Peace and Conflict Studies offers a variety of Co-operative Education (Co-op) within the program through the University of Waterloo's co-op system. PACS students add the co-op option to their degree through the PACS Honours Arts and Business program by alternating study and work terms. For students who are combining a co-op program with PACS, 20 months of experience might be a huge addition to their resume and bank account. Below are a few stories of what some PACS students have done while on a co-op work term.
As a Co-op student, Konica got the opportunity to try her hand at several different approaches to conflict. She spent a term working as a Tax Administrator with Manulife Financial where she learned about the importance of establishing connections and team dynamics. She then went on to work as a Health Promotion Assistant with the Heart and Stroke Foundation within the South Asian diversity wing. This opportunity taught Konica the impact of adapting information to specific cultures to have the maximum positive effect on those involved. In her final Co-op experience working in Ottawa as a Junior Policy Analyst, Konica researched women’s homelessness and was inspired by her work to do more. Konica and one of her Co-op partners decided to take the information they were learning and experience more first hand. On their own, they began volunteering at a Shelter in Ottawa, holding life skills and internet literacy workshops for homeless individuals.
Sukhraaj ‘Raj’ Shergill is a 5th year Arts and Business Student at the University of Waterloo, and his very first Co-op position in 2014 allowed him to work with the Government of Canada in Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC). Fast forward to now and Raj has completed 5 terms at INAC, having several different positions including Policy Analyst, Communications Assistant, and as an International Relations Analyst where he was invited to have dinner with the Chilean Ambassador to Canada! Raj’s current Co-op position has him working in Treaties and Aboriginal Government (TAG) as a Negotiations Analyst, a position that works to increase the autonomy of indigenous groups through supporting self-government and solidifying treaties.
Anna Giesbrecht is an Arts and Business student majoring in PACS with a minor in International Studies. Inspired by the Restorative Justice course (PACS 329), Anna applied for a Co-op position with Community Justice Initiatives in Kitchener. This position allowed her to work in the Elder Mediation Services Branch, working to build relationships with older members of the community so that the organization can better resolve conflicts with these populations. Anna also spent time in Brazil for one of her Co-op positions working with the organization ‘Youth with a Mission’ where Anna taught English to students while they were not in their formal schooling. Anna currently has one Co-op term left, and is excited to see where her next experience will take her!
Kayleigh Swanson is an Arts and Business student majoring in PACS. Her first Co-op position took her to Edmonton to work with a business-consulting firm where she worked as an analyst. This position allowed her to work on several diverse projects that connected the business world to her classroom learning. For Kayleigh’s second Co-op term she traveled to Uganda as part of the Beyond Borders program, which doubled as a PACS Internship. Kayleigh spent 3 months working for a non-profit whose purpose is to curve the spread of HIV/AIDS in Uganda. Co-op term three had Kayleigh working as the Donor Relations and Stewardship Assistant with the University Of Waterloo Office Of Advancement. And for her final Co-op term, Kayleigh will be working with a law firm in Toronto.