A snippet in the life of a co-op student

Maham Surahyo, a third-year Public Health student, shares her experience working for the Peel Regional Police as a community safety and well-being analyst. 

Q & A with Maham  

What are your responsibilities in the workplace and what does your work entail?  

Maham Surahyo standing infront of a Peel Regional Police back dropI work on the Community Safety and Wellbeing team with Peel Regional Police. Our team focuses on determining the root causes of the habitual calls for service pertaining to mental health, addiction, intimate partner violence or homelessness. This helps the Service become more proactive in addressing matters that result in criminal behaviour or victimization.

My responsibilities often involve research and data analysis. Our team is a new initiative in Peel, therefore we are working on developing many foundational strategies and policies which need to be evidence-based. I research and produce briefing notes and recommendations on various topics of interest for my team. I also analyze and evaluate many initiatives that my team has started.  

What has been the highlight of your current work term?  

The highlight of my work term has been networking with various individuals internally and externally.

I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to attend various policing events, ride along with officers and work with numerous individuals in different policing departments such as corporate communications, diversity, crime stoppers, community mobilization and divisional mobilization.

I have also had the chance to work on projects externally with Peel Public Health and the Region of Peel where I have actively participated in working on environmental scans, literature reviews and briefing notes.

These aspects of my co-op term have been extremely meaningful for my professional growth as I have not only had the opportunity to network with various individuals, I have been able to diversify my knowledge and gain transferable skills.

How do you think this experience and/or your previous co-ops have helped you develop yourself?

This experience has been very beneficial for my professional and personal growth as I have been able to gain various transferable skills.

Most importantly, I have been able to gain confidence as an employee in my skills and capabilities. My current supervisor has been great to work with as he lets me have autonomy over the work I do for my team which I have lacked in my previous work terms.

With autonomy comes the responsibility to ensure the work I do exceeds the standard that is expected of me. Not only does this help me feel like an asset to my team but it also has helped me develop time management and attention to detail skills, making me a stronger employee.

How did you overcome challenges during this work term and/or previous ones?

In my previous work terms, I have struggled to maintain a work-life balance. Often, because of my workload, I would skip lunch and accumulate many hours of overtime.

The stress of my work would also seep into my personal time and days off. This resulted in me not taking the time to enjoy the hobbies and activities I would like to do on a day-to-day basis such as working out, cooking healthy meals or reading leisurely.

During my current work term, I have been able to attain a balance between my work and personal life as my team and work environment value employee wellness and mental health.

I have a more balanced workload and always take a lunch break to break up my day. This not only motivates me to get my work done but also helps me complete my work to the expected standard.