Working in many different Co-op positions can be analogous with sampling everything at an all you can eat buffet. You see some things that really catch your eye, and some things you know you absolutely won’t like. But the fact of the matter is, you probably won’t know exactly what every single dish will taste like until you opt in to trying it. With Co-op, it’s much the same – you probably have an idea of what you want to do, but trying something entirely new might surprise you and pique your interest for future career options.
Andrea explains. through experience. how to make the most out of your Co-op opportunities to further your personal and professional development. Be brave, and don't be afraid to try something new!
1. Assess the situation
Take a look at your options and see what’s offered. You don’t want to stick with the same old stuff that you would normally go for. Make sure to leave some room to try new things!
2. Don’t rush in the beginning
"Grab the bull by the horns" they say. You might feel tempted to dive in and get started as soon as you can but… it’s better to take it slow and get settled in. Don't be afraid to ask all the questions you need to build a stronger understanding of your role.
3. Try a little bit of everything at first
We can all admit to sampling a little bit of everything as we go down the line. Well, your first internship will be similar to this process! Once you find out what you’re passionate about, you will have a better idea of the type of career or industry you would like to work in.
4. Freedom to choose what and how much you want out of it
Just like a buffet, internships give you the opportunity to explore what you like and what you don’t like. To get the most out of this experience, ask for projects in subjects that you would like to explore.
5. Multiple rounds are completely okay
Do as many internships that you possibly can! You won't be satisfied by doing just one (trust me). Much like the appetizer, entree and dessert section, there are different types of professional fields that you should consider trying! You never know what will suit you best until you try it.
6. You might have too much on your plate...
There will be times where we can get ahead of ourselves. You don’t want to be that person who piles it high and is unable to finish what they started. The key to any successful internship is to pace yourself! Taking on what you can handle will help you in the long run.
7. Leave feeling like it was worth it
On your way out you should be full of knowledge, experience and an extended network. Don't just flush everything you had done down the toilet... be sure to reflect on your experience to gain insight!