Puppy Therapy, Laughter Yoga, and Knitting Clubs - need I say more? After eight months of working as the Marketing and Communications Assistant with SFU Health and Counselling, I’ve been able to help plan and promote all these great programs on campus. Being able to use the skills and knowledge I gained in my studies to make an impact on student life, has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my work term. Now as my co-op journey draws to an end, here is my list of takeaways that will hopefully provide some insight into this valuable program.
If I had to describe my eight-month co-op placement at SFU Health and Counselling Services in one word, it would be “Amazing.” I still remember stepping into the office for the first time and how friendly and welcoming everyone was. It definitely made the change from school to work much easier for me. During this experience, I got the chance to work and meet with a diverse group of staff ranging from health promotion specialists to clinic doctors and nurses. It was a great opportunity for me to work with different groups of people that I otherwise would not have met in school.
Being a SIAT student for several years, I’ve never had to take any courses up at Burnaby. One unique aspect about my co-op was the fact that I got to experience life on another school campus, besides SFU Surrey. It was very interesting to see the campus life on the mountain and of course the occasional raccoons that would pop by my office window too.
As the Marketing and Communications Assistant, one of my main responsibilities included co-managing all the social media platforms of the department with my supervisor. Having only been an avid user of Facebook and a beginner-level user of Instagram, it took a while before I gained the confidence with using these various outlets. Luckily with the helpful tips and advice from my supervisor, I slowly but surely learned the techniques of social media marketing. I found out that behind those simple tweets, consisting of only 140 characters, lies a complete idea without needless words. There really should be a guidebook to teach people successful Twitter Communication. It’s more complex than it seems.
Working at the Health and Counselling Department, I also got the chance to see behind the scenes of some operations and services at SFU. I learned about the many programs such as Meditation sessions, Laughter Yoga and free recreational classes such as FitMix. The amount of efforts that the Health and Counselling staff gives in order to assist student well-being is something I’ve grown to appreciate.
So before I finish off, here’s a list of the top three most valuable things I’ve learned during these eight months:
I’m not trying to do a shameless plug, but the truth is SFU does offer great programs and workshops for students’ health and well-being. If I would have known about these services earlier, it definitely would have helped me reduce my stress-levels during final project season.
Take the initiative. If there’s an idea in mind that you have, take the time to let your supervisor and colleagues know. It’s always important to challenge yourself in new things, even in the work environment.
The value of sleep. Having studied in SIAT for the past 4 years has definitely formed some bad sleeping habits for me. I now fully understand the importance of rest and the effects it has on a 7-hour work grind.
As with anything in life, keep an open mind while you job search! Sometimes the best opportunities are closer than you think.
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