“Co-op is about the learning experience and not about earnings,” expresses Eleanor Li, one of two Co-operative Education students who earned the 2012 title ‘SFU Co-op Student of the Year’.
Fueled by her characteristic enthusiasm, Li successfully completed three diverse Co-op work terms in Engineering Science. Managing a double-major in Biomedical Engineering and Communication, she maintains an impressive GPA, while fervently pursuing Co-op and volunteer roles, including President of ‘Young Women in Engineering’.
Li’s co-op work terms saw her working in the private, non-profit and public sectors; after spending her work term at Agilent Technologies, she spent two terms with Canada Safeway, before completing her fourth term at the SFU Aerospace Physiology Lab.
Her past employer, Mima Moulechkova with Canada Safeway gushes, “Eleanor possesses excellent interpersonal skills and developed a positive working relationship with all the members of her team: the other co-op students, the project team, the managers and the vendors. She treated everyone with respect and everyone loved working with her.”
She continues, “Eleanor Li has always exceeded my expectations in all her assignments.”
This respect is shared by her co-op coordinators, who credit Li’s work as president of SFU’s Women’s in Engineering during a field trip to Boeing in Seattle with producing the first ever co-op position with the Company for SFU.
Li acknowledges that the benefits of Co-op to students are immense: "Students in SFU Engineering Co-op learn not only the technical knowledge and ‘global picture’ of Engineering, but also essential life skills… In the Co-op program, students are taught how to become a true engineer and an effective, contributing member of society and their immediate work groups.”
“I’m a huge planner, so allowing me to get ahead and see what comes next is hugely beneficial to me... Co-op means that I get to go into an industry, I get to see the really, really cool things they do out there, and I get to try my hand at it. I also learned a lot of different things about myself: I'm a people person, that coding in a cubicle may not be the best thing for me... these are the kinds of things that don't appear on the job description, so they're very good to know."
Li was also named as one of 24 Hours' 2012 Top 24 Under 24.