Tanya – 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?

Your attitude and approach to everything is all-important. As with any experience in life, there are things that you would prefer to avoid having to do, challenges that may struggle immensely with at first, and tasks that seem tedious. However, every opportunity is an opportunity for learning when you are able to step back and look at it in a different light. Being able to see how things fit in the grander scheme of things for the small frustrations to become negligible.

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?

I applied to complete my co-op term with U+ Education because I wanted to see whether teaching is a career path I truly want to pursue after completing my current undergraduate program. I had many teaching opportunities during my co-op experience but my dual role as an HR Coordinator and in coordinating coworkers on different tasks has reignited my interest for people management, which I have acquired from my high school experiences. All the choices are for me to make – I suppose we’ll see where I end up later 😉

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?

“It’s only four months.” Take it how you will. If you are stuck in a co-op placement that you despise, this may offer some solace – to be reassured that this is not for long. However, before you look away, let me remind you that co-op is an opportunity for you to discover yourself – whether it be your working model preferences, your ability to handle different tasks/situations, or the industry that you want to work in – and an opportunity to develop employability skills, or “soft skills.”

Having the technical and industry-specific skills to complete certain job responsibilities is only one part of the picture as organizations want people that are ready to join the workforce by having the foundational skills such as collaboration, communication, problem-solving, and adaptability. These skills are needed in more or less every job so having the opportunity to further advance these skills should not go to waste.

Furthermore, you should reach out to your coworkers as you never know when a valuable connection comes along – whether it be a potential reference, a mentor, or a lifelong friend.

For those who are enjoying their co-op experience, I implore you to network and connect with your coworkers as they may be able to provide you great insight to the industry if you plan on joining that field. Seize every learning opportunity that you can handle as the months will fly by. 

Co-op provides students with a valuable glimpse into the workforce where we come to sustain ourselves. It is only four months but its value should not be made light of!

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