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Work & Volunteer

Work & Volunteer

We know you’re working hard to go the extra mile.

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Welcome

Knowing that working and volunteering go hand-in-hand with life at SFU, you will find stories below with practical advice regarding workplace success, remote working, adjusting to a workplace culture and how to overcome common workplace challenges. We all need to gain experience in a given field in order to reach great success. So, whether you need help with time management and productivity, or are learning effective ways to cultivate an open work or volunteer environment, you're bound to find great resources on navigating new and familiar circumstances.

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.

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

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.

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.

Alan standing in front of work logo
Feeling Out of Place at Your Workplace – How to Overcome it

Do you feel out of place at your workplace? Perhaps even like you don't belong? You’re not the first nor the last to feel this way. It is completely normal; you just landed a job working alongside people with more experience than you. Keep reading to find out how Alan overcame these insecurities.

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. 

man standing in front of grey background with arms crossed
A Q&A with a MA Econ Co-op Student

Meet Zafer, an SFU Master of Economics Co-op Student. In this quick Q&A, learn more about his current co-op at Scotiabank. Keep reading as Zafer tells us more about the role, what he's looking forward to the most, and some tips for students who are beginning their co-op journey. 

Photo of Victoria at the SFU Surrey campus
How Co-op Inspired Me to Get More Involved During my Undergrad

As a communications assistant on campus, Victoria San Martin learned about the value of volunteer work in strengthening soft skills and finding community. Read about how her work term inspired her to seek out more involvement opportunities at SFU.

man standing in front of sign that says "KPMG"
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
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 standing at a crossroads in a corn maze
Co-op is an Opportunity to Learn More About Yourself

Co-op is more than an opportunity to gain experience that will look good on your resume; it is also a chance to reflect and learn more about yourself. Read about Tiffany's experience working with FASS Communications.

A person jumping in the air excitedly over a bridge
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.

Photo of Arvin
He Shoots, He Scores! A Legacy in Robot Soccer

Applied Sciences graduand, Arvin Amini, leaves SFU with a lasting impact by founding the SFU Robot Soccer Club. Over the years, the club has received funding from various engineering organizations and has been involved in community outreach with students in grades 5 to 8. Read about his passion for highlighting the fun in STEM.

Person standing in front of desktop computer and laptop
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. 

A laptop, a cup of coffee, a notepad and pen, and a phone sprawled out on a table
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
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.

Woman sitting on a couch and drinking coffee while working on laptop
Social Media Addiction & Screen Fatigue: A Survival Guide for Jobs in Social Media

When it comes to social media and digital marketing positions, it’s easy to be blinded by the positives. After all, many Communication majors are fascinated by digital marketing and algorithms— and if you’re a digital native, creating social media content might already be second nature to you. Whether you manage social media for your organization or create external content, there are a few bonuses to consider.

Simrit's workspace at Beedie HQ
A Day in the Life of a HR & Marketing Assistant

Ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of the SFU Business co-op office? Well, let me tell you – it is a very busy place! The HR & Marketing Assistant co-op position plays a vital role in ensuring students are receiving access to a diverse selection of postings and employers. Keep reading to find out why being in the HR & Marketing Assistant role was such a rewarding experience.

A student working at their desk.
Working Amidst COVID-19 in My First Co-op Term

With COVID persisting for over a year, working from home has become the new normal. However, we still have a long way to understand how to optimize our time working from the comforts of our bedroom.