Angelica – April Reflection

My April with U Plus Education

As your co-op experience comes to an end, what are your key takeaways and lessons learned from the entire experience?

An important lesson I learned is to give yourself extra time!!! It’s not a bad thing to have confidence in yourself or your abilities, however, anything is possible. New projects may come about or a fellow coworker may need your help on a task. It is better to be safe than sorry. I have found that I tend to set aside the amount of time I expect is needed for a particular task and don’t take into consideration any crises that may occur or any higher priority tasks that need my extra set of hands. More often than not I would have estimated correctly had life not happened. So don’t be discouraged, this will only save you stress and gray hairs that may arise when you’re trying to meet a deadline and some things, personal or work-related may come up.

How has your co-op influenced your career goals and future plans? Are you considering pursuing a career in the field you completed your co-op in?

My co-op has influenced me to expand my horizon and embrace a bigger picture for my career goals and future plans. I went into this co-op only expecting to assist professors and teachers teaching virtual classes. However this placement has allowed me to take the reins and teach my own classes, as well as tasks beyond my role. This included administrative work, coordinating volunteers and high school coops as well as running a campsite. I even dabbled in a bit of marketing through newsletters sent out by email and promoting our socials. All of this has gotten me to consider not limiting myself to education-related careers and opportunities. However, this term has led me to believe that I shouldn’t limit myself this way and to put myself out there in various fields and to broaden my skill set and experiences.

What advice would you offer to fellow students who are planning to embark on their co-op journeys or are currently in the midst of their co-op experiences?

I would advise fellow students planning to embark on their co-op journeys or are currently in the midst of their co-op experiences to get familiar with their team. Be friendly with one another, but not only that, become familiar with what they do. Everyone has their part to play and their assigned roles. Learning what everyone does helps you in a multitude of ways. Firstly, if you have any role-specific questions, you know who can help you the most. Secondly, you can help redirect others that come to you with questions that may be better suited for someone else in your team, whether they be volunteers, high school coops or patrons. Thirdly, sometimes things come up and tasks and/or projects get shuffled around. Getting familiar with your team’s roles may give you a head start or when one of their tasks falls onto you. That way you may not be completely lost, and you can adapt swiftly!

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