By Mahek Kacheria, 3A Environment and Business co-op student
For my first co-op term, I landed an international job opportunity with Kaizen Institute in my hometown Ahmedabad, India. I worked at their regional marketing division for India & Africa as the Business Development and Marketing Associate.
Adaptability was the theme of the term. From starting work the morning after a 30-hour journey to travelling to another city for a conference jet-lagged, this experience gave me the conﬁdence to overcome so many obstacles.
The first-ever Global Charter for Co-op and Work-Integrated Education has been signed by more than 50 university and college presidents, education association executives and high-ranking government officials. The signing happened on August 6, 2019, as part of the 2019 WACE World Conference in at the University of Cincinnati.
Among the charter signatories was Dr. Norah McRae, Associate Provost, Co-operative and Experiential Education for the University of Waterloo.
“For over 60 years, the University of Waterloo has been a world-leader in co-operative education, largely due to our focus on training students to be adaptive, resilient, future-ready problem solvers,” says McRae. “It was an honour to sign this charter to symbolize our ongoing global commitment to developing stronger international work-integrated learning experiences that prepare students to address the critical, growing needs of the world’s economy.”
Third-year Architecture student Simone Delaney pursued an international co-op work term to gain new perspectives on the world. While working in Jakarta, Indonesia, she also gained life-changing experiences through the impactful work she did for Yayasan Peta Bencana, an organization that offers open-source mapping visualization software to help manage climate disasters. While on her work term, Yayasan Peta Bencana received the United Nations Public Service Award for ensuring integrated approaches in public sector institutions and helping to meet some of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals - especially those related to climate change.
With the help of seven University of Waterloo co-op students, Canada’s first Spatial Atomic Layer Deposition (SALD) system is up and running. At the celebratory ribbon cutting on May 10, 2018, project leader Professor Kevin Musselman said he couldn’t have done it without the co-op students who helped design and build the machine.
“I was sitting at my desk the whole time. I don't think I ever lifted a finger so it was entirely built by the students,” laughs Musselman.
Co-op is what makes Waterloo Pharmacy unique: we’re the only co-operative education pharmacy school in Canada. Offering a co-op program is challenging and requires the support of the pharmacist community all across the country. Without employers to consistently hire students and offer invaluable learning opportunities, our program would not be possible.