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Health Sciences alumnus finds career path through co-op
FHS alumnus Raymond Wang is currently an Infection Control Specialist at Fraser Health. He graduated from the Faculty of Health Sciences in 2016 and as a result of co-op, also completed a Masters of Science in Occupational & Environmental Hygiene at UBC in 2018.
The SFU Co-operative Education Office checked in with Wang recently to ask how his co-op experience has shaped his career path.
What interested you about Co-op?
I think Co-op was a great opportunity to explore potential career paths. Since our courses cover a wide range of topics, it can be hard to discern what jobs are out there for a Health Sciences student finishing school.
Has Co-op helped you understand your career path better?
Yeah, definitely. My first Co-op with Island Health gave me a lot of insight into the healthcare system, and an appreciation of all the different disciplines that work collaboratively in the organization. The Co-op experience really sparked my interest to pursue a career in healthcare with Fraser Health.
Would you recommend Co-op to other students?
Yes, absolutely. Co-op is a great way to get practical experience in a real work environment. Even the process of applying to jobs, such as the cover letter writing workshops and practice interview sessions, all help build transferable skills that will stay with you well after your time at SFU.
What advice would you give to students that are considering/applying to Co-op?
Sometimes when job-searching, students may have a tendency to look for and apply only to the “perfect Co-op job”. I recommend to keep an open-mind, and apply to a variety of jobs; you never know when you come across an unassuming position that turn out to be an incredibly rewarding job experience in the end.
What advice would you give to students who are about to graduate and would like to stay with the organizations they are currently doing Co-op in?
Have a conversation with your supervisor to express your interest in staying with the organization. Convey to them your interests and future career goals. At the very least, even if there are no opportunities right away, people will usually keep an eye out.
What got you to do your Masters after you graduated?
During my Co-op at WorkSafeBC, my supervisor recommended to me a Masters program that was related to the projects that I have been working on. When I returned to school, I started taking courses that were similar to the graduate program offerings; I found the material enjoyable which made the idea of pursuing a Masters program significantly less daunting. After having completed the Masters program, I found it to be not only academically rewarding, but it also opened the doors to a lot of unique job opportunities.
Do you have any future goals?
Fraser Health has been very supportive in my role as an Infection Control Specialist, and I will continue to develop my skills in this position for the near future.