If I Could Only Offer Three Pieces of Advice . . .

If I Could Only Offer Three Pieces of Advice . . .

By: Christie Wong
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As I’m writing this, there are 17 days left until I leave Vancouver and work at one of the world’s biggest company – Research in Motion. As much as the idea excites me, I won’t forget the process it took.

Why Co-op?

Before entering SFU, I heard about several wonderful experiences that SFU students had in their Co-op work terms, and I knew that I wanted the same. Thus, in my first year at SFU, I delved right into the Co-op program.

It was a good idea to start early, because it allowed me to complete the essential workshops at a more leisurely pace. I knew I had made the right decision in joining Co-op, because I wanted to get hands-on experience that was related to my education and to explore different job opportunities in my field – things that the Co-op program encouraged and provided.

Co-op Services

When I decided to do my first work-term this summer, the Co-op Advisor and Coordinator, Melissa and Frances, definitely helped me out a lot. I learned how to write resumes and cover letters tailored towards employers.

I discovered how to showcase my online portfolio in a way that would be understood by employers. I practiced how to present myself in interviews through several mock interviews. I met up with the advisors so much that I thought they would get tired of seeing me; but instead, they were always encouraging and helpful, which motivated me to do my best and made me also very appreciative of them.

Personal Experience

I ended up learning a lot from being in the Co-op program; not just about employers and jobs, but also about myself. It turned out that I did not get a job this Summer, so I tried again for Fall. I have to say, there were times when I was so tired and stressed from applying for jobs that I almost wanted to just give up.

It’s tough to juggle your schoolwork while spending nights writing cover letters and preparing for interviews. Nonetheless, I continued to have hope and applied for the Fall term…and it didn’t take long for me to land a position with RIM.

Looking Forward

I had just completed a midterm early in the morning, and when I got home, I was feeling tired…but when I checked my email and found that RIM offered me a position, I instantly felt excited and hyped up! All the hard work I put in had paid off and I felt so relieved.

I’m looking forward to being independent and living by myself, and also meeting new people – especially Co-op students like myself. But most of all, I’m excited to work in a team where everyone shares the same passion of design, and where we can apply our skills and knowledge to make RIM a better company in any way we can. It will be such a wonderful and unforgettable experience!

It’s been such a long journey, but so worthwhile and rewarding. If I could, I would definitely recommend that every student at SFU participate in the Co-op program.

And if I could only offer three pieces of advice, I would say to never give up, to really spend time tailoring the cover letter to the employer, and to apply for jobs that you may not initially like…because you never know what’s out there until you explore the opportunities!

Posted on November 29, 2012