A career check-in with Cameron

A film image of Cameron Stirrup smiling.Hello blog fans! Cameron here! If you don’t know me, I’d recommend you check out all the amazing student blogs we’ve featured so far this term. Fall term is in full swing and while all our exceptional students are being featured this term, I wanted to check in with all you as we pass the halfway point, to discuss the key significance of holding a conversation about career connections.


I had the privilege to interview every student you’ve seen on our blog this term and I’ve realized the importance of sharing our goals, experiences, and skills with one another. This has been beneficial for both the student but also for the writer in myself. I also want to premise why connection within this context can act as the steppingstone to a potential career.

Writing the blogs of all the students I’ve had the utmost pleasure to host conversations with, has been nothing short of inspirational for an early co-op such as myself. I hope this inspiration will reflect upon all of you whether you’re on a work or study term.

Having the chance to connect with students from all six faculties has provided me with a different perspective regarding the plethora of working opportunities that are available to all of you!

The experience has only backed how admirable and polished co-op at the University of Waterloo is, and how bright my fellow students are.

The one key takeaway I had from last term, was that there is not one set pathway to find your success. Talking to students who have completed one, three, and even five work terms, there are challenges that arise along the way for sure – but they don’t define where you end up and co-op gives you the chance to go out and try new things. The first step is having that conversation to find out where those opportunities are.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many ways in which constructing these blogs have been vital to improving my career skills crazy enough, and why for students generally, extending an invite to chat about careers over coffee or a study break can benefit you too…


The more conversations you start, the less frightening they start to appear.

In every industry, communication skills are taking hold of the highest seat atop the mountain. I’ve learned that co-op students take great pride in sharing their story if you ask about it. I can see how this will transpire to discussions in lectures with other students where I’d be previously terrified to initiate conversations. Showing an interest and mirroring your story can create meaningful connections and highlight commonalities. I was personally amazed with the fellow first-term co-ops that I interviewed, or people within my program, because an instant connection was highlighted.


No question is a bad one.

In holding a career conversation, both sides have to act as sponges soaking everything up. That’s not possible without asking what comes to mind in the moment. Being genuine and taking interest into an individual’s advice, such as I learned, creates a meaningful conversation, one where you take the most out of.


We are all university students! Build off that connection and let the discussion flow!

Cameron Stirrup sitting at his desk smiling.This is the point in our academic journeys where we're working everyday to build our own career. Who says it has to be done alone?

We have the incredible opportunity to be amongst thousands of students with valuable skillsets. Among the students who’ve been featured in blogs this term, and those on the way in coming weeks, everyone has something special they bring to the table; skills within communication, technology, marketing, and embodying generosity as well as resilience, the list goes on and on.

The chances are, the student sitting beside you in your lectures is working towards the same thing you are – team up and take insight!


You begin to realize how many career options you have –opportunities are endless here!

There is no other place to constantly expand on your horizons quite like co-op at Waterloo. While new innovations constantly evolve every term, the student is innovating themselves.

No matter your faculty, or who you’re speaking with, new opportunities exist where you least expected them to – you may even find the dream job you never thought you’d have.

Like I said earlier, there is not one set path. A job or a project you aren’t satisfied with doesn’t define your ability. We don’t know the good without the bad however. Through engaging in chats with other students, you gain second opinions due to how every experience is an important one, even if it’s not directly yours.

All in all, having valuable career-centered discussions with your fellow students can not only improve your confidence and engagement but it can also help you define your career.

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