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Personal & Professional Development

Personal & Professional Development

Guiding your professional and personal growth.

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Personal and Professional Development is where you can find tips, stories and resources that will boost your professional trajectory, and personal growth. From resume-building to staying on track at work, the following resources will teach you how to conduct yourself personally and professionally.

students group study
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
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.

student working in science
Overcoming a Slump: Becoming the Main Character of your Story

Ever wanted to feel like the main protagonist in a movie? Here’s your reminder that you already are one!

Elvis standing in front of Simon Fraser University holding a camera
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

Student sitting on a chair at SFU Vancouver Libary
Prolonging Motivation Post Midterm Season

A rather underrated discussion is how difficult it is to keep your motivation intact throughout a four-month long semester. Especially after mid-term season when we start to lose that that adrenaline of motivation. Here are some tips to help you stay motivated!

Laptop on a desk with hands typing on the keys
The Art of the Start-Up: Wearing Many Hats

I came into it wanting to learn as much as I could. Somehow, I learned more than I thought I would, including about the changeable nature of start-ups. I’ll always be grateful for the flexible work environment that allowed me to gain experience in things I never dreamed of doing.

A group of students sitting around a desk with laptops
How to Leverage Linked-In to Make Connections and Gain Experience

In university, it is important for students to initiate connections with individuals around them to make the best of their opportunities. However, networking is hard and is not taught as a skill.  Networking is something that must be practiced to be perfected. Luckily, there are tools that make it easier for individuals to connect with others, which leads to greater opportunities in their careers.

Lauretta Umukoro
Why a Sociology Major?
Amy sitting on a sofa, with the SFU VentureLabs logo behind her
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.

Me on the right next to a wall with the text "Communications and Marketing 2200"
So, You Finished Co-op: A Letter to Myself

As the C&M team has been (lovingly) reminding me, the sand in my hourglass is running out. And be it the sentimental self-reflector in me, I want nothing more than to sit down with my pre-Co-op-self and tell her about all of the spectacular things that are about to come her way.

man sitting at office desk holding dog
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. 

girl standing beside SFU sign
Starting or Continuing Your Co-op Journey: A Letter to Current and Future Co-op Students

If you are a current Co-op student, someone who’s about to begin their work term, or someone who’s thinking about possibly joining the program, this one is for you! I remember going into my first Co-op work term and finding comfort in reading about other students’ Co-op experiences. Not knowing what to expect can be scary, so being able to have a snapshot into what others have experienced or learned can offer some insights.

desktop computer on a wooden desk with plants in the background
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.

man sitting outside in front of sign that says "mnp tower"
A Q&A with a MA Econ Co-op Student

Meet Ian Ho, an SFU Master of Economics Co-op student. In this quick Q&A, Ian shares a bit about his co-op experience. Keep on reading as Ian shares with us his most valuable less, some highlights from his work term, and tips for those going into their first co-op. 

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

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
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
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
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. 

Stairs to the SFU Academic Quadrangle (AQ) during sunset
New to SFU? Here Are Three Helpful Tips to Assist You on Your Journey!

Vivian shares some tips and resources on how you can make your time at university more effective and relaxing.

A crowd of people walking on a crosswalk
Why You Should Consider Submitting an SFU Story to the OLC

SFU Stories on the OLC are short-form, Instagram-style, narrative stories that help to build a welcoming SFU community. No matter how big or small, every story has something to offer. Share your story today!

Girl wearing a pink bucket hat smiling at the camera
Defeating My Inner Saboteur – Working with a Learning Disability

I never felt that I was good enough from my early years. I was a child that frequently struggled in school. No matter how much I put my heart and soul into projects or homework, I felt constantly knocked down. So a mix of excitement and dread came over me when I was notified that I was accepted into the Knowledge Network Co-op. Continue to read about how I defeated my inner saboteur and learned to work with a learning disability. 

Neon lights on a window reading "What is your story?"
Finding My Story Through Creative Writing

OLC Content Creator, Luis Arce Diaz, shares how the lessons he learned though his Creative Writing courses helped him not only to become a better writer, but to find his own story through exposure to different perspectives on life and writing.