Connie's Corner: Start Your Career with Co-op

Connie's Corner: Start Your Career with Co-op

By: Connie Eng | OLC Writer
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Ever wondered if Co-operative Education is right for you? Are you unsure if it’ll help you find the right job? Having doubts if Co-op can help you with your career path? Well think again!

The Co-op program varies with each faculty, but the bottom line is that it helps students explore the jobs related (or not related) to their degrees to jump start your career! It sounds exciting right? Well it should be! Not only do you have the opportunity to apply the skills you’ve learned at SFU into the work force, you’ll also learn new work-related skills, gain a better understanding of yourself, while increasing your chances of entering the competitive job market after graduation.

The advantages of joining Co-op are endless…but wait! It’s not just beneficial for students but also for employers too! Not only do they get the chance to realize how amazing SFU students are, but if they notice how well you’re adapting to your job and how you contribute positively to their workplace, they CAN even rehire you after you graduate!

Now you’re thinking: Where do I start? Will it be difficult for me to get in? No! The first thing you want to do is know the facts! Contact your Co-op department or look into Symplicity and find out when the Discover Co-op sessions are being held. These short sessions are hosted by friendly and helpful staff from the Work Integrated Learning (WIL) unit who WIL give you all the information and resources you need as well as answering any questions you have about Co-op. You will also have the opportunity to hear some interesting personal experiences from Co-op students at these sessions.

Once you’re familiar with the application process, do start registering for resume and cover letter workshops by signing up on Symplicity. This is a definite must as you are competing against possibly hundreds of students for Co-op positions, and if you want to know how to “wow” your potential employers, presenting them with a well-developed and structured resume and cover letter is the first step at getting your foot in the door. As a current Co-op student, these workshops really helped me learn the tricks of the trade on how to present myself professionally when writing to the employers.

So, DO take advantage of Co-op as it will be a life-changing experience for you! You gain hands-on experiences, meet new people and learn new work-related skills that will help advance your career. Make the most of your university experience by joining Co-op today.

If you don’t have a job and it’s near the end of the term, DON’T be discouraged as this is normal. The reality is that it’s tough getting a job out there so don’t give up! This is my second term applying for jobs and I found ways to improve myself by tailoring my cover letter writing skills and interview performance. Remember, there are numerous resources out there to help you, including the OLC and Career Services. So always take advantage of them as they are there to support you with your job search and career exploration needs!

Posted on November 21, 2011