Developing jobs for students

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

by Tharangi Uthayakumar

Emily Burgess, Business Developer

Going into a recruiting term is similar to getting ready for a big game: it can be both exhilarating and exhausting. Frustration levels can skyrocket as we all try to land our perfect dream co-op jobs.

During times like this, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. There are staff who are responsible for finding the right jobs to ensure everyone finds a valuable co-op experience. Leading the charge are business developers who attend networking events, tradeshows and job fairs to recruit new co-op employers.

Business developers meet with several employers daily to continuously expand the University of Waterloo’s large network. Their aim is to find roles that would be a good fit and benefit both students and employers alike.

“Every day is different. I could be speaking with ten different employers in one day. A potential employer in long term care, the next in construction and after that to someone in the water industry,” says Emily Burgess, a business developer working with employers across all programs on campus.

Co-operative Education strives to help students gain the experiences they need in order to succeed in their careers. Extensive research goes into finding jobs that achieve this goal. For example, some students are invited by staff to speak at Co-operative Education’s department meetings.

Emily McLaughlin, who is in 4B Kinesiology, is one of those students. She represented her program at one these forums, talking about what skills she would like to gain and the current co-op job availability relevant to her field.

Her valuable input lets business developers know what to look for to target certain roles or connect with specific companies. Finding the right jobs is challenging for both business developers and students alike.

As a fellow co-op student, I understand how difficult it is to get the job you set your sights on. You may not immediately end up in your most preferred work term, but every experience you gain will always be an asset to reaching your objectives.