By Tharangi Uthayakumar
With the term drawing to a close, I wanted to share my personal experiences working as a co-op student experience associate for Co-operative Education (CE). I had the chance to develop my decision-making and problem-solving skills while gaining deeper knowledge about the ins-and-outs of CE during my time here.
My main objective entering this role was to improve the co-op experience for students. A big focus for me was digging deeper into the existing lines of communication and support currently provided by student societies.
Through my research, I learned that there were opportunities to strengthen the collaboration between student societies and CE. I recommended each faculty’s society meet with CE one-on-one regularly throughout the term. This initiative goes into full swing starting in the spring term and should result in more efficient responses to students’ co-op concerns.
It is clear to me that the success of Waterloo’s co-op program stems from the full-time staff and co-op students who work here: they are passionate, driven and deeply care about the work they do.
I was fortunate to call two of them my supervisors. Franco Solimano and Gabrielle Smith, the co-op student experience managers, supported me from the very beginning. I truly appreciate how they made this term memorable through the many opportunities to create meaningful work that has a real impact on many co-op students.
I didn’t know what to expect as I entered this role, but I come out with an amazing and unique privilege to help shape the future of co-op at Waterloo.
As I wrap up my time here, Tiffany from the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences will take on this role for the next four months. She will write more about Co-operative Education throughout the spring and will introduce herself to you in the next few weeks.
I hope you continue to be interested in learning more about this department along with her!