Co-op: Triple the Benefit

Co-op: Triple the Benefit

By: Marianna Adamian
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The Van Pelts aren’t your typical sisters; they’re triplets that are all enrolled in the Co-op program here at SFU!  Differentiated by only their haircuts and clothes, Stephanie, Ginny, and Kelsey are all three of a kind and are all interested in science.   

Searching for their first co-op terms, the girls were inspired by their older sister, who also participated in the co-op program at SFU. “Watching our sister follow her dream of becoming a teacher was really inspiring…and got us thinking about our careers,” says Stephanie.   Realizing that the field of science is widespread, the triplets began the search for their first co-op terms, in the hopes of discovering different career options.  

Hailing from the department of Earth Sciences, Stephanie completed her first co-op term with The Telus World of Science as a Science Facilitator.  Working with kids and visitors, Stephanie led demonstrations and introduced showings at the spectacular Omnimax Theatre.   Her evolution through this position has inspired her to explore different co-op terms in earth science.  “I think for my next term I would like to work in a lab, and experience that side of environmental science,” said Stephanie. 

A fellow World of Science co-op employee, Ginny also completed her first co-op term working as a Science Facilitator.  Her job was a little different however, as she got to be part of a program called “Super Science.” In this position, Ginny visited students in their classrooms.  “I love getting to teach kids about science and getting them excited,” said Ginny.   Completing this co-op term has encouraged Ginny to consider becoming a teacher, in addition to exploring other careers in environmental science.

Breaking the mold, Kelsey is currently enrolled in the Health Sciences program.  At the time of her search, she applied for a scholarship from NSERC for undergraduate students in sciences.  The scholarship provided funding for Ginny to complete her first co-op term with a research lab on campus.  “Working with a small group of people allowed me to develop communication and teamwork skills that I otherwise wouldn’t have gotten in the classroom,” said Kelsey. 

After completing individual co-op terms, the triplets came away with a similar goal: complete more co-op terms!  Working in the field has motivated them to pursue different career options, as well as apply themselves more in the classroom.  “Co-op has offered us hands on experience and taught us ‘real-world’ skills!” 

If you would like more information about co-op make use of the different resources available to you on campus.  Visit the different departments of Work Integrated Learning, like Career Services,Volunteer Services and of course, Co-op!  Book a consultation with a career adviser or attend a mock-interview session with a co-op coordinator, within your faculty.  For more information about Work Integrated Learning please visit .

Posted on December 16, 2011