Connecting with nature and exploring new cities through co-op

Sam smilingSam Bycraft, a 4B Geography and Environment Management student enjoyed her co-op term while being outdoors!

Sam, a fourth-year GEM student had spent three out of her four co-ops in Ottawa! Her first work term was at Chicopee Ski Resort in Kitchener, Ontario, where she was a rental shop attendant. In her second work term, Sam worked in the variety registration office as a junior crop officer at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in Ottawa. Her tasks involved reviewing and approving applications for certain soybeans to be sold in Canada and inputting the data she received. 

A challenge that Sam had faced during her co-op term while being in Ottawa was isolation from her friends and family. Sam’s hometown is Lucan which is a small town just half an hour from North of London, Ontario. "Being away from family and friends for 8 months was really tough as all you can do it call and talk to them."

Many students can experience the same challenge while working in unfamiliar cities. A good tip is to get involved with co-op connection, a WUSA organized service that allows students to connect with their campus community while they are off-campus on a work term. It helps students connect with other co-op's who are working in the same cities and more!


Working at AAFC 

Sam decided to take up two of her co-op terms at Agriculture and Agriculture-Food Canada (AAFC) as a research assistant in where she worked within the micrometeorology laboratory department. Her team grew wheat during one of the year’s she was there and soybeans for the following year. 

Sam really enjoyed her last two terms of co-op as she got to work in an outdoor environment. She loved having the hands-on experience as well as incorporating physical activity into her co-op term. She says, “I’m not someone who really enjoys sitting at a desk but I love being outdoors in wide spaces.”  

Sam capturing gas flux readings in a farmSam installing CO₂ flux chambers that are used to capture gas flux readings!

 

Sam unning the machine using an iPod to test the gas fluxes later on in the growing season!Sam running the machine using an iPod to test the gas fluxes later on in the growing season!

Sam used Facebook events to de-stress herself while being on her co-op term in Ottawa. She used the social platform as an opportunity to explore and experience a new city. Sam says it’s important to be able to go out with people and attempt new things.

"Though it might be a new place for you during your co-op," Sam says “don’t be confined in your apartment. Try to push yourself out of your comfort zone, meet new people and visit new places.”  

 
Sam loves to spend her spare time after work running. She says the runs became a therapeutic way for her to take some time for herself and not have to think about anything. Sam says, “It feels like I can be out in the world and almost explore, in a sense.”  
 
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