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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.

students group study
Blog
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
Blog
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
Blog
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

Amy sitting on a sofa, with the SFU VentureLabs logo behind her
Blog
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
Blog
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
Blog
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
Blog
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
Blog
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
Blog
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.

Photo of Julie
Blog
Making a Career Change to Follow a True Passion

Julie Jen graduates with a second degree in computing science. Working as a chartered professional accountant in her early thirties and inspired by her husband's and friends' work in computing science, she decided to go back to school and follow her true passion—despite the hurdles she faced. 

Person standing in front of desktop computer and laptop
Blog
A Philosophical Reflection Of My Co-op Journey

I always knew I was more of a hands-on learner than a reading and writing learner. As much as I enjoy reading, writing, and listening, the thought of rolling up my sleeves and getting my hands dirty was just way more enticing and exciting. As my work term comes to an end, I can wholeheartedly say that I have grown professionally and personally from a timid university student to a budding young professional. 

Photo of Dominic
Blog
Overcoming Setbacks to Start Something New

SFU Beedie graduand and student-athlete, Dominic Postle, overcame persistent injuries and setbacks to excel personally and professionally.

A laptop, a cup of coffee, a notepad and pen, and a phone sprawled out on a table
Blog
What I Learned About Adapting as a Creative Intern

As a creative intern at TEALEAVES, Sina had to learn how to adapt to new projects and a new job. Read on to discover how segmenting and balancing her time was the key to her success.

James Halim at Appnovation
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Growth Through Change: Reflections From Design Co-op

Wondering about what it's like to transition into a design role? Read about how James adapted to working life at Appnovation.

Office
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Five Ways to Get the Most Out of Office Hours

Showing up to office hours can benefit you in many ways. The next time you think about skipping maybe take another moment to consider the positives!

Workplace at Wawanesa
Blog
How to Navigate Your First Weeks at Your Co-op

Working at a big insurance firm for your first co-op might be intimidating, and SFU Beedie student Yelena shares her experience acclimating to her job during the first few weeks. 

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