Making the Cut

Making the Cut

By: Rachel Carrier | Communication Co-op Student
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Let me walk you through my first Co-op experience.

It went a little something like this:

Applied to Co-op. Got Accepted. Jumped up and down feverishly. Attended the workshops and gained a newfound vigor and drive. Explored job postings with enthusiasm. Started writing cover letters and applying – a force to be reckoned with! And then…

Rejected.

Rejected.

Rejected.

Lost all vigor. Cried fervently.

I will not lie to you: it gets discouraging. Being rejected over and over again. But before you sink into that pity party for one – accompanied by a jar of peanut butter and Nutella, debating whether a spoon is even necessary – stop and take a deep breath. Remember that you are one of SO many talented and skilled students feeling exactly the same way. Each job you apply for will have many other candidates applying as well, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are less skilled than everyone else – just differently so.

Before those “I will never get hired in the real world” thoughts start to rear their ugly heads, remember that Co-op is unique. Yes, “the real world” is going to be tough; you will be in competition with other qualified and skilled members of society for that dream position at that dream company. But Co-op is what will prep you for the job application experience. Co-op students are actually on a pretty equal playing field in terms of age, education, and extracurriculars (give or take a few), and this can make it extremely competitive. The trick is to just work through it.

Learn from each rejection, even though it stings and you may often not even hear back from the company at all. Take those rejections and move forward. Use them to gain momentum and keep applying. Don’t let the discouragement of “nailed” interviews without response or “perfect” cover letters followed by a “not invited” message break your confidence. It just means that one of your peers gets the opportunity to learn, and that it wasn’t the right position for you yet.

My first experience applying to jobs with Co-op made me realize that the program is truly a learning experience from the very beginning. The whole process is an opportunity to grow and reflect upon your professional and personal development. The maturity you gain when you realize that you won’t get every job, and that you may have to keep trying time and time again in order to make an opportunity come to life, is incomparable. You won’t be able to learn that in just a lecture.

 


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Posted on November 14, 2014