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Work & Volunteer

Work & Volunteer

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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.

Two women looking at a computer
My First Virtual Day with the Government of Canada

Working at any new job is a nerve-wracking task, but being online makes us feel like we start a few more steps behind. Read's Kit's perspective on her first few days working at the Government of Canada, and how to make those really important connections over the webcam. 

Image of False Creek
Cycling Out of a Cycle

As I was finishing my third and final lap biking around the Stanley Park Seawall, my legs felt like Jell-O. I never biked this much before (a whopping 53 km that day, by the way), which made me wonder why I agreed to go on a “short” bike ride with my new co-workers at Vancouver Coastal Health. Looking back, however, I am glad that I agreed to join the bike ride. Continue reading to learn how this activity got me to know my co-workers outside of work – something that I didn’t know I needed.

Collage of 6 social media posts
Full-Time Co-op, Part-Time Artist: It Can Be Done!

I’m a student at SFU and on top of that, though, I’m a freelance creative. I do a bit of everything. As my first Co-op work term approached, I got nervous. I was terrified, frankly, that I would have to stop creating if I wanted to pursue full-time work. Keep reading to learn about how I learned to balance working full-time and being a freelance creative. 

A person serving soup to people in line.
Finding Your Path in Community Justice

A co-op student at SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement speaks with her boss and a fellow colleague to gather advice for students who are looking for a future in community organizing.

A portrait of Justine in an outdoor setting.
Co-op Work Experience Propels Economics Student's Career Trajectory

Even as a child, economics student Justine Mok loved helping others and she aspired to pursue a career that would allow her to make a meaningful difference. Read on to see how she used her time at SFU Economics to fuel her future.

Girl smiling
How Working in the Health Care Sector during a Pandemic Rekindled My Passion for Communication Work

Communication? What do you do in Communication? It wasn't until my Co-op term with Fraser Health that I started to gain a solid understanding of what a career in Communication could really encompass. Keep reading to learn about how working in the healthcare sector during a pandemic rekindled my passion for Communication work. 

white desk with open laptop, computer mouse, phone, notebook, and plant
Non-Profit, Start-Up or Corporate: What's Right for You?

Co-op can be an overwhelming process. You are entering a trial adult experience where you look for and apply for jobs. But what do you do when you are scrolling through the long list of job postings and a wave of companies and organizations blind your eyes? Continue reading to learn about Carissa's experience working for a variety of industries. 

Two girls kicking around a soccer ball on a soccer field.
Reasons Why You Should Join the SFU Recreation Promotions Team

Helping out the SFU Recreation team can come in many different forms! Read as Aleisha, a Promotions Assistant at SFU Rec, tells us about her role and why Promotions is a great team to partner with.

Four people sit around a table in business casual wear.
Value People as Much as You Value Your Work!

When a company invests in its people, the work experience can go from good to great. Roop Gill’s anecdotal piece on how she prospered in her co-op despite massive setbacks proves that there is nothing more valuable than workplace connection.

A picture of Terae with the Zoom interface at the bottom.
Working in a Virtual World: How to Participate in Online Meetings

Even as the pandemic subsides, remote and online learning has become our new reality and that can take some adjusting to. OLC staff member Terae’s piece on Online Meeting Etiquette has you covered on where to sit, what to say, and how to look professional doing it. 

A picture of Alan in front of a Fraser Health COVID-19 VACCINATION poster.
How to Make a Difference While Working in Health Care

Do you want to make a difference in your community? Are you interested in working in health care for your co-op work term but don’t know if you have what it takes? Read about the skills Alan found helped him have a successful work term in health care.

A flyer advertising the West Coast Virtual Fair
Discover Your Future at the West Coast Virtual Fair

Calling all students and alumni! Get inspired by this interview with Jocelyn Loi, who created the virtual fair!  

girl sitting in front of laptop and computer monitor screen with emails open
4 Reasons Why You Should Do Your Co-op with the SFU Co-op Program

Wondering what's it like to do a Co-op term with Co-op? If so, check out Sarah's experience working as the Digital Design and Communications Assistant for the SFU Surrey Co-op Programs, where she had had the opportunity to work with four different Co-op programs!

Three people on a Zoom call discussing a cosmetic product
Joanne Kim: Working in the Cosmetic Industry as a UI Designer

Ever wonder what it would be like to work in the cosmetics industry as a UI/UX Designer? If so, read more about Joanne's co-op experience with Three Ships Beauty!

Open laptop on black table with google search of "how to co-op?", in between a mug and stack of books. Background of image shows icons of paintbrush, camera, blackboard with math, atom, money, and construction worker.
What I Wish I Knew When Seeking Co-op Jobs

During my semester of scouring through SFU’s myExperience portal for jobs, I had to learn a lot of things the hard way, which probably led to me getting a job pretty last minute. But I don’t think I’m the only one who has fallen into the trap of destructive habits that creep through the cracks on the road to success. Below is a list of things I wish I had known when I started seeking for Co-op jobs that I hope will help other Communication Co-op job seekers.

7 people sitting around a table in a meeting
7 Ways to Have a Successful Meeting With Your Supervisor or Team

A big meeting is coming up at work and you have no idea how you will contribute in a way that is meaningful. Jacky went from anxious to ambitious during his co-op work term as a Student Researcher, learning the ins and outs of leadership and proactive participation in team meetings. Here are his 7 tips for preparing for your upcoming work gathering.

Sam
Government Jobs: Boring or Overly Bureaucratic? Think Again!

Riding hovercrafts while at work, meeting renowned scientists, being the resident expert for introducing new software. These are all experiences Sam encountered while at his government job with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Read on to learn how his co-op job with the government was neither boring nor overly bureaucratic.

Melissa
A Co-op Survival Guide: How I Managed to Work on Two Teams at a Major Health Authority

When Melissa was brought onboard as a Co-op student at Fraser Health, she learned that she'd have the opportunity to work for not one but two different teams within her portfolio. Though a little scary at first, she embraced the challenge dove in. Read on to see what she learned during her Co-op experience.

Taylor
What Worked, What I Could've Done Better and Lessons Learned While Working From Home

Taylor's seen the highs and lows of working from home and is here to tell you all about what worked and what didn't as he supported Vancouver Coastal Health as a Junior Business Analyst. Read on to learn from his carefully thought-out tips and tricks for making the most of a remote work term.

The new sustainable energy engineering campus in Surrey
What Is Sustainable Energy Engineering Co-op Like? Hear From Two Senior Students!

Curious about what Sustainable Energy Engineering co-op is like? Hear from two Senior SEE students, Danielle Arciaga & Kia Brownridge about their co-op experiences as they near graduation. 

Open laptop on the centre of wooden table, in between a notebook and pencil, a cell phone, and a cup of coffee
3 Reasons to Consider an 8-Month Co-op

In the process of searching for a Co-op job, you may be thinking “an 8-month co-op seems so long, so a 4-month position is probably the way to go”. Read on for Marilyn's reasons why an 8-month Co-op can be so much more rewarding.