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Professional Development

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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.


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Illustrated people using Zoom platforms in a variety of ways
Blog
You Too Can Host a Zoom Meeting!

Have you ever wanted to host a Zoom meeting of your own? With a bit of practice, Sinead shows how you can easily learn this versatile tool and pull off virtual meetings and events with confidence.

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Blog
Supporting Students (and Myself) during the Pandemic while on Co-op at SFU Health & Counselling

Searching for Co-op and wondering what it’s like working for SFU? How about working for SFU Health & Counselling (SFU HCS) during the pandemic? Read as Christy recounts her Co-op experience at SFU HCS and how it has helped her enhance well-being while helping other students.

Arua standing in front of window, looking at camera
Blog
Conquering Unexpected Industries Through My Co-op Journey

Throughout this past year, I got to try out a variety of roles working in completely different industries. While all of my positions were marketing-related, each of them tackled a different aspect of digital marketing, challenging me to grow personally and professionally. In this article, I describe my entire Co-op journey and the things I learned along the way. 

Erica Standing in front of greenery, smiling
Blog
How a CMNS Student Ended Up in Healthcare During a Pandemic

What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the perfect job sector for a Communication student? Social media? Probably. Marketing? Most definitely. Healthcare? Read about Erica's experience jumping into a job at Vancouver Coastal Health - during a pandemic no less!

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Blog
Three Skills You Can Leverage to Land Your Dream Digital Marketing Co-op

If you’re like me and obsess over Instagram aesthetics, peruse like-minded communities on Twitter, or aspire to be TikTok famous, then you’ve probably considered a digital marketing career at some point and are ready to make your debut in the industry. Here are four Do-It-Yourself skills that will spice up your resume, helping you to leverage your digital marketing talents before your search for your Co-op opportunity!

Engineering blueprints and diagrams
Blog
Working at ExxonMobil as a Mechatronics Major

Shahid, a recent Mechatronics alumnus, never thought he'd find himself working at an Oil and Gas company such as ExxonMobil. After all, how do mechatronics connect to the Oil and Gas industry? As it turns out, much more than Shahid anticipated! Although starting out nervous and unsure, Shahid quickly rose to the occasion and found joy in every aspect of his work. Read more to find out about Shahid's position, and what he learned while on an out-of-town co-op in Ontario!

picture of Bill
Blog
Shifting Co-op Experiences: From Office to Home

Over Bill's five terms of Co-op experience, the past two (in Summer and Fall 2020) have provided a rather unique experience. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bill was given the opportunity to work remotely from home and found himself needing to adapt to a very different work environment in terms of task planning and time management. In this blog, Bill hopes to share some of these experiences as well as some challenges that he faced while working remotely

picture of "VentureLabs" doorway entrance
Blog
3 Reasons You Should Consider a Co-op With a Smaller Company

Unsure of what to expect for your upcoming co-op? Megan wasn't either! Megan, a Business Co-op Student, worked at SFUVentureLabs for 4 months as a Program Administrator Assistant. Previously working in a large government office, Megan was nervous coming into a small sized company for the first time. But, there was nothing to fear as Megan strengthened a lot of skills and learned more about their career path. Read Megan's story to learn more about why you should work for a smaller sized company!

person holding an analog clock in front of their face
Blog
Time Management Tips: Walking with Time, Not Running After It

Are you a time-management-struggler? Have you been eager to learn ways to manage your time? In this article, Srijani coins the term, "time-management-struggler" as she discusses helpful tips on how to mange your time effectively. 

Marcus smiling
Blog
Finding Your Silver Lining: The Successes and Challenges of Working During a Global Pandemic

Starting your first Co-op work semester can be intimidating. “Will I get along with my coworkers?” or “Will I be good at my job?” are some questions that everyone asks themselves. In February, Marcus Fujiwara, a Solutions & Services Co-op at Allocadia found himself asking “Will my position be terminated?” and “How do I work from home?” amid the global pandemic. Read on to learn about his attempt at finding a silver lining in the most uncertain of times.

Aerial view of students walking across pond in the Academic Quadrangle during convocation
Blog
Applying to Grad School? I Wish You Had Come Sooner

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.” This Chinese proverb inspired Kandice, a Public Health Graduate student, to share her tips on applying to grad school. Read Kandice's article to learn why you should start the process today!

multiple students during a class looking at powerpoint slide
Blog
Advice for Your First Year as a Teaching Assistant

Kandice, a Public Health Graduate student, never expected to be a Teaching Assistant (TA). But with the encouragement from family and friends who were former TAs, Kandice took the plunge. Now as her first year comes to a close, Kandice shares some helpful tips on how to have an enjoyable semester as a TA!

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Blog
Applying to Grad School and the Conflicting Advice That Follows

In this article, Kandice explains the frustrating process of grad school applications, and the conflicting advice that inevitably surrounds it. However, there is a key take-away when applying to grad school: Read her article to find out what it is!

Scrabble Tiles spelling out the phrase "origins are usually messy"
Blog
Starting Your First Co-op at a Start-up Company

Being part of a start-up company can be scary enough, but doing it as a Co-op student who is brand new to the industry can be absolutely terrifying. This is what I learned about working for a start-up over the last 10 months as a Communication & Multimedia Associate!

Examples of Esports
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An Interview with Derian Chow: Developing a Varsity Esports Program at SFU

Stephanie Greaves, Co-op Coordinator for the SFU School of Interactive Arts & Technology, interviews Derian Chow about his Co-op position as an Esports Project Coordinator.

A sad woman hiding her face in her hands
Blog
How my Co-op Job Stopped me from Apologizing (Especially When I Really Don’t Need to)

See how co-op student Marielle Juan learned how to break the cycle of over-apologizing from her first Co-op job experience. 

A young women with blonde hair and glasses smiling
Blog
Megan Holmes: Working in the Aerospace Sector as a MSE Co-op Student

This week’s SFU Surrey Co-op featured student is Megan Holmes, an MSE student who has been doing some excellent work at one of her dream companies, MDA, a Canadian aerospace company. One of the exciting projects she is working on is upgrading the Canadian CP-140 Aurora aircraft’s radar surveillance system. Read on to learn more about Megan’s experience!

Person working on a laptop
Blog
How COVID Kickstarted My Career

Last summer, my sister and I were excited to travel to Europe. As you can probably guess, that did not happen. But from the gloom of cancelling our dream trip, something positive emerged - an important conversation and a new direction that kickstarted my career.

Two people facing each other from the knee down
Blog
Four Benefits of Being Part of a Mentorship Program

Does the word mentor scare you? Maybe you don't know what the word Mentorship even means! These are thoughts Bessie had before signing up for a mentorship program at their Co-op workplace. Read Bessie's article on the benefits of working with a mentor!

person fixing their tie
Blog
How to Ask for More Out of Your Position

Deriving inspiration from her first post, "4 Reasons You Won't Regret Working in Customer Service", Sydney is back and ready to share more knowledge with you from her time in retail. In this article, you'll find Sydney's strategy for negotiating wage raises, work-term extensions and permanent positions. 

A road sign that says Slow Down
Blog
4 Tips for Making the Most of a Slow Day at Work

Every job has its slow days every once in a while. Sometimes, all that free time can make you feel bored and unproductive. Ray shares 4 things he's done in the past during his Co-op work term to most of a slow day at work.

person typing on a laptop
Blog
7 Tips for Remote Facilitation Amidst a Global Pandemic

Congratulations! You’ve landed your first Co-op work term. But wait! There’s a catch (or two): you’re in the middle of a global pandemic, and you’re expected to lead a team in this new and not-so-improved virtual setting. Read Bita’s tips to feel more confident while conquering your very first Co-op in a position of leadership, all the while working remotely. 

A sign is displayed in front of Health Canada headquarters in Ottawa
Blog
Landing an Interview with Health Canada within 24 Hours

Are you currently in the process of securing a job interview? Melanie will take you on her journey and the series of events she took to not only reach out to her hiring manager, but also land an interview within the span of 24 hours. 

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