Providing support for students, faculty and staff on campus

A photo of Maya smiling outside with her arms crossed. My name is Maya (she/her) and I am a third-year Social Development Studies co-op student with a minor in Peace and Conflict Studies. I have completed two work terms; I have worked for the University of Waterloo as an online learning assistant and at Renison University College as an academic programs assistant.

What projects were you a part of during your co-op terms?

Both of my co-op roles have focused on providing support to Renison faculty, staff and students. Some exciting projects I worked on were developing a website for the Honours Arts and Honours Arts and Business programs, planning and facilitating student life events and providing one-on-one peer support for students.

In my role as an online learning assistant, I was able to provide technical assistance with online learning platforms such as Learn, Kahoot and Bongo for Renison faculty and staff. I was also able to work with Renison’s Marketing and Recruitment team on social media campaigns, content development and website maintenance.

In my role as an academic programs assistant, I also provided technical assistance with online learning platforms for Renison faculty and staff. I worked alongside Renison’s Student Life Team to create and facilitate events, market events and provide one-on-one peer support for students. I also worked with the Marketing and Recruitment team to present a webinar and maintain the website.

What did your day-to-day work basis look like for each co-op job?

In my first co-op role, I worked remotely. So, my day-to-day work was spent providing technical support to faculty and staff by responding to emails and attending meetings. I also had an online learning assistant team that I would meet with every week to discuss our tasks, share our thoughts and ask questions. We were able to foster a feeling of community through our interactions.

My role as an academic programs assistant was hybrid, so I worked remotely and in-person occasionally. A typical day working from home in this role consisted of providing technical assistance to faculty and staff, providing one-on-one peer support and developing marketing content (posters, blurbs, etc.).

I would go in person to facilitate Student Life Events alongside the Renison peer leaders. I met with my boss and the peer leaders once a week to plan events, share ideas and discuss student life at Renison. Through these virtual and in-person interactions, I was able to build a relationship with my co-workers.

A photo of Maya standing in front of a staircase and smiling.Describe a challenge that you have faced during co-op. How did you approach this challenge?

A challenge I faced during my first co-op role was managing my tasks. Since my role was virtual and I received tasks daily, I struggled in the beginning to prioritize tasks and allocate time. I was able to solve this by keeping a planner that detailed my short-term and long-term tasks and organized them by priority. 

How do you think your co-op work terms have helped you develop yourself? What kinds of skills have you developed from these experiences?
My co-op work terms have helped me develop my time-management skills, organizational skills and confidence. I have been able to work with great teams, manage my time and tasks, and build my confidence by going out of my comfort zone and building new skills.

What's next for you?

I am currently on a study term and I have completed the co-op job search process for my next work term. I will be working with the Information and Systems Technology team at the University of Waterloo!