Tanya – January Reflection

My January with U Plus Education

What motivated you to join U+?

I wanted to find a co-op experience related to education, preferably with hands-on teaching experience. Seeing all the testimonials on the U+ web page when I was researching about the company after I applied for the co-op position made me feel like this company is the right place for me to get more teaching experience. Based on the title of “teaching assistant” alone, I thought I would just be like a university teaching assistant in which I’m helping to grade homework or helping the teacher in a classroom. I didn’t really expect myself to be developing a whole curriculum for some of my classes. The idea of working hybridly was also appealing because time is saved from having to travel to and from offices. Knowing that the company size is relatively small, compared to large office companies, was also an aspect that attracted my attention, as working in small companies would allow me to get my hands on a lot of different projects and be part of cross-functional teams. Working in a big company, I would just be working within one department under one of the managers.

What was your impression of first interactions with the team and the organization’s culture?

I first met Kevin back in November 2023 because I couldn’t attend the company lunch in December. From that interaction, it felt like U+ was going to be a great learning experience because there is a large emphasis on taking initiative and regarding how people in the organization are always happy to answer questions if we are stuck on a task. Next, I met Carson during my orientation on January 6, and it felt comforting to know that I would be working with someone who is from the same school as there is that underlying connection due to being from the same university. Then I met with the rest of the UW co-op team, and we had a great relationship between ourselves. I quickly noticed the relatively small size of the company as well compared to office corporations, which is something I like.

How do you envision U+ contributing to your academic and professional growth?
Being the first practical full-time job I will hold, U+ will contribute greatly to my professional growth. All my previous experiences with children were through volunteer opportunities. Over the remaining months, I am sure I will be strengthening the hard skills I have been learning recently – i.e., how to use Monday.com – and advancing my soft skills. Academically, U+ will allow me to put theory into practice. As a psychology student at UW, I’ve taken courses in developmental psychology, organizational psychology, and educational psychology. The workplace requires the application of what was learned through school, and I’m glad that I am given the opportunity to learn hands-on in the workplace as a university co-op before entering the workforce as a full-fledged adult employee.

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