Lily – 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?

During my co-op experience, I undertook a variety of tasks that improved my skills in web development, content creation, project management, and business. I gained a breadth of skills I didn’t think I would be able to gain from a coop experience. Some of my lessons learned include speaking to new people of authority without the fear I felt before. This was gained from reaching out to businesses and handling cold calls to companies for donations. In addition, I learned how to manage children and parents, as well as how to lead a group of volunteers throughout the day. This was from the March Break Camp, where I had to lead a classroom for five days. One other major takeaway was the importance of time management and self-discipline. Working at home day-to-day, I could feel the difference in my energy and focus levels depending on how I started, and planned, my day. I will surely be able to use these skills as I continue my school term.

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 my career goals and future plans by providing me with a further understanding of different types of companies and their work styles. It has also helped me develop a clearer vision of the kind of work environment and projects I enjoy. While I enjoyed the diverse range of tasks in my co-op, I realized that I am particularly interested in roles that involve more design and research content, as well as focused, detail-oriented projects. This experience has motivated me to explore opportunities in these areas for my next career steps.

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’ve learned a few lessons from my coop experience that might help other students along the way. Firstly, embrace the diversity of tasks and environments you encounter. My co-op involved everything from web development to teaching, which gave me a broad skill set and a deeper understanding of different industries. Secondly, set specific goals for what you want to achieve. For me, leading projects like the UofT UX design team project and managing high school web development co-ops at U+ Education were pivotal experiences that helped me refine my career aspirations. Thirdly, don’t hesitate to seek feedback. It’s through feedback that I learned the most and improved my skills, particularly in content creation and project management. Fourthly, networking is key. Building relationships with professionals in your field can open up new opportunities and expand your professional network. Stay organized and manage your time effectively, especially when juggling multiple tasks like creating marketing content and managing projects. This will help you stay on top of your workload and deliver high-quality work.

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