Two Guys, a Girl, and a Football Club

Two Guys, a Girl, and a Football Club

By: Agnes Gulbinowicz | SFU Communication Co-op Student
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 A Co-op Student Perspective

"When you can work effectively in a team it can be one of the most enriching aspects of your job"

I’ll admit it, when I found out that I was placed with the BC Lions for my first co-op work term, I was disappointed; my heart was set on jetting off to Ottawa. Not only was I staying in Vancouver, but I was also interning, which meant I could forget about a monthly paycheck. However, when I arrived at BC Place on my first day, I realized that the job was going to be anything but disappointing.

From the get-go, I was learning how to write a proper news release, what to do during a press conference and how to organize and distribute game credentials and countless other tasks. However, my time with the team was educational in more ways than one. Perhaps my greatest educational experience was learning to fit into an effective team.

During my interview I had been told that the associate directors of communication were both taking a leave of absence and that two young guys, Nathan and Dan, were taking their place for the season. I don’t think I was fully prepared for the challenge of getting used to working with them, as they are both barely two years older than me, and needless to say, thinking of either one of them as my ‘bosses’ was a challenge. It was strange to be asking for duties from guys that under different circumstances, I would be hanging out with on a Friday night. Still, I was determined to respect our work dynamic and not treat them too informally.

I was also determined to earn their respect. Because Nathan and Dan had worked together the year before and they had a history that I couldn’t compete with, so I didn’t try. Instead, I concentrated on my work, and tried to help the guys out in whatever way I could. My dedication was soon paying off and their appreciation was evident. Slowly but surely, they entrusted me with more responsibility, and I was even given the chance to write a feature article for BC Lions Magazine. By the last month of my work term, the three of us had found a rhythm as a balanced cohesive unit. Each of us knew what the others needed to do their best work. We could provide support to one another without needing to be asked and without having to ask. I finally understood why employers and co-op coordinators rave about teamwork; when you can work effectively in a team it can be one of the most enriching aspects of your job.

People often seem unimpressed when they find out I didn’t get to know any of the football players this past summer. The truth is, I got to know two guys who were better team players than any quarterback. And when I jet off to Ottawa for my next work term, the memories and skills I built at the Lions will be some of my greatest assets.

Beyond The Article

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Communique Article (Published Spring 2004)

Posted on July 20, 2010