Kayley Hollyer


What inspired you to join the Co-op program? 
Upon learning about the SFU Environmental Co-op Program, I was immediately drawn to the diversity of available jobs. The freedom of job choice for students was also a huge factor in choosing this program. As an environmental student, I am not only interested in jobs involving environmental field work, but also education, communication and research positions. I voiced this interest, and I was then encouraged to apply to whatever jobs I thought would best suit my interests and abilities. I knew that the opportunity for such great work experience in so many different fields would be hard to find elsewhere. I believe that by learning about potential career paths, I can better cater my degree to a future career I will be passionate about. Through this experience, I also hope to be able to network with companies and people to hopefully increase my chances of securing my dream job in the future.

Where did you work?
Over the spring semester of 2017 I was a Science Facilitator at Science World British Columbia. I am now looking forward to working for Parks Canada for the summer of 2017.

What was your role and what were some of your responsibilities?
As a Science Facilitator at Science World, it's important to promote a love for learning and fun to all audiences. By engaging visitors in gallery exhibits, you help to create a personalized experience and hopefully encourage curiosity and learning. When facilitating in a gallery, it was not only important to ensure that customers were enjoying themselves and learning, but also to make sure that the galleries were being well looked after and safety rules were enforced. Performing shows at center stage as well as giving OMNIMAX movie speeches was also a daily part of working at Science World. I was personally given a project to develop an educational program for Science World to implement into their daily schedule. With this project, I was given time to discuss ideas with my colleagues as well as participate in personal research. Providing excellent customer service and treating all guests with respect was something that I strived for throughout my entire work semester with Science World.

How did the skills developed in the classroom apply to your job? What did you learn? 
In a classroom setting, I was taught about the way things work and why they are the way they are. Courses including BISC 102, GEOG 215 and REM 370 I found to all have valuable information for this work setting. Implementing these ideas and teaching them to young children was a whole other experience. My position at Science World helped me to improve effective communication and my ability to convey information to customers of various ages. This communication was important when working as a team and while providing good customer service. Beginning a conversation and remaining engaging were also skills I improved upon.

How was your transition to the workplace? 
At first it was very daunting to be starting a full-time position with so many individuals with different educational backgrounds, but after some time it became second nature. My first week of employment at Science World, I learned all of the safety procedures, the floor plan, how to act with guests, as well as how to facilitate in nine different galleries. It was a lot of information to remember and be able to implement while working. The staff at Science World was very welcoming and helped me to gain comfort and eventually excel at maintaining a fun and safe environment while also helping customers to learn.

What was your most memorable Co-op experience?
My most memorable co-op experience would probably be my very first day working on the floor at Science World. It was a great feeling to finally experience the position that I had applied for, interviewed for and trained for over the past week. Being on the floor with the rest of the staff and customers made me realize that I had accomplished my goal of procuring my very first Co-op and I had secured an amazing job with amazing people surrounding me. This feeling made me feel excited to explore education and public outreach.

What advice do you have for future Co-op Students?
I believe that it is important to make the time you have count! Whether that be to get involved with new projects, explore different areas of the job you may be unfamiliar with, or by simply asking questions. I found that my co-workers and supervisors often had amazing tips and tricks for success in my workplace.