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SFU Co-op Student

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Co-op is an amazing way to learn more about yourself and what you may (or may not) want to pursue in a career post-grad. You not only grow professionally but you also grow so much personally.

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. You hear all these fabulous stories of students going through their Co-op term and learning that what they chose to do turned out to be their true passion. People tell you how they’ve found their dream jobs and that they now know what they want to be pursuing post-grad. 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. 

Going into my first seeking semester, I had an idea of the kind of role that I would be interested in but still wasn’t exactly sure. I enjoyed using social media and I loved my graphic design classes in school, so I was excited when I landed a position as a Social Media and Graphic Design Intern for a small non-profit. As this was my first Co-op work term, I didn’t have much experience aside from part-time jobs that mostly consisted of retail and customer service roles, and I wasn’t sure what social media and graphic design work would be like in a professional setting. I wondered, would this Co-op term confirm my interests and show me what I would want to pursue post-grad?

What I learned from my first Co-op term.

My first Co-op term taught me so much and I loved it. Everyone I worked with was amazing and the projects that I got to work on were extraordinary. But when it was over, I realized that what I thought I would want to do post-grad might not actually be what I want to pursue. Don’t get me wrong, I love social media and graphic design, but I learned that this work might not be the exact fit for me. I discovered that I actually wanted to further explore the field of communications and see what else there may be. 

Just because you haven’t solidified your career path doesn’t mean you failed.

Co-op is all about the experience. You’ll never know until you try. It’s easy to forget about wonderful experiences and lessons that you have learned along the way when you don’t get the outcomes that you thought you were looking for. Don’t feel let down if you don’t come out of a Co-op term feeling like you have discovered your one true calling. 

Your first Co-op term will teach you a lot. Both about yourself personally and professionally. It is your first step into the working world, so you’re bound to hit a few bumps in the road. Whether you’ve discovered new interests, solidified existing ones, or discovered that you may want to try something new, you have still experienced something totally new and exciting. It’s okay to come out of your first Co-op term without a solid plan of what you want to do post-grad. You tried something new and are a step closer to discovering your future calling!

It’s more than just about learning skills.

Co-op is an amazing way to learn more about yourself and what you may (or may not) want to pursue in a career post-grad. You not only grow professionally but you also grow so much personally. Not only did I gain valuable work experience but I’ve learned so much about myself. Just because you haven’t totally figured it out yet doesn’t mean you won’t. Now when you go search for your next Co-op or post-grad job, you have that perspective with you! You may even end up somewhere that you never expected or imagined. You got this!

man pointing at screen with words "you got this" on flashing on screen
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@bublywater from Giphy
SFU Student Undergraduate
SFU Co-op Student

Posts by Author

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Blog
Interview with an Arts Co-op Student: How a Policy Intern Position Improves your Writing

Meet Annelyse Ross, a Political Science and Social Data Analytics Co-op student. In this quick Q&A, Annelyse shares about her co-op experience. Read about how she discusses how she determines if a position is a good fit for her, what she did in her Policy Intern position and even how she got to travel as part of her position.

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Blog
Expect the Unexpected with Event Planning

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!

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Blog
Captain’s log: a Co-op Students Guide to Navigating Their First Work Term

If you’re reading this, you’re most likely in the same shoes as I was, fresh out of an academic term and excited but anxious about your upcoming Communication Co-op placement. The question lingering in your head at this very moment is probably “what is this Co-op student rambling about, and can he just cut to the point?”. Well my dear reader, in this final entry of my Captain’s log, 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.

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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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Sanaz Takes on Germany | Part One

From weekend getaways to the Alps, to challenging engineering work for Daimler, Sanaz Jahanbakhsh had an amazing experience on her international co-op term in Germany. Read on to find out more about the work placement that put her time-management, communication skills and travel savvy to the test.

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The CBC Radio Peter Gzowski Internship: An Interview with Ashley Fraser

Communications Co-op student, Ashley Fraser, spent the summer interning at CBC Radio as part of the coveted Peter Gzowski Internship Program. Ashley shares how she got there and her advice for students pursuing careers in journalism. 

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Improve Your Writing With Five Simple Steps

Whether you’re pursuing a career in writing or not, excellent writing and communication skills are often at the top of the list for job qualifications. Here are five simple steps to drastically improve your writing and set yourself apart from other applicants in a highly competative job market.