Prepare yourself for the real world with real work experiences

Peter smiling outsidePeter Voltsinis, an Honours Planning alum from the University of Waterloo, says he can’t imagine his journey without co-op. 

In 2017, Peter worked at the Ontario Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science in the Office of the Chief Scientist as a Junior Policy and Research Analyst. This was followed by his next co-op term, where he worked at Brookfield Residential Properties Limited as a Land Development Coordinator. Peter worked on a wide range of projects, which included assisting with property research, corresponding with contractors and municipal staff, designing lot typologies, and helping to facilitate a public meeting.

Later in 2018, Peter worked for the Region of Durham in the Planning and Economic Development Department as a Policy Planning Student. Later on, Peter decided to split his eight-month co-op term into two separate four-month co-op terms by going to work for two different organizations. He spent his fourth co-op term at SANDBOX, an interior design company, where he helped prepare architectural drawings in AutoCAD. For his last co-op term, Peter decided to go back to the Region of Durham, where he continued to help facilitate Durham’s Municipal Comprehensive Review and comment on development applications.

What did you enjoy about your company’s culture? 

“Each company and organization for whom I worked treated me as a valuable, integral member of their team," says Peter. "For instance, my colleagues at the Region of Durham were incredibly happy to allow me to work on a variety of different, unique projects. From assisting with policy research and data analysis to commenting on subdivision applications, I was able to complete substantive planning work. As well, my colleagues allowed me to spearhead projects, which included helping develop and implement a methodology to monitor rental prices in Durham.”

Peter talks about how his colleagues at the Ministry, Brookfield Residential, SANDBOX, and the Region were flexible and accommodating, which allowed him to be intellectually curious.

Peter smiling


"I really appreciate how much the University of Waterloo’s co-op program has allowed me to develop as a person, academically and professionally. I truly cannot imagine not having co-op experiences."

Peter voltsinis, FACULTY OF environment alum, university of waterloo

Peter smiling

What techniques did you use to stay organized during your work term?  

Peter created a work schedule in Microsoft Excel, which outlined his tasks and helped him stay organized during his work terms.

He created detailed schedules for his short-term and long-term projects, which allowed him to track his progress and set milestones for the term.

In preparation for his meetings with his supervisors, Peter would reference the spreadsheet to monitor his progress during the work term.


What's next for you? How has co-op prepared you for life after undergrad?  

"This fall, I will be entering my second year of studies as a Juris Doctor candidate at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. My co-op experiences have been invaluable to me in my pursuit of a legal career. Each experience humbled me, introduced me to amazing mentors, helped me develop a variety of skills, and reinforced my commitment to being intellectually curious. I cannot say enough about the positive impacts that my co-op journey has had on my post-undergraduate life."