and with the help of the amazing staff here, I was able to transition rather
smoothly.

Accomplishments and Challenges

I’ve tackled on many projects/collaborations since being here, for instance, starting a TikTok account for the ISC and create relatable content for students to engage with, Staff Sundays, connecting with the SFU Communications and Marketing team, filming videos for the Indigenous Market and Red Dress Day, and collaborating with Health and Counselling co-op students. While I continue to receive support from fellow co-op students and feedback from the team, I have also done research on my own to ensure I am creating content that is helpful and marketable to students and staff.

Working with the ISC for two terms, now heading into my third term and I can confidently say that the growth I’ve seen in myself is exceptional! I am very content with how well I’ve been able to manage working on different patterns, meeting tight deadlines, running meetings, and overall taking on a leadership role. I often look back at the work I did at the beginning of the term, and notice how awkward and shy I was about my graphic designs, interacting with team members, and partaking in meetings. However, the growth is gradual, and with every month I’ve spent at the ISC, I’ve noticed how amazing my work has become, and that will only continue to grow!

Going into my 3rd work term with the ISC, I am excited to expand my role and take on more responsibilities. I want to be able to initiate engagement with a wider audience of students, collaborate with new departments, continue to try new marketing tactics, and grow my relationships with each of my team members. I’ve noticed how certain skills I had to offer, such as managing multiple projects at once, organising meetings and events, and working on a tight deadline, have improved significantly! Therefore, I want to take the time in my Fall 2022 term to work on new parts of myself and skills that haven’t grown as much as I would like!

Reflection & Tips
Reflection

As I said previously, I didn’t know what I would gain from this position, nor did I have a background in communications, but the skills and relationships I’ve built here made me realise that it takes time to grow and learn. The feeling was overwhelming when I realised I would work in a professional setting and collaborate with many departments - I didn’t know where to start. But the support I’ve received has definitely given me space to make mistakes and grow from them, something I didn’t know I would get the space to do. With that being said, growth is also terrifying, especially when it’s happening at all once, from all directions. I didn’t know how to catch up with the different tasks and responsibilities I was given, and it was overwhelming at times. However, the ISC is big on taking breaks, stepping back, and asking for help, and this message allowed me to open up to them. I’m not keen on asking for guidance, and still find it difficult to do so, but it was the environment I was surrounded in that helped me get out of my shell. I understand some folks don’t have the privilege to seek support, or feel uncomfortable doing so, however this allows us to identify what a good work environment is supposed to look like, and the expectations you should have. Being in this space has made me aware of how I should treat my team and vice versa. It is truly a privilege to work with these folks and have them support my growth and learning.

Advice for Future Students

The skills I’ve learned in this position have grown my confidence significantly! I never thought I would be outgoing enough to conduct meetings, or take initiation in projects/collaborations. This has been a struggle of mine since high school, and while I still find myself holding back in certain situations, I’ve found that I am growing to work with the environment I am put in and connect with folks without overthinking. But, it's okay to fall back and feel defeated, because the fact that you recognize these feelings shows that you are already moving forward.

Never be afraid to ask for support/feedback. I understand, I’m just another person repeating this phrase to you. But, I doubt I would have been as confident and productive as I am without the help of my supervisor and team members. They have truly brought out the best of my abilities and worked with me in improving skills I wanted to continue to grow, and embrace the ones I am creating. Their critical and thoughtful feedback also allowed me to identify what directions I should take, and how the ISC wanted to brand themselves. Our organisation is based on community, so being able to connect with students and Indigenous staff has made me realise how I should present the ISC and how their vision should be carried out.

Lastly, don’t stop expanding on the skills you have taken from your co-op position. Once I am done with my work term, I know what I want to carry/expand on, and ensure I find organisations that support this. My co-op term has also made me recognize how vast the world of marketing and communication is, and has opened my eyes to potential opportunities within this field of work.

I hope my experiences with the ISC supports you!

Author

Ria Multani

SFU Student Undergraduate
Arts + Social Sciences › Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies | Arts + Social Sciences
Co-operative Education › Local Co-op
visibility  165
Sep 8, 2022