January 22, 2020

Co-op program prepares student for career in language learning and technology

As a fifth year linguistics student in her final semester, Kelly Liu is eager to embark on the next chapter of her life after graduation. In fact, she already has a head-start—Liu has a job offer lined up, and she credits the SFU Co-op program for setting her up for success. 

"Because of my co-op experiences, I was able to find the area within linguistics that I'm really passionate about," says Liu. 

She hopes to establish a career in language learning and technology, starting with the job offer from her former co-op employer, Virtro Entertainment. Liu left a strong impression during her time as a co-op student at the tech start-up, resulting in an offer to remain as the Language Acquisition Specialist on the Argotian project after graduation.

A pioneering game-based system, the Argotian combines virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to create an immersive experience for language learners.  

"My co-op placement at Virtro has propelled me to grow as a person," says Liu. "I was often trusted to complete projects that I had never done before. While this was a daunting task, I was able to explore my capabilities and push them to the limit."

Prior to Virtro, Liu had completed an 8-month co-op placement at Paragon Testing Enterprises where she gained experience working in language assessment. Combined with her background in linguistics, Liu quickly became a valuable asset to the Argotian project. 

Now that she has over a year's worth of work experience under her belt, Liu feels more confident in her own skills and where her career path will take her. 

"I highly encourage other students to take advantage of co-op to explore different fields and how they can apply their linguistics skills to it," says Liu. "Without co-op, I would not have gained the experiences that I had."


The Co-op Program provides you with an opportunity to explore different career paths, gain valuable work experience, and grow your professional network.

To start your first co-op work term in Fall 2020, apply to join the Co-op Program by February 1, 2020


Arts Co-0p Info Session 

Thursday, January 23 
10:30 - 11:20 am 
Saywell Hall 10051 


More about Kelly's co-op experiences

What is a typical day for you at Virtro? 

My day typically consisted of content creation, language scoring research, user data analysis, and quality assurance in order to ensure the language levels presented in Argotian reflect the language levels of beginner ESL learners. 

What did you do at Paragon? 

I worked closely with the scoring and content development teams within the research and development department to ensure the accuracy and realiability of language proficiency tests such as CELPIP and CAEL CE. 

Any words of advice? 

If you have the time to join the co-op program, I would highly suggest it. The whole process of going through the cover letter and resume writing process, mock interviews with co-op advisors, and eventually landing a position have greatly helped me in feeling more confident about job searching after graduation.