Sam Rehan, a third-year international student pursuing Environment and Business, shares his experience in the co-op world between Environment and Business.
Sam spent his first co-op term at BlackBerry as a project coordinator. During his time there, Sam worked with different cross-functional teams with human resources, business developers, product deployment and more.
“As a project coordinator, the majority of the position would be working with all of them to achieve different goals of one project,” says Sam.
He then switched gears and worked for the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo as an Online Engagement Ambassador. Sam spent his time working on the communication side of the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development (SEED), which covered Environment and Business and International Development at all levels from undergrad, masters and doctorates.
“As part of the communications team, I would be working with the team on creating content and delivering it," says Sam. "The focus was toward online content delivery of media such as releasing news, releasing some student stories, putting up successes and competitions and challenges. At the same time, we were trying to develop our social media channels.”
“There’s something about co-op that just cannot be given to students in an academic setting.”
What sort of skills have you developed from your co-op terms?
“A soft skill that I learned was working in a professional environment. I've also gotten a lot of exposure to communicating with people at different organizational levels."
"When an organization is creating a communication deliverable for the public at large or for a lot of people to view, there's so many intricacies to that process. There are reviews, feedbacks which are given, and there are a lot of implications that have to be looked at before you actually release it."
"Working with cross-functional teams was being able to work with people with different minds, different types of working environments, different working styles, and even different communication habits.”
Things Sam misses about in-person co-op:
- Potential closeness with my teammates
- Ability to meet with teammates and interact with them face to face
- Working in an office environment
- Waking up early to get ready and prepare for my day
- Going through my notes before a meeting
- Having lunch with my colleagues
- Making a cup of coffee so I am alert!