If my present self time-travelled back to January 2023 and told my past self from January that I would be in Nepal, I would think my present self from August has finally gone off the deep end. However, here I am, writing this from Kathmandu, and my experience in this country feels like a separate life.
Like many Communications students, I came into the School of Communication very interested in media; both studying it and working in it. I found it harder and harder to pinpoint where I could fit into it professionally as I learned more about it. What do you do when you’re interested in media, but not sure you want to work directly in media?
I began working as a part-time Co-op student during the last semester, while also pursuing full-time studies? Yes, you heard that right, part-time Co-op and full-time studies. Was it a challenge for me? Absolutely. Did I feel stressed out? Definitely. Did I manage to succeed by the end of the term? Surprisingly, I did, and it turned out to be my most successful term at SFU, to be honest.
Yes, you read the right, I did seven Co-op terms while completing my Communication degree. I’m a firm believer of trying as much as I can during my undergrad, and I did exactly that. Starting off with working at a non-profit in events and social media, I then transitioned to a university in Kenya doing content development and research, a corporate position in Calgary, multiple roles at a digital marketing agency, working at a bank, and now closing my Co-op journey in the public sector. Being extremely fortunate to be able to try many Co-op positions, I’d like to share what I’ve learned from 28 months of working in communications.
Networking can seem like a daunting task, especially for introverts who prefer quiet and solitude to socializing in large, noisy gatherings. Good news is that there are effective ways for introverts to build meaningful connections without straying too far from their comfort zones.
A few days before the Christmas break of 2021, I received an email that would jumpstart my Co-op journey leading me into new experiences, connections, and so much more! I'm not sure if many people would be able to say this, but wow, am I ever happy that I checked my email that day.
Bzzt! You're staring down at the offer letter you've received from your dream company. Usually, this is where the chapter ends or the curtains fall on a very happy ending. No one prepares you for what comes next and if you're anything like me (an international student), you're even further removed from any immediate sage advice from your loved ones. Worry not! As someone who steered her own ship amidst stormy seas, I'm here to offer some do’s and don'ts that might just save you.
When promoting events and news on social media on behalf of a club, service, or business, the main goal is to get as many eyes as possible on the content. One of my tasks in my 8-month Co-op position was to post updates on their social media accounts, which includes job postings, upcoming events, and special announcements. Over these months, I was able to find useful strategies and tools to help me manage these profiles effectively and efficiently.
Coming into this Co-op position as an Outreach, Promotion, and Engagement Coordinator for SFU’s School of Communication, I was not expecting to gain any sort of event planning experience. Creating an event for our incoming students for Fall 2023, was a brand-new concept that flourished this semester.
This article is my take on why somebody would pursue a career in sales. I have never done sales in my life, and I like to take on new challenges. Therefore, it allows me to elaborate on the skills I have learned throughout my journey.
Knowing what I wanted to specialize in allowed me to start making plans for my first Co-op term. In all honesty, getting your first Co-op term can be exciting and intimidating. However, with a little planning and effort, you can position yourself for success.
I was the only communication person in my department; there were no experienced communicators to work closely with and learn from. I thought this situation would limit my room to learn, but surprisingly I gained valuable experiences and exercised skills that I didn't expect.
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!
Picking a major is a journey in its own rite, now you’re considering taking on a minor on top of that? Sometimes, this task tends to be pushed aside for another time; then suddenly, you’re in your third year at SFU and have yet to pick a minor. The job may be difficult, but with enough planning and research it is doable. If you find yourself in a similar situation, here’s some information that may help guide you when starting a minor later into your degree.
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.
I made such great progress throughout the years that Little Nadya would definitely be in awe (and in worry because she’ll need to go through all those interviews). So, how did I do it? It wasn’t easy or comfortable, but that’s how you progress. Here are my tips for overcoming, or at least coping, with extreme interview anxiety.
There is a certain level of confidence you surround yourself with when going into your second work term. Suddenly, you’re not junior anymore and you have some legitimate experience on your belt. That experience can be used as almost a protective shield when going back into the workforce, especially when there’s a new element introduced. It’s no longer remote.
This was it. I finished writing my resumes, successfully passed the interview process, and accepted the job offer with cheers of joy. I told my mother with a large grin on my face, but in the midst of my excitement, my smile slightly lowered, and a wave of nervousness washed over me.
As an undergraduate student who decided to switch my degree from Psychology to Communication on a whim, I was very nervous about my future career path, especially since I felt like I was the only person that had no big dreams in life. Therefore, I decided to apply to Co-op to start piecing together my goals and ambitions.
My role as a Communications Assistant has it’s ups and downs especially during busy seasons of the school year where many events run consecutively one after the other. Time management and efficiency are nothing new for us students because we constantly must meet deadlines and make sure we balance work with school
I came into it wanting to learn as much as I could. Somehow, I learned more than I thought I would, including about the changeable nature of start-ups. I’ll always be grateful for the flexible work environment that allowed me to gain experience in things I never dreamed of doing.
After 12 months of Co-op terms at 3 very different companies, I am closing out this major piece of my undergrad...All of these placements combined have given me a great foundation and transferable skills, but I also learned equally valuable things about different work environments. I encourage anyone still in Co-op to not overlook the very real benefits of smaller organizations.
As the C&M team has been (lovingly) reminding me, the sand in my hourglass is running out. And be it the sentimental self-reflector in me, I want nothing more than to sit down with my pre-Co-op-self and tell her about all of the spectacular things that are about to come her way.
“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.
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.