During my co-op at SFU C&M, I had the privilege of supporting some of the behind-the-scenes work for convocation (it’s quite the production!). It had been such a busy day that I didn’t realize that one of my role models, Maria Ressa, was giving the honorary degree recipient address. Maria is someone I look up to—as a communicator, a Filipino, someone who wants to make positive change—and watching her be celebrated at the university felt like my worlds colliding. I sat in front of my monitor a little misty-eyed, a lot inspired, and oh-so excited to be wearing a cap and gown one day too. Look where we are now!
I’m a lot more independent than I thought I was. There was a time when going to networking events alone, exploring campus solo or enrolling in a class without familiar faces would be absolutely out of the question. Just thinking about it could put my stomach in knots. But university helped me realize that I’m more than capable of standing on my own two feet. It pushed me out of my comfort zone and strengthened my sense of self, and though there were definitely growing pains, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I’m hitting pause for a little while to recharge, and then I can’t wait to jump back into the industry! Wherever I land, I hope it’s somewhere I can make a meaningful impact. Being a communicator means that I get to leave school with a versatile toolbox, and I can’t help but smile thinking about what my next project will be.
Oh gosh, I will probably never stop raving about the co-op program!
Putting your comms knowledge to the test in the real world is as exciting as it is nerve-wracking, but it’s worth the palpitations a hundredfold. Co-op has helped me develop a robust portfolio (from facilitating COVID-19 medical staff forums to supporting community activations for the proposed gondola), connected me with mentors and introduced avenues I want to explore as a professional. Graduation may mark the end of an era, but the learnings and relationships from co-op will undoubtedly carry over into my next chapter and beyond.
Shoutout to our co-op coordinators! What would we do—who would we be—without them?
Stay curious! I think there’s this underlying pressure to carve out a plan and stick to a specific schedule to hit the finish line. But for me, the most eye-opening and rewarding experiences came from side-stepping from the map. Allow yourself to entertain the “what ifs.” What if I took this course…just because? What if I applied for that program? What if I said yes to more opportunities? Maybe you’ll stumble upon something special.
Editor: Kara Toews
Initially Published on the School of Communication Website: Three Convocating Students Tell Us About Their CMNS Journey