A lot of students going through their co-op terms have the same fear – as a student, how should I cope transitioning into an office environment with smart and experienced professionals? The simple answer to this issue is to be confident! You have to be confident in your skills, confidence in your expertise and confidence in yourself.
Coming into Allocadia for my first co-op term, I too faced the same issue. While I knew I was qualified for this co-op position, taking this leap into a tech office, I knew my skills and knowledge were going to be tested. The constant uncertainty of integrating into a new professional environment, with mere knowledge from previous classes and experience, affected my confidence initially. However, I proactively decided to work on it.
There are different tactics and techniques that work for different people, but for me, one of them is being prepared for what’s to come. Prior to starting my co-op term, I made sure to be prepared by reviewing material that would be relevant to the co-op work (excel, concepts etc.). Doing this helped me in tackling new tasks and being more confident in my ability to transition to the position.
Feedback is a powerful ally that encouraged my constant growth as a person and as a professional. Throughout my internship, I have been fortunate to have a dedicated and caring group of managers and co-workers, who have always guided me on my journey. Their feedback has always been positive and constructive, which allowed me to work on specific skills that needed refinement. Having this feedback greatly contributed to boosting my confidence as I was being actively reassured of my hard work and always encouraged to work in the right direction.
Lastly, it is important to continue learning and practicing. As a co-op student, you are not expected to know everything, possess advanced skills or never make mistakes – it is perfectly fine if you struggle sometimes with understanding complex or technical tasks. As you progress through your term, make sure to take a proactive approach with learning; and by doing so, you will see that tasks that seemed complex, should be easier to understand and complete. Once you develop a better understanding of work tasks and become more comfortable with your skills, you will develop the confidence to be able to achieve results.
Now, nearing the end of my eight-month co-op term, I could not be more thankful for this first office experience at Allocadia.
Beyond the Blog
- Want to learn more about Business Co-op opportunities? Check out Beedie Co-op homepage.