How opportunities can grow into new passions

Nilusha smiling beside flowersNilusha Rattansi, a third-year Honours Public Health student, also pursuing a minor in French, shares her co-op experience by encouraging us to try new things! 

Nilusha spent her first co-op term at the Ontario Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility in Toronto followed by her next co-op term where she was at Year Zero Studios as a Research and Digital Marketing Fellow. 


While on her first co-op term, she was booking hotel rooms for policy conferences, ordering catering and washing dishes. However, in the second month of her work term that changed drastically. She received a research project where she wrote policy recommendations for the Government of Ontario. “I applied because I wanted to be involved in the policy side of things, but I got so much project management experience from the catering and conference side too," says Nilusha. "I feel like I had a really diverse experience from my first co-op position.”  

“Keep in mind that there is a path you will end up on. You have to try your best and be open to your path in the moment.”

NILUSHa, third-year honours public health student

What did you like about being a Program Analyst and what drew you to this role? 

Nilusha had the opportunity to try new things by being a program analyst. She had the chance to be involved in confidential stakeholder meetings and work on policy research. In public health, Nilusha is being taught to see health not just as a biomedical factor but as well-being in general. She is drawn to jobs that improve the quality of life of others.

Nilusha was drawn to this role because it involved seniors and people with disabilities, who she had not worked with before and she had a desire to work with them.

“At the end of the day, I feel like I’ve widened the way I see health. It’s made me realize that the job I want to do in the future would be something that improves the way of life.” 

Nilusha smiling with her name tag at work

Nilusha smiling at work

How do you stay focused on your tasks while working from home? 

Nilusha tried to work out in between her workday to stay focused while working from home. She says, “Whether it was going to the basement and just stretching or a 15-minute walk, just taking small breaks away from my desk helps me," says Nilusha. "Being in the same environment could be draining so I always make sure to change up my scenery.”

Nilusha would often hop on a call with her colleague to help keep her accountable and motivated to stay focused during work.