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Sarah Elawa

SFU Co-op Student
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication

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girl sitting in front of laptop and computer monitor screen with emails open
Besides all the career advice I received, I was also able to meet many people who work for SFU in other capacities and build some strong connections within the SFU community.

Are you interested in knowing what it is like to do a Co-op term with an SFU Co-op program? If so, continue reading to learn about my extremely positive experience working as the Digital Design and Communications Assistant for the SFU Surrey Co-op Programs.

1. You get to build your network and get quality career advice

During my Co-op term, I had a unique work arrangement where I got to work with not only one but four different Co-op programs! The programs I worked with were the Interactive Arts & Technology, Sustainable Energy Engineering, Mechatronics Systems Engineering, and Software Systems Co-op programs, all based on the Surrey Campus. Naturally, I got to know multiple Coordinators, Program Assistants, and Student Advisors who had numerous years of experience helping students get jobs. As one would expect, I definitely took advantage of that and gained tons of invaluable career advice from my colleagues. Besides all the career advice I received, I was also able to meet many people who work for SFU in other capacities and build some strong connections within the SFU community.

2. You get to help fellow students find Co-op jobs

In my opinion, one of the most rewarding parts of working for the SFU Co-op programs is being able to help other students find jobs. Though I was not directly giving students advice on their resumes, cover letters, or interviews, I got to work on a few different projects that helped market students to employers. One of those projects was creating visuals called ‘Student Profiles’ that highlighted a few Co-op students and their key skills. These visuals were then posted on some of the Coordinators’ LinkedIn profiles for their 500+ industry connections to see. Then if employers saw a student who had the skills they were looking for, they could easily contact them. Another project I worked on was creating booklets that contained the resumes of a few students who had not found jobs towards the end of the semester. These ‘Resume Books’ were then sent to potential employers still looking to hire a Co-op student for the upcoming semester. 

3. You get to connect with other students working for the SFU Co-op program

Interestingly, the SFU Co-op program itself employs a significant number of Co-op students. So during the term, I got to meet a lot of different students working with the other Co-op programs, including the Business, Communications, and Computer Science programs. We had bi-weekly virtual social meetups where we talked about everything from our dream jobs to our favourite true crime podcasts and played games like skribbl.io to Among Us. Besides our bi-weekly meetups, I also enjoyed working with other Co-op students on a few collaborative projects.

4. You get to learn more about different majors and faculties

As a Communication student, I will admit that I did not know much about what the Mechatronic Systems Engineering or Sustainable Energy Engineering students did before my Co-op job. However, over the last few months, it has been fascinating learning more about these faculties and all the exciting projects their students are working on. While at this job, I can honestly say that I have developed a newfound appreciation for all the hardworking, passionate, and innovative MSE, SEE, SIAT, and SOSY SFU students!

In conclusion, if you are a Co-op student currently looking for a Co-op job, I would highly encourage applying to any role working for an SFU Co-op program itself. You never know, working for an SFU Co-op program might be the perfect place for you to broaden your skills and experience.

3 black and white pictures of people working on small machines, with red text saying "mechatronics systems engineering resume book summer 2021"
Mechatronics Systems Engineering resume book that Sarah created during her Co-op term
laptop and computer monitor on a wooden table displaying emails
Sarah's workspace during her work term

About the Author

Sarah Elawa

SFU Co-op Student
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication

Posts by Author

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Blog
Did your Co-op Term Confirm your Career Path? It’s Okay If It Didn’t.

If you are anything like me, one reason that you might have applied for Co-op was because of the many success stories that you've read and heard about. While these stories can be so inspiring and motivating, I have realized that it’s also important to remember that it’s okay to come out of a Co-op term still unsure of what you may want to do. Continue reading to learn about what I learned after my first Co-op work term.

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Blog
Business Development & Sales World for Dummies (and Communication Students)

As a Communication major, I’m comfortable with hearing “the medium is the message”, getting lost in 15-page essays, and wondering why a picture of a pipe is in fact, not a pipe (shoutout CMNS 110). Throw me in a tech start-up in a (remote) business development position and well, I’m a touch out of my comfort zone. Keep reading to learn about my experience working in a business role as a Communication major. 

Open laptop, pen, and clipboard on a table. Paper on clipboard reads "my resume".
Blog
Imposter Syndrome and Finding My Confidence With Co-op

Michael joined SFU’s Co-op program during his first year and quickly realized one thing as he began the job search process: projecting confidence and composure are key to showing your best points and skills. Continue reading to learn more about how Michael dealt with imposter syndrome and found his confidence with Co-op. 

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A Second Term in Government: More of the Same?

Having completed my first work term for Health Canada as a Communications Officer Intern, I was eager to try something new, and the government was not where I believed that was going to happen. That is until I was offered a position at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada...

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Surviving Workplace Politics

Ever been peeved with workplace politics? Have you ever been a victim of office politics? One student shares her experiences from the workplace with tips on how to survive.

 

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Responsibility and Success

One of the most memorable parts of my time in co-op was the collection of accidents, errors, mistakes, and mix-ups that happened in the course of working in the laboratory.

 

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Blog
4 Reasons Why You Should Do Your Co-op with the SFU Co-op Program
Co-op Reflections, Communication, Professional Development, Personal Development, Networking, Student Success, Workplace Culture, Workplace Success

Wondering what's it like to do a Co-op term with Co-op? If so, check out Sarah's experience working as the Digital Design and Communications Assistant for the SFU Surrey Co-op Programs, where she had had the opportunity to work with four different Co-op programs!

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A Letter to My Younger Self

A 6th-year SFU veteran drops WISDOM to his younger self. Read this if you would like some perspective on your university journey from someone who has been here before you even started high school.

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Ever-Changing Goals: A Co-op Reflection

The idea of an out-of-town 12 month co-op may have intimidated me at one point, but now looking back, I realize just how much I have gained by taking on something that I initially perceived as a challenge.

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Three Lessons from Twenty-Four Months on the Job

"I’d be hard-pressed to say I have my life figured out – I really don’t."  Ryan shares what his Co-op journey has taught him and some tips for anyone who is currently doing Co-op.