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Co-operative Education

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How to Leverage Linked-In to Make Connections and Gain Experience

In university, it is important for students to initiate connections with individuals around them to make the best of their opportunities. However, networking is hard and is not taught as a skill.  Networking is something that must be practiced to be perfected. Luckily, there are tools that make it easier for individuals to connect with others, which leads to greater opportunities in their careers. The main tool used by individuals to connect with other industry professionals is LinkedIn. This platform is an amazing tool to use when leveraged correctly. With a few clicks, users can connect with individuals working in industries they want to work in. This can help create positive connections and opportunities. Although this tool is extremely powerful, a lot of individuals do not know how to use it to maximize its benefits. By following a few simple steps, students would be able to use the tool better and increase their reach and exposure to other industry professionals.

Update Your Profile and Gain Skills

Most LinkedIn profiles created are not continuously updated and may contain outdated information that does not reflect a student’s current situation. By keeping information updated on profiles, viewers will get the sense that these students are actively searching for jobs and opportunities. SFU offers students a great resource named LinkedIn Guys that helps students struggling with their profiles by giving them tips on how to enhance their profiles and how to make a great impression on Linked-In. Furthermore, by actively using a feature on LinkedIn named LinkedIn Learning, students can quickly learn new and relevant skills. These skills will give them an advantage over other pools of candidates and make their profile look more appealing to recruiters and future connections.

Find Mutual Connections

Once students update their profile and utilize resources provided by SFU and LinkedIn, making connections will become second nature. Students can find mutual connections by using the filters that LinkedIn automatically provides. Filtering profiles of where individuals went to university, their current working situation and what industry they are pursuing makes it easy to create conversation. For example, by applying the filters ‘Simon Fraser University (SFU)’ and ‘Communications’, students would be able to view individuals that have graduated from SFU and are currently working in the field of communications. From there, a student who goes to SFU and is trying to become a professional in communications could send a connection request recognizing their similarities and complimenting their work. Once the student connects, they could continue the conversation further, which may lead to greater opportunities. For example, asking to engage in a conversation over coffee to ask them a few questions on their journey or even offering their services to gain more experience.

LinkedIn is a powerful tool when used correctly. From making connections to gaining skills, the platform has enabled students to get ahead on their career paths. There are also a number of resources at SFU to help students explore their career journey. SFU Career and Volunteer Services offers a number of workshops and programs that can help students get started. Through taking these few steps and initiatives to improve individuals LinkedIn profiles, gaining experience and making connections will become effortless.

SFU Student Undergraduate
Co-operative Education

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Annelyse standing in front of a window
Interview with an Arts Co-op Student: How a Policy Intern Position Improves your Writing

Meet Annelyse Ross, a Political Science and Social Data Analytics Co-op student. In this quick Q&A, Annelyse shares about her co-op experience. Read about how she discusses how she determines if a position is a good fit for her, what she did in her Policy Intern position and even how she got to travel as part of her position.

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Expect the Unexpected with Event Planning

I’ve learned to expect the unexpected in the field of communications, but this semester, that was taken to the next level, as event planning became the focus. While most days were fairly regular office hours, I did once spend the weekend as a guide and mic runner for a research summit. Another time, I got to attend a free class in voguing!

Oliver, next to a computer with work on his desk
Captain’s log: a Co-op Students Guide to Navigating Their First Work Term

If you’re reading this, you’re most likely in the same shoes as I was, fresh out of an academic term and excited but anxious about your upcoming Communication Co-op placement. The question lingering in your head at this very moment is probably “what is this Co-op student rambling about, and can he just cut to the point?”. Well my dear reader, in this final entry of my Captain’s log, I will be going over my transformation from a bumbling Co-op student to a full-fledged Marketing Coordinator and give tips on how you too can navigate through your first work term.

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