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Professional Development

professional development

The following authors share their experiences internationally, with Co-op and volunteering while using incredible resources and opportunities that assisted their professional development. They will teach you how you can develop professional workplace skills such as communication, time management and critical thinking.

Annelyse standing in front of a window
Blog
Interview with an Arts Co-op Student: How a Policy Intern Position Improves your Writing

Meet Annelyse Ross, a Political Science and Social Data Analytics Co-op student. In this quick Q&A, Annelyse shares about her co-op experience. Read about how she discusses how she determines if a position is a good fit for her, what she did in her Policy Intern position and even how she got to travel as part of her position.

Judith
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Working in the Gaming Industry? Here's What I Learned as a Community Manager!

The gaming industry is faced paced and requires you to be on the go, but that's exactly why I love it.

Windmills
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What to Expect from an Energy Systems Research Co-op Work Term

I’ve spent the last eight months working an SFU research group on fulfilling projects focused on identifying barriers and opportunities to vehicle electrification in BC. What is research work like, and should you consider pursuing a research position?

Oliver, next to a computer with work on his desk
Blog
Captain’s log: a Co-op Students Guide to Navigating Their First Work Term

If you’re reading this, you’re most likely in the same shoes as I was, fresh out of an academic term and excited but anxious about your upcoming Communication Co-op placement. The question lingering in your head at this very moment is probably “what is this Co-op student rambling about, and can he just cut to the point?”. Well my dear reader, in this final entry of my Captain’s log, I will be going over my transformation from a bumbling Co-op student to a full-fledged Marketing Coordinator and give tips on how you too can navigate through your first work term.

Girl looking into the screen sobbing
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Interview Tips from an Extremely Anxious Cry Baby

I made such great progress throughout the years that Little Nadya would definitely be in awe (and in worry because she’ll need to go through all those interviews). So, how did I do it? It wasn’t easy or comfortable, but that’s how you progress. Here are my tips for overcoming, or at least coping, with extreme interview anxiety.

Picture of a student
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Becoming a Sponge at Work

Having thoughts about Co-op, here's an article of business co-op experience that might just be the right motivation for you.

desk
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Different Interest: How I Combined my Skills With my Co-op Job

Have you ever had multiple interests and skills that seem to be unrelated to each other? Cara, a BBA and IAT joint major student, shares her experience with incorporating marketing and graphic design skills in her Co-op journey

Nicole standing next to construction material while wearing a construction uniform
Blog
Fish out of Water: Finding my Place in the World of Construction

There is a certain level of confidence you surround yourself with when going into your second work term. Suddenly, you’re not junior anymore and you have some legitimate experience on your belt. That experience can be used as almost a protective shield when going back into the workforce, especially when there’s a new element introduced. It’s no longer remote.

Student standing next to a sign at an outdoor event
Blog
A Q&A with a MA Political Science Co-op Student

Meet Aliyah Datoo, an SFU Master of Political Science Co-op student. In this quick Q&A, Aliyah shares a bit about her co-op experience. Keep on reading as Aliyah shares her day to day tasks, the onboarding process and how she has felt about the experience.

students group study
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Changing Majors: You Are Not Alone

The thought of changing your major can be daunting, but it can be so rewarding when you take the leap.

Balloons floating in the sky
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How my First Co-op Position Inspired me to Dream

As an undergraduate student who decided to switch my degree from Psychology to Communication on a whim, I was very nervous about my future career path, especially since I felt like I was the only person that had no big dreams in life. Therefore, I decided to apply to Co-op to start piecing together my goals and ambitions.

Elvis standing in front of Simon Fraser University holding a camera
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How to Optimize Workflow and Develop Excellent Time Management

My role as a Communications Assistant has it’s ups and downs especially during busy seasons of the school year where many events run consecutively one after the other. Time management and efficiency are nothing new for us students because we constantly must meet deadlines and make sure we balance work with school

Photo of Claire Adams
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Emerging Leader Claire Adams Brings Creativity and Passion to her Grassroots Community Work

Urban Studies master’s student Claire Adams is dedicated to helping transform the way self-identified women experience urban spaces and participate in civic processes, and she has been recognized for this work with the Urban Studies Alumni Award for Community Engagement.

Amy sitting on a sofa, with the SFU VentureLabs logo behind her
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Big Benefits of Smaller Companies

After 12 months of Co-op terms at 3 very different companies, I am closing out this major piece of my undergrad...All of these placements combined have given me a great foundation and transferable skills, but I also learned equally valuable things about different work environments. I encourage anyone still in Co-op to not overlook the very real benefits of smaller organizations.

man sitting at office desk holding dog
Blog
Why Co-op is the Most Important Thing You Can Do as an International Student

Being an international student from Bangladesh, I always felt that I did not have the necessary network to succeed in the Canadian workforce even though I feel strongly about my ability to work hard and grow. I felt anxious when looking at my peers who have been working in a job since the age of 16 whereas I was just getting started. This is when I was introduced to SFU Co-op. 

desktop computer on a wooden desk with plants in the background
Blog
8 Keys to Master the Art of a Hybrid Co-op

So, you've just started your first hybrid Co-op term and you have no idea what to expect or how to navigate a hybrid model of work within the corporate sector. Things may seem a little overwhelming! Here is the good news - there are 8 keys that I have picked up through my own trials and tribulations in a hybrid Co-op term.

girl with safety hat, vest, and glasses standing in front of construction site
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There’s Nothing Scary About a Steep Learning Curve

I was determined to find a position during my Co-op search to anywhere I thought was interesting. When I saw PCL had an opening, I applied, even though I didn’t know anything about construction. While I had no experience in construction marketing, I was still intrigued and applied. Continue reading to learn about my experience in taking the challenge of diving into a new industry. 

person typing on laptop which is on white round table
Blog
The Perfect Cover Letter That Will Get You Hired

I can write a solid resume, interview well, and make sure that my online presence is on point. The one thing that’s always been a struggle? The dreaded cover letter. Continue reading as I highlight some of my top tips to selling yourself and securing that interview.

Photo of Daniel Furlot
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Making an Impact During My Work Term Extension

Beedie student, Daniel Furlot, shares their experiences with making the most out of an eight-month Co-op term by being aware of areas of improvements within the company, and making a pitch to facilitate positive change.

A person on their computer at a work desk with a landline phone on the side
Blog
The Unteachable Skills

Beedie student, Alex Beechney, shares his experience in learning essential life skills such as decision-making, communication, and working under pressure during his Co-op work term at ACD Systems. 

person standing in front of blue sky
Blog
Diving Headphones-First Into the World of Podcasting

I’ve always been deeply fascinated with audio as a medium. After all, I’ve worked with it plenty–I picked up the flute at age 12, and music’s been playing nonstop in my life ever since. Not just performing, either: composition, production, sound design, even a bit of voice acting as a hobby. So, when I saw the post from SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement, I was curious. Continue reading to learn more about my experience working in the world of podcasting!

A group of people having a work meeting
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Learning How to Confidently Navigate the Professional World

Nathan shares his key insights during his Co-op experience including the importance of confidence and asking good questions in order to explore new possibilities.

man standing in front of sign that says "KPMG"
Blog
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. 

3 people sitting around a table with their laptops and laughing
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How I Landed My Dream Co-op at a Large Tech Company

After completing 6 Co-op work terms, one thing I really enjoyed about my Co-op experience is that I had the opportunity to gain work experience from different types of organizations. I started with a 5-person non-profit organization, then to a 20-person start-up, and then landed my dream Co-op at a large 100,000+ person multinational tech corporation. One thing I’m thankful I realized early on in my Co-op journey is this: don’t be turned off from doing a Co-op with a small organization.

A person jumping in the air excitedly over a bridge
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Treating Co-op as a Launch Pad for Future Opportunities

Read about how FASS student, Sophie McCann, bolstered her experiences in part-time jobs and volunteer work by developing her soft skills in communication, teamwork, and leadership with SFU FASS's internal communications and marketing team.

Scientists at a lab
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3 Ways to Continue Learning on Your Next Co-op Term

Completing 3 Co-op work terms can sometimes feel repetitive. Check out Madelynn's tips on how to stay engaged and continually enhance your Co-op experience.

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