Getting a taste of different work environments

Waterloo Co-op student Celina smiling infront of green leavesCelina Maya Mohni, a 4A Geography and Environmental Management (GEM) student who is currently specializing in climate science and working towards a diploma in sustainability at the University of Waterloo shares her co-op experience and how her skills have developed during her work terms.

During her past co-ops, Celina has worked at the Canadian Nuclear laboratory, Degrados (Spanish company), Ontario Ministry of Environment and the University of Waterloo. Some of her roles included being a sustainability intern, environmental assessment intern and biogeochemical modelling research assistant. 

What has been the most rewarding thing about co-op?  

Celina says, “For me it feels like I've gotten a little bit of a peek into how all of these different industries work. I feel like I've been really lucky to experience different fields, such as private government research. I’ve gotten a feel of how all of these places work. In my experience, I think that diversity is the most valuable thing I can take away because I know what I like and I know what I don't like and it's only made me more self-assured in my choices.” 

What accomplishment are you proud of? 

While working at the Canadian Nuclear Laboratory as a sustainability intern, Celina was told by her manager to come up with some ideas for waste diversion. She was working on this project on the side with the PR and Communications Department. For example, some of her campaigns included putting up posters, creating small announcements and creating tags for the compost bins. 

Celina said, “The stats from the waste department just came back in and it looks like over three months from September to November, we increased waste diversion by 26%! So, all the little ideas that we had implemented behind this did a lot of good and we ended up like a lot of things from going to landfill, which I'm super proud of.” 

Celina wearing a mask in a park with her camera

Celina smiling wearing sunglasses by a lake

What sort of skills have you developed from your co-op terms? 

“I feel like professional writing has been a really huge one. Something really fun and random that I got to do when I was working at the Spanish company is they would have me do translations of documents all the time. During this time, I improved my Spanish quite a bit, which was pretty awesome. 

I also developed my research and technical skills. I'm learning how to read things pretty fast. I take out the data and then play with the data to sort of see what comes with it. 

I also learned how to deal with difficult people. Sort of the patience that's required. I feel like it's really hard to develop that in your own life when you're just hanging out with family and friends. You don't really have to have that professional level of patience. I think that's definitely been developed for me through all the people I’d have to interact with.”

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