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SFU Student Undergraduate
Beedie School of Business

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“When in doubt of my own abilities, I put myself in “sponge mode”, where I am ready to absorb and learn new things as I go"

In January, I started my new position as a Financial Services Assistant at MD Financial Management(MD), a national financial planning firm exclusively for physicians and their families. If you ask me to name one skill I learnt from my past 8-month co-op, I would say that is adaptability. Adapting to a new job could mean changing a habit, a lifestyle, and even your perspectives. Here is how I have learnt to adapt and navigate through this exciting chapter of my life.

Adapt a 9-5 Life

I have always been a night owl that enjoys sleeping in as much as I can in the morning. Before starting a co-op with MD, I used to find myself staying up late at night to finish an assignment, or binging on my favourite show on Netflix. Landing a job at MD urged me to change this habit. As our office hours begin at 8:30 am, I usually get up way before that to start my day. Adapting to this new habit has changed my perspective on how I take care of my well-being. I have paid more attention to having enough sleep every night or waking up early to have a proper breakfast which helps me go through the day without being tired. A little bit of coffee goes a long way! though I have to admit I do enjoy the free coffee at my office.

From Working in my Bedroom to my Physical Office

My first work term with MD was fully remote. The Omicron outbreak had placed a pause in our offices' reopening. I have had experience with working from home in the past, and a full year of remote classes has come in handy when starting this new position. Right at the end of my first work term, my office reopened and I started coming to the office five days a week. Though the transition to work-from-home may have been easy for me, the transition back to the workplace was definitely challenging. It required me to plan my day differently from working from home, taking into account the commute to work. I remembered standing in front of my mirror deciding what to wear to work the next day or planning on what to bring for lunch the next day.

Volunteer for New Roles and Projects

From time to time, I volunteered to tackle new projects with each project having its own uniqueness and supporting different departments. One of my most memorable experiences was when I volunteered to be apart of my company’s logistic team in coordinating a region-wide staff conference. This challenged my time management ability as I was having some tasks and projects on plate. However, I was happy to take on the role as I knew this was my chance to push myself out of the comfort zone. I learnt along the way how to become more organized and efficient when juggling between multiple tasks. When in doubt of my own abilities, I put myself in “sponge mode”, where I am ready to absorb and learn new things as I go.

My co-op journey with MD Financial Management has been challenging, yet fun and rewarding. The diversity of tasks that I worked on has helped me to learn how to adapt to the changing needs of the business while delivering the best results. Adaptability has helped me to navigate through difficulties in the workplace and prepared me for new opportunities upcoming. When you are not confident in your abilities, just be a sponge!

SFU Student Undergraduate
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Dec 16, 2022

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