Skip to main content
Portrait of Liesl

Liesl Jurock

SFU Co-op Coordinator

empty
a group of SFU students smiling at the camera
Take the initiative to meet new people to expand your network. People often hire an individual based on a recommendation they’ve been given by someone they know. So never overlook people you meet!

“Liesl, I’m freaking out” was the first line of an email I received the other day, followed by two others along the same theme. The authors have one thing in common – they are all graduating with a shiny bachelor’s degree come to the end of April and don’t know where to start their impending search for a job in the “real world.” So, I asked some successful SFU alumni and co-op employers for their take on what grads can do to stand out.

1. Show your Savvyness

“A new grad’s advantage over professionals with years of experience is that they are (or should be) on the pulse of new technology and trends.”

- Priscilla Sharun, Communications Manager, Teekay Corporation and Co-op employer

2. Take Risks

“Even if something sounds like it might be less than what you were hoping for, it will often work into something different and exciting. And no matter what you do, it will ALWAYS be a learning experience.”

- Barbara Livingston, General Manager, Vancouver Bach Choir and Co-op employer

  • In this economy, it doesn’t pay to be picky. You might feel overqualified for a role, but getting experience and contacts is a better way to spend time than sitting at home searching craigslist.

  • Barbara continues: “Sometimes one can’t think too far ahead with regard to a job situation. Sometimes it’s only worth thinking about where you are right now and what you’re learning right now, not where you’ll be in five or ten years. The path can change in a heartbeat.”

  • Consider options you might not have thought of to gain experience – volunteering, internships, and/or going to another city or country.

3. Get Yourself Out There

“Take the initiative to meet new people to expand your network. People often hire an individual based on a recommendation they’ve been given by someone they know. So never overlook people you meet!”

- Monica Hartanto, Senior Communications Specialist, ICBC and SFU alumnus

  • Go out to career-related events to meet professionals in your area of interest

  • Ask for informational interviews with contacts you meet. Offer to take them for coffee, prepare a few questions to understand their career path, and see if they’ll offer feedback on your resume. Follow up with an email thank you and a copy of your resume so they have it on file!

Armed with these great tips, I respond to each of my “freaking out” students with “Don’t panic, I have some ideas…”

About the Author

Portrait of Liesl

Liesl Jurock

SFU Co-op Coordinator

Posts by Author

conversation exchanged between two people
Blog
Some Respect for References

Liesl Jurock is back with more advice - this time on references. She explains that while picking the right references can be tough, it's also important to give them the respect and gratitute they deserve.

You Might Like These... Networking, Professional Development

Handshaking
Peeriodical: Harness the Power of Networking at SFU

In today’s competitive job market, no matter what field or industry you are in, the key to discovering the hidden job market is through networking.  It’s all about “who knows you”.  Networking involves mutually connecting and building a relationship with others at a personal and professional level as sources of information and support.

Working on campus
The 10 Minute Commute – Resources and Useful Information for Working on Campus

Have you ever thought about working in a place that you are familiar with?  Perhaps a Tim Horton’s close by? For many students the idea of working at SFU might be a great option, if you prefer a 10 minute jaunt to work after class or an opportunity to learn more about how a university operates.

a flatlay of a person using an ipad to browse images
Can Blogging Help You Land a Job?

Some job seekers looking for possible ways to edge out competition are using weblogs (or blogs) to create and maintain a positive online presence. Blogging might help you land a job – but before you open a blog, we offer some information about blogging and a few tips on what you can do if blogging intimidates you.

You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections

a girl writing an essay
From Classroom to Cubicle: How My Student Skills Led to Co-op Success

Once you land a job, the skills you’ve learned in your classes make surprising appearances in the workforce. Discover how Rebecca’s ability to navigate university helped her attain co-op success!

Picture of kenny yang working at a computer
4 Tips For Engaging With People

Engaging with your community means first effectively communicating with those around you. Kenny shares some tips on how to do this!

People together
Networking and the Extravert Bias

Being a pretty typical introvert, one of the things that I need to put more effort into than a lot of more outgoing people is building and maintaining new relationships.  Friends, coworkers, other professional contacts, you name it - any new relationship.