Third-year Kinesiology student Christian Delayun just finished an incredible co-op work term at the University of Waterloo’s Cardiovascular and Vascular Dynamics Lab where he examined changes in the pre- and post-flight cardiovascular health of astronauts. His role as a research assistant involved analyzing data from previous space flight missions. “Basically, we are looking at changes in endothelial function in the artery after a space mission,” said Delayun.
Looking back, Delayun says his co-op journey wasn’t an easy one. It began in 2011 when he immigrated to Canada from the Philippines. Not long after his move, he was accepted into Waterloo’s Kinesiology program. His first co-op work placement was at the Hospital for Sick Children’s Cardiovascular Clinical Research unit. Delayun says that securing his first work term was challenging but he overcame his obstacles by utilizing the resources that Waterloo has to offer.
“During the first year of my undergraduate degree, I was fully aware that my communication and writing skills were lacking. As an immigrant, I had difficulties expressing my opinions and ideas,” explained Delayun. “I took initiative to address my weaknesses by reaching out to the Student Success Office. I attended various workshops and utilized the drop-in writing and communication resources at the Writing Centre.”
Delayun credits his success to the wide variety of professional and personal development opportunities offered by the university.
“The first two years of the Kinesiology program here at Waterloo offered a wide range of courses in the field of cardiovascular, muscle physiology, neuroscience and biomechanics,” he said. “My exposure to these various courses in my early academic years prepared me to execute my job accordingly and at the same time apply this knowledge in real life.”
For students facing similar obstacles and challenges as Delayun when finding their first co-op position, he offers the following piece of advice: “Be proactive and take advantage of all resources that the University has to offer.”