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Congrats, you got a co-op job! Your hard work, persistence and tailored cover letters & resumes paid off. Now what? When your co-op position has been confirmed by your Coordinator, three things will happen:
Before Your Work Term
Step 1: Employment Confirmation
After you accept a co-op job offer, you’ll receive an e-mail from your co-op program with instructions on your next steps, which includes your co-op practicum course registration, UPass exemption (if applicable) and more.
Step 3: Placements Outside BC and International
Check with your Medical Services Plan (MSP) about coverage outside of BC - especially for work terms over 4 months.
Students working internationally outside of Canada MUST take the Bridging International Learning Course (BIL) that is managed by the International Co-op office (note: you will need to have your visa, work permit, medical coverage, accommodation, etc. information ready)
During Your Work Term
Being an "Ambassador for SFU"
You’re eager to start working in your professional co-op job. As an SFU co-op student, you will be seen by your employer and colleagues as an “ambassador for SFU.” What does that mean?
Your behaviour and attitude on the job may affect the reputation of SFU and SIAT Co-op. It may impact opportunities for future co-op students. Be professional! Remember the people you work for are your future references. Below are tips from seasoned Co-op students and employers on professional behaviour:
- Treat everyone at the office, at every level, with courtesy and respect, including janitors and receptionists.
- Be on time, even 5 minutes early. It doesn’t matter that you missed your bus. Catch the earlier bus so that it’s not a problem. Being on time isn’t noticed. But being late is.
- Dress appropriately for the office or lab setting. If unsure, talk to your new boss.
- Take a notepad and take notes during any meeting with your boss and colleagues. It shows active listening and respect.
- Be on task. Look for answers and ask questions if you’re unsure and don’t know where to look. Your boss is not a mind reader.
- Slow down. Resist the urge to race through your work and move on to the next task. Your boss will appreciate error-free work more than fast sloppy work that has to be re-done.
- Accept a lunch invitation if it feels right. It’s a great way to make new connections.
- Report to your formal supervisor if you expect to be late or an unexpected emergency comes up.
- No social media at work! This is a big no-no. We hear a lot about this from employers during site visits. They don’t like it. At all. Unless of course, it’s part of your new SIAT Co-op job.
- Co-op is part of your education and career. There is formalized feedback to your SFU Co-op Coordinator during your work term that contributes to your learning and professional development. Make this count; you’ll get more out of your Co-op experience as a result. More on that in the following sections.
Feeling lost or unsure of expectations in your new workplace? Call us! Your Co-op Coordinator is there to support you during your work term. Talk to us if you have questions, concerns, uncertainties.