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Taoli (Crystal) Zhang

SFU Student Undergraduate
Beedie School of Business › Accounting
Co-operative Education › Local Co-op

Bench Accounting's open dining area
Bench Accounting's Dining Area to Share Tables and Socialize While Eating
When I’m stuck on something, I can ask for help, and when my co-workers need assistance, I can be their second set of eyes. I felt very supported by the team and was able to work efficiently and with excitement every day.

Transitioning to an office environment after online classes or remote work can be challenging for students, as we're not accustomed to in-person socializing anymore. I'd like to share tips on how to socialize effectively in an office setting based on what I've learned during my 8-month co-op:

1. Make a Great First Impression

When entering a new workplace, it's natural to feel a bit nervous. Stay calm and introduce yourself to your new colleagues around you. Mentioning your favourite hobbies or sports can be a great icebreaker. For instance, when I met my co-workers at Bench, I shared my love for badminton and trying new foods, which helped me connect with others who shared similar interests.

2. Welcome New Opportunities

Be open to meeting new colleagues and learning new things. Building relationships is like collecting tools in a game – you never know when they'll come in handy. During my co-op, I was able to assist a colleague with pet dental care because I have a cat. This interaction not only helped her but also strengthened our connection.

Another way to make friends is by spending time in the company's eating area during lunch breaks. People are often more relaxed and open to chatting during these breaks, so it's a good chance to socialize.

3. Don't Hesitate to Ask Questions

Asking questions is key to making friends and having a fulfilling work experience. Remember, there are no dumb questions. Asking questions can help you learn more and create a stronger relationship with your co-workers. Initially, I felt hesitant about bothering my colleagues with questions, but it actually brought us closer.  We started helping each other with our work, which made the co-op less stressful because I realized I’m not alone. When I’m stuck on something, I can ask for help, and when my co-workers need assistance, I can be their second set of eyes. I felt very supported by the team and was able to work efficiently and with excitement every day.

4. Be Yourself

Lastly, be yourself and enjoy your time at the office. When people are nervous, they sometimes act differently than usual. Everyone has something special about them, so don't hide who you are. What I like about Bench Accounting is that they appreciate each person's unique qualities. Feeling comfortable in the office is important. It helps you adjust faster, and it lets others get to know you better.

In the end, I hope these tips help you succeed during your work experience. And don't forget to have fun and make friends while you're at it!

Author

Taoli (Crystal) Zhang

SFU Student Undergraduate
Beedie School of Business › Accounting
Co-operative Education › Local Co-op
visibility  181
May 9, 2024

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