Paige Sharpe (she/her), a third-year Health Sciences student with a minor in Addictions, Mental Health and Policy, discusses her most recent co-op job at Environment and Climate Change Canada.
What are your responsibilities in the workplace and what does your work entail?
In the workplace, my main tasks are to do with the regulation of emissions for the heavy-duty sector. My main focus this semester was to conduct three separate analyses for regulation to reduce heavy-duty vehicle emissions and incentivize zero emission heavy-duty vehicles.
The analyses, which followed the Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA Plus) analytical process, took into account the effects the regulation would have on the different areas of life (health, economy, etc.), and focused on different vulnerable sectors (older adults, lower-income, BIPOC, etc.).
What has been the highlight of your current work term?
The highlight for me has been being able to explore my passion for climate change and its effect on health in the scope of the government. Additionally, getting to be part of such an amazing team.
How have your previous co-ops helped you develop yourself?
My experience with my first co-op working with Health Canada enabled me to have a base understanding of government as well as making the onboarding process run smoothly.
How did you overcome challenges during this work term?
I overcame my issues with public speaking by seeking out opportunities to practice public speaking. For example, during my co-op term, I gave two presentations to upper management; one was about a literature review of electric vehicles in the mining sector, and the other was about my major task of the semester. By practicing this skill, I became more comfortable with it.