Skip to main content
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication
SFU Co-op Student

empty
Man sitting on a chair smiling at camera
Masood Abdinejad, a Master of Economics Co-op student
"My tip to [international] students is to stay resilient and positive. Try to avoid comparing yourself to other students and focus on what *you* are doing instead. Everyone has different experiences so just focus on yourself."

Today we’re talking with Masood Abdinejad, a master of economics student in his second year, who’s currently completing a co-op work term at Natural Resources Canada. Learn about his co-op experience as an international student working in a federal government role - a rare opportunity!

Q1: Tell us a bit about yourself

Originally from Iran, I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Fluid Mechanical Engineering and my master’s degree in Economics before coming to SFU.

Q2: What was your experience applying for jobs?

I was constantly applying to jobs. I was concerned at one point that I wouldn’t secure a work term, but focused on staying optimistic and eventually was fortunate enough to land a position with NR Can.

Q3. Q3. What were you looking most forward to in a co-op position before you started?

As an international student, my primary goal was to gain Canadian work experience. Coming from another country, I knew I had to improve my communication skills here in Canada, and that would be important to my success, especially when speaking with native English speakers. This co-op has allowed me to gain more self-confidence in my communication skills, and I feel much more comfortable speaking to others and asking questions if needed.

Q4: What advice would you give to other international students who are currently applying to co-op positions?

My tip to these students would be for them to stay resilient and positive. Try to avoid comparing yourself to other students and focus on what *you* are doing instead. Just because you don’t get an offer doesn’t mean you’re not intelligent, or talented or worthy. It's tough, but try not to think too much about what is beyond your control. While you may be able to control how much work and effort you put into an interview or cover letter, you ultimately can’t control who they will hire or if a job may go through. Everyone has different experiences so just focus on yourself.

Q5: Is there a big difference between the Canadian culture versus your home country? How has it been working here in Canada?

There is definitely a difference between here and my home country. It is interesting to see the range of nationalities of people that I work with. There are many people from different countries here. I’m not treated as if I am just an international student which is nice. My colleagues are all very supportive and it feels like I’ve known them forever. 

SFU Student Undergraduate
SFU Co-op Student

Posts by Author

Me on the right talking with one of my peers about the Burnaby Mountain gondola! I was enthusiastic about the project and engaging with the public.
Blog
What IS public relations? My Co-op experience with SFU Communications and Marketing

“What is public relations?" This question feels as vague as someone asking me what majoring in Communications studies leads to. I admit that I want to pursue a career path in this industry, but I have repeatedly asked myself this question throughout my academics. In my search to find out, my experience working as a Communications Assistant in SFU’s Communications and Marketing office has given me a clearer picture of public relations.

Three people behind a desk writing notes next to a Life Sciences BC billboard
Blog
What I Learned About Personal Values During My First Co-op Work Term

Your Co-op seeking term is full of opportunities. But without an idea of what you’re looking for, it can be overwhelming. As a newcomer to the communications field, I spent my first seeking term sifting through job after job like a deer in headlights, not knowing what to look for and where to look for it. Continue reading to learn how working with a company that shares my values enhanced my co-op experience.

man sitting at office desk holding dog
Blog
Why Co-op is the Most Important Thing You Can Do as an International Student

Being an international student from Bangladesh, I always felt that I did not have the necessary network to succeed in the Canadian workforce even though I feel strongly about my ability to work hard and grow. I felt anxious when looking at my peers who have been working in a job since the age of 16 whereas I was just getting started. This is when I was introduced to SFU Co-op. 

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... International

picture of mount fuji in the distance
Co-op in Japan: Traversing Cultures

After finishing two co-op semesters in Canada, Health Sciences student Samantha Lui wanted to take things farther and ventured off to Japan for eight months as a Research Assistant with the Kao Corporation. Find out how she successfully transitioned into a new environment whilst exploring every part of this exciting country.     

A youth sports club
The Pros & Cons of Working for a Small Non-Profit

Ever wondered what working for a non-profit is like? Further, have you ever wondered what working for an extremely small non-profit is like?In her article, Marisa describes what it was like to work at a youth sports-oriented non-profit where she collaborated with a small team of only three, and lists both the pros and cons of non-profit work.