Skip to main content
Beedie School of Business › Human Resource Management
SFU Co-op Student

the author portrait
Doing means taking the initiative to try something new and being open to opportunities outside of your comfort zone.

Learn. As students, we hear this word a lot in school, but what does that really mean in the working environment? This semester, I had the privilege of doing my first co-op as a Talent and Marketing Intern at Semios, a tech company in the agricultural industry. Going into this role and company, I didn’t have any real work experience in HR, so all I was really looking for was to learn. Semios’ culture showed me their way of learning is more than that and is encompassed in their core values: taking initiative, speaking up, taking risks, and valuing team spirit. Their values of doing, learning, and growing not only helped develop my skill sets and experiences but also helped me realize how important it is to find an organization that supports and cultivates their employees’ growth and the overall work culture.


Doing means taking the initiative to try something new and being open to opportunities outside of your comfort zone. I was surprised my managers were so willing to help me learn and gave me opportunities to carry out tasks I didn’t have any experience in. I wouldn’t say I was a natural at conducting my first phone screen, but I was grateful that my manager gave me an opportunity to do it so I can learn. Doing also means speaking up and taking risks. Sharing ideas was always encouraged at Semios, which contributed to building a culture of learning from one another. This made me feel more comfortable voicing my ideas and opinions and allowed me to contribute to the team.

a meeting during the author's job

Learning means reflecting on the tasks you’ve done and looking for opportunities to gain experience from it. With every job-research assignment, collaboration with hiring managers, and interaction I’ve had with candidates, I learned more about the recruitment process and the importance of creating a positive experience for the candidate when they interact with the company. One of the biggest takeaways I got from my first co-op term is to not be afraid to ask questions, no matter how “dumb” they may seem. I didn’t want to seem incapable of figuring things out, but I realized it was always better to check with my managers before proceeding with something that may require more time and work to fix. They know and understand that I am there to learn, and that’s the point of being a co-op student.


Growing means “doing”– except doing better and knowing what my strengths and weaknesses are. Since I came into this role not having any HR experience, identifying areas where I could do better and grow in was a humbling experience. Through many conversations with my managers and colleagues, I found areas where I could improve on and incorporated that into my work. It was also surprised to realize that I had strengths to contribute. I feared I would not be taken seriously because I barely had any industry skills and experiences. I later discovered how I could use my strength in planning and organizing to create and implement processes that supported HR responsibilities.

the company the author works at

In my first co-op, I learned many valuable lessons at a company that really knows how to put learning into practice and integrate it into their culture. Find an organization that really supports your learning and teaches you to be humble. Do. Learn. Grow.

Beyond the Blog

SFU Co-op Student
Connect with Travia on Linkedin.
visibility  138
Mar 9, 2020

You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections, Professional Development, First Weeks on the Job, Workplace Success

Person standing in front of a sunset with their arms opened wide
Memories of Boot Camp

When Adam accepted the position of Fire Information Officer for the BC Forest Service, he knew that the job might entail long hours, a steep learning curve and a major lifestyle adjustment. What he did not know was that the whole experience would set off with a week at firefighter boot camp. Read Adams story about surviving bootcamp. 

Elizabeth, author, smiling
My First Month

This blog will chronicle the next eight months as I complete my second and third co-op terms as a member of the TELUS Marcomm team. My first co-op term was in Fall 2010 when I spent four months as the web intern for the Vancouver Canucks. 

a group of people sitting around in a circle talking
Introductions, Rules and Learning Objectives

The following article is the first in a three-part series on how Co-op supervisors can make the most of a Co-op experience with their student. Part one focuses on introductions and expectations, and how to build your students learning objectives.

You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections

an SFU student wearing her graduation gown
Being Qualified-ish

Have you ever felt that you are not qualified enough for a job you just got? Privilege explains why it is more than alright to be a newbie and what you should understand about your position to take the best from your co-op term.

man standing in front of sign that says "KPMG"
5 Quick Q&As with a Master of Economics Co-op Student

Meet Ata Malfuzi, an SFU Master of Economics Co-op student. In this quick Q&A, learn a little about his current role at KPMG. Keep on reading as Ata gives some insight into what the hiring process was like, what he's looking forward to the most, and some tips for students who are beginning their co-op journey. 

a closeup of a woman concentrating in her work space
The Office Culture: What School Doesn’t Prepare You For

There are many things school doesn't teach you about working in a corporate environment. Check out 3 areas Natalie wants you to pay attention to when you are on your job and tips to help you improve your work performance.