By: Jacqueline Gergal, Matt McTavish, guest writers and co-op students
A new co-op position is no different from any new job. Adjusting to the demands and workloads of a new workplace takes time. During a co-op term, you often have to learn new skills, adapt to a new culture and become comfortable with job responsibilities all in a short period of time.
Students in most programs go through this process five to six times during their University careers. As a co-op student myself, I know that this process can be stressful and challenging, however it also offers an excellent opportunity to develop skills that help you adapt to a new situation.
Real-life work experience and expanding upon the skills you learn in the classroom are the most important components of the co-op experience. That being said, the best way to improve is to be challenged and put in situations where you are forced to think in new ways. How you attack these new challenges is the key to personal improvement.
Success in the work term begins before you step foot in the work place. Seeking out résumé and cover letter help can set you up for a positive experience, and may improve the quantity and quality of opportunities available to you.
When you start your new position, make sure to set goals with your supervisor. Make sure that the expectations and responsibilities are clear- don’t be afraid to ask questions! Take the initiative to seek out help if you need it or even more work if you have completed the work that was assigned to you. Most importantly, don’t become discouraged when you are faced with adversity, these are often the experiences that we learn from the most.
Throughout every term, the Tatham Centre hosts various workshops to set students up for success. Examples of these seminars include:
- Résumé critiques
- Mock interviews
- International work term tips
- How to negotiate job offers
- Networking events
With new events every term, the Centre for Career Action’s calendar is a great resource.
For any questions during your work term please drop in to the Tatham Centre from 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. for the month of January 2018, or set up an appointment on the Centre for Career Action’s website. Co-operative Education is happy to work with you to make your co-op experience successful, enriching and memorable.