Skip to main content

Communique Editor

SFU Staff
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication
Co-operative Education

empty
Oscar smiling at the camera next to his dog
Remember that your network is your net worth

After applying to 50 jobs and going out to 12 interviews, Oscar Wong wasn’t sure he was going to land his first Co-op. Finally, on the last day of the semester, Oscar was hired at a health tech start-up for a digital marketing role and he has never looked back. Now, as a Communication alumnus working as an Internal Communications and Design Specialist at Electronic Arts, Oscar is happy to share more on how he navigated from Co-op to career. 

Why did you join Co-op?

I joined Co-op because I wanted to get more hands-on experience and explore what fields of communications I wanted to work in. I knew from the get-go that I wanted to work in tech because I find all the innovations are just so cool. The Co-op advisors helped me prioritize what kind of company and role I wanted to work in, but more importantly, how to stand out from the hundreds of applications with a well-tailored resume and many rounds of mock interviews.

What advice do you have for students seeking their first Co-op job?

In the beginning, I was afraid of getting rejected, but soon you’ll learn that it's inevitable and you should think of your rejections of lessons. Don’t let them devastate your confidence because there are a lot of factors that go into hiring someone and it’s never personal. Spend some time crafting your applications so they are tailored to the company and don’t sound generic. As long as you keep trying and talking to your Co-op advisor, things will get better, but persistence is the key.

What kind of work did you do in your Co-op terms?

I first worked for a telemedicine company called Porton Health. It was a start-up, so I wore many different hats, including digital marketing/social media and UX research creating different content such as blog posts, explainer videos, and technical writing pieces. I also got to work directly with the development team to help improve the web app experience.

In my second and third Co-op terms, I worked at SAP for the Managing Director’s office, running internal events, programs and communications for three offices across Canada. Externally, I supported corporate social responsibility projects such as Autism at Work and the Templeton STEM Program. I even got a selfie with Premiere Horgan when he visited for an announcement. The achievement that means the most to me from my time in Co-op is when I helped to develop the communication materials and visual identity for a global initiative for SAP Labs Canada on a national scale. 

Did you have any challenges adapting to work in the tech industry?

Being in the tech industry, it was sometimes hard for me to understand some technical jargon or systems, however, the best way to learn is by going out of your way to research what’s going on in the industry. Try to reach out to developers and ask them to explain things to you. The tech industry is ever-changing, so it’s critical to keep up with the trends and innovations out there. 

What do you think you gained from your Co-op terms?

Hands-on skills such as how to manage your professional relationships, writing a well-crafted email and having the confidence to push back on certain things at work. There were a lot of highlights - I think that all of the connections and friends I made because of the Co-op program have shaped my career in general.

Did you do anything else at SFU that specifically contributed to you landing these positions?

I tried to join student clubs and take on different roles to gain experience. I took on the Corporate Relations Coordinator role with the Student Marketing Association and was the VP of Internal Relations for the CMNSU. Also, taking classes like Pub or IAT set me up for success by giving me the hands-on marketing/design experience and different perspectives to offer in my first job. 

What do you do in your current position at EA, now that you have graduated?

My team and I manage all of the internal communication for our organization called Development Technology and Services across 26 cities globally and provide communications support for the Project Management Office. I strategize with my team to build an engaging, inclusive, and fun culture where employees are empowered to innovate, understand how their role plays into the greater EA ecosystem, and feel a sense of ownership of their work and EA. We also focus on learning and development to improve organizational performance and manage change initiatives such as organizational restructuring. My favourite part of the position is the creative communications work I do. Whether I am writing a blog post, designing a brand identity, or creating a podcast from scratch, it never gets old! 

Do you have any advice for students starting their careers?

Remember that your network is your net worth. I think networking is such a buzz word, but what it means to me is to create genuine relationships with people and pick their brain on the valuable lessons they have learned in their career. These conversations have given me so much guidance on how I can better myself as a professional and inspired me to strive for bigger dreams. If you’re applying for jobs now, I recommend making a personal website and diversifying your skillset, and above all, keep networking!

  • Communique Editor Oct 30, 2020
    Like to recommend this item
    visibility  59

Author

Communique Editor

SFU Staff
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication
Co-operative Education

Posts by Author

woman holding a piece of paper with a laptop in front of her
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. 

Painted sign of the sun and blue skies that says "Burnaby"
Blog
What Is It Really Like Working For a Non-Profit?

I have always wanted to work at a non-profit organization. While my main objective during my first Co-op term was to gain experience in the Communication field, that goal to work at a non-profit had always remained in the back of my mind. Keep reading to learn more about my experience working for a non-profit. 

You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections, Professional Development, Career Exploration, Seeking, Work Term Extension

author, courtney, smiling
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...

picture of glichelle pondering a though
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.

 

person with their head in a book
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.

 

Oscar smiling at the camera next to his dog
library_books
Blog
Alumni Spotlight: Oscar Wong
Co-op Reflections, SFU Alumni, Student Success

After applying to 50 jobs and going out to 12 interviews, Oscar Wong wasn’t sure he was going to land his first Co-op. Finally, on the last day of the semester, Oscar was hired at a health tech start-up for a digital marketing role and he has never looked back. Now, as a Communication alumnus working as an Internal Communications and Design Specialist at Electronic Arts, Oscar is happy to share more on how he navigated from Co-op to career. 

You Might Like These... International

A picture of the author in front of the health clinic
Spring “Camping” in Nepal

On placement with Partnership for Sustainable Development in Kathmandu, Nepal, Health Sciences students Marie Purificacion and Tessa Leyland decided to extend their contribution to a community in need and enrich their learning experience, by raising resources for a Free Health Camp. 

Author standing in front of mountainous background
Things You Learn Journeying (Close) to the Top of the World

Nowhere are the dire effects of climate change more apparent than in the Arctic. Join Sarah as she recounts her 3-week expedition at the top of the world and the 3 invaluable life lessons learned along the way. 

Broadcom headquarters
Mike's Integrated Circuit Development with Broadcom
Michael Leung shares his experience of spending eight months as a co-op student for Broadcom Corporation.