Skip to main content
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication
Co-operative Education
Writer/Jr. Editor

Laptop on a desk with hands typing on the keys
Credit
https://unsplash.com/photos/gp8BLyaTaA0

Writing has always been squarely in my comfort zone, so when I was hired as a “Writer/Jr. Editor” for my first-ever Co-op job, I couldn’t have been more excited.

It wasn’t just what I’d been hired for that made me excited— it was who I’d been hired by: a trip-booking app start-up. Writing about travel was a departure from what I normally wrote about, but it was fun to explore different cities through research.

The one detour from my writing was our weekly meetings. At first, I didn’t get why I was there. It was a mixture of tech jargon and finance talk that mostly went over my head, and what I did understand didn’t matter much to me. Of course, I wanted the app to launch and be successful, but I figured I could stay in my own little corner and work independently. That lead me to my first lesson:

We all have the same goal.

There’s no such thing as independence in a start-up, and for good reason. Over time, I came to understand that the company was an ecosystem. The articles I wrote functioned as inspiration for the video creator and were pushed on social media by marketing. We helped each other achieve the same goal. Everything we did, no matter if we were a writer, a developer, or the CEO himself, was for the app.

That didn’t mean I had to sacrifice my personal goals for Co-op. Although I was focused on the company’s success, I still strove to gain experience in different areas. I volunteered to help with a marketing project, and from there, my responsibilities grew.

There’s always an opportunity to help elsewhere.

About a month into my Co-op term, I was suddenly assigned to a new project for a few days. I wasn’t enthused about this change of pace, but it was more important and helpful work than the travel articles.

Later, all 18 employees devoted time out of our days to find bugs on the app and validate data. Neither task was in any of our job descriptions, but they were necessary projects, and it got us one step closer to launch.

Putting the app first made it much easier to be flexible with tasks and knowing that everyone else was focused on the app’s success also made it easier to seek opportunities to gain experience in different departments— no one was going to turn down a helping hand if they needed it.

What you’re hired to do isn’t always what you end up doing.

I was writing a travel article when my supervisor messaged me. One impromptu Zoom call later, the article I was working on was scrapped, and so was my job. I still worked there for my Co-op term, of course, but there was no more need for travel articles. Instead, I was put to work on hotel descriptions.

Things shift all the time in the world of a start-up— it’s a fickle, changeable environment, where financing can get delayed by weeks and bugs can kill a launch the day it’s supposed to happen. Working outside of my job description early on made me adaptable, and that adaptability saved me when I was no longer writing articles and was instead juggling multiple tasks outside my comfort zone.

Though this experience may just be listed as “Writer/Jr. Editor” on my resume, I wound up wearing many different hats in my first Co-op semester. I came into it wanting to learn as much as I could. Somehow, I learned more than I thought I would, including about the changeable nature of start-ups. I’ll always be grateful for the flexible work environment that allowed me to gain experience in things I never dreamed of doing.

Co-operative Education
Writer/Jr. Editor
visibility  216
Nov 2, 2022

Posts by Author

Emma standing in front of the pond at SFU Burnaby
Blog
A Co-op Student’s Guide to Media Relations

Like many Communications students, I came into the School of Communication very interested in media; both studying it and working in it. I found it harder and harder to pinpoint where I could fit into it professionally as I learned more about it. What do you do when you’re interested in media, but not sure you want to work directly in media?

A phone on the home screen where the apps for Twitter, Facebook and Instagram can be seen
Blog
Tips for Effective Social Media Marketing

When promoting events and news on social media on behalf of a club, service, or business, the main goal is to get as many eyes as possible on the content. One of my tasks in my 8-month Co-op position was to post updates on their social media accounts, which includes job postings, upcoming events, and special announcements. Over these months, I was able to find useful strategies and tools to help me manage these profiles effectively and efficiently.

Co-op students standing outside around a sign that says "SFU"
Blog
Event Planning 101: 3 Tips for Planning an Event even Gen-Z’s will Enjoy

Coming into this Co-op position as an Outreach, Promotion, and Engagement Coordinator for SFU’s School of Communication, I was not expecting to gain any sort of event planning experience. Creating an event for our incoming students for Fall 2023, was a brand-new concept that flourished this semester.

You Might Like These... During the Work Term, Professional Development, Workplace Success, Workplace Transition, Communication

Co-op coordinator wth student during site visit
Make the Most of Your Co-op Site Visits

Your Co-op Coordinator, supervisor, and you in the same room -- time for a site visit! Co-op site visits are a time for reflection on your work term including what could be improved and what has been great so far.

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.

 

Officials around a round table
Post-Graduation Work Permit Program: What You Need to Know

Attention to all international SFU students! Are you preparing to enter the Canadian workforce soon? If so, the transition has just been made easier for you, courtesy of the federal government.

You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections

Adam
Making the Most of Your Co-op Education: A Senior Co-op Student's Perspective

Co-op has sent me touring the province of BC in a branded Toyota Prius, pouring my creativity into written works at SFU Burnaby, and soon, it will send me to Southeastern BC where I will practice Media Relations. For me, this has resulted from fully taking advantage of all the services SFU Co-op has to offer. Read on to hear my tips on having a successful Co-op experience.

birds eye view of a stressed out woman
Feel Like You’re Not Good Enough for Your New Job?

Starting a new job is stressful, and it can be even harder if you feel like you aren’t good enough at your position. Here are some ways Haley learned to overcome feelings of inadequacy in the workplace.

Backpack to Briefcase Event banner
Backpack to Briefcase 2014

Missed Backpack to Briefcase this year? Find out the advice given by SFU alumni.