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. 


WillowWillow Carmount took on the role of Marketing and Recruitment Assistant at Renison University College in her second co-op term. In this role, they were given the opportunity to take on more writing assignments by her supervisors. What Willow learned in PACS aided them in successfully completing important projects, such as the Alternate Admissions Pathway for Indigenous students at Renison. To complete this project, Willow used the knowledge gifted to her by Indigenous leaders at the University of Waterloo and beyond, and used what they learned about structural positive and negative peace in PACS 101 Peace is Everybody's Business”.

Read more about Willow here!


Abbey Tiernan PhotoAbbey Tiernan is an Arts and Business Student with a PACS Major and a Psychology Minor. During her second work term, Abbey worked for Canada’s Children Hospital where she was responsible for the research and implementation of Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) and managing corporate partnerships. Abbey was able to use the skills she learned in her PACS education, specifically negotiation and conflict resolution, to overcome obstacles to implementing ESG at the organization.

Read more about Abbey here!


Anna profile

As an Arts and Business student, Anna Giesbrecht, majored 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 conflict 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. 

Read more about Anna here!


Cassie MyersDuring the final year of her degree, Cassie founded her start-up, SheLeads. SheLeads is building a platform for educators, to encourage and assess leadership skill understanding in girls seamlessly. Through the platform, girls ages 6-10 go through story based games that focus on strong female protagonists leading adventures around various leadership skills including: risk-taking, responsibility, and communication. Cassie spent most of her Co-op terms in the technology sector, and learned a lot that helped her create SheLeads.

Read more about Cassie here!


Caileigh MacIsaacOn her fourth Co-op position as a Research Market Analyst for a renewable energy company, showing that Caileigh has had Co-op jobs that have given her experiences across the board. At a previous Co-op position, Caileigh worked for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry in Peterborough as a Marketing Officer. Caileigh believes that her Co-op experiences have helped to shape her interests for the future in the realm of PACS.

Read more about Caileigh here!


Kayeligh ProfileKayleigh Swanson tailored her Arts and Business degree with a major 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 a number of diverse projects that connected the business world to her classroom learning. For Kayleigh’s second Co-op term she travelled 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. For her final Co-op term Kayleigh worked with a law form in Toronto.

Read more about Kayleigh here!


Kissor NithiananthanIn the fall of 2019, Kissor Nithiananthan, a 3A Arts and Business student, was hired to work at Northbridge Insurance in Toronto’s financial district. Kissor, an Honours Business student, has a unique experience in the business field. With a Peace and Conflict Studies major and Human Resources minor, he had a leg up on his competitors. Kissor was able to call upon his different skills in order to be a suitable candidate for this position. Even in the financial district, Kissor found that his Peace and Conflict Studies skills were useful, especially when it came to communication, negotiation, and conflict resolution skills. 

Read more about Kissor here!


Konica Kochar

As a Co-op student, Konica got the opportunity to try her hand at a number of 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 in order to have the maximum positive effect on those involved. In her final Co-op experienced 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.

Read more about Konica here!


Maddie HemstreetMaddie Hemstreet, like so many other students, chose to attend the University of Waterloo specifically for the co-op program. Over her time in the program, Maddie has discovered that co-op helps you to figure out the depth of your own capability and to stretch your skill set. Maddie has since worked for employers such as the University of Waterloo’s math department and the Canadian Government Department of Global Affairs.

Read more about Maddie here!


Mhari ReidIn her fourth year, Mhari Reid worked for Gateway for Enterprise to Discover Innovation (GEDI). She worked first as an Engagement Specialist, and then in a later term, as an Operations and Project Coordinator. GEDI was initially interested in hiring Mhari due to the multidisciplinary approach of her PACS degree, which would help her with the interpersonal communication that would be necessary on the job.

Read more about Mhari here!


Nour SaadIn her third and fourth year, Nour Saad had the opportunity to work for Blackberry Ltd. Rather than applying to this job through a job site, though, Nour instead attended an information session at UW where she got the chance to connect with one of the managers and leave a good impression that led to scheduling an interview  at the Blackberry offices in person, in order to secure her position. After the interview, it was decided that, based on Nour’s experience and conversational ability, she would be a good fit for a customer service role.

Read more about Nour here!


Philip ZuidemaAs a co-op student, Philip Zuidema has had a wide range of co-op jobs. He has researched the government's addiction to gambling at a think-tank in Hamilton; built cabinets at a millwork shop in Kitchener; and supported professors in the transition to remote teaching at the University of Waterloo.

At his first co-op job at Cardus, Philip had the chance to research how the government profits from gambling. This job leaned heavily on his PACS experience, and he appreciated the social-justice orientation of the position.

Read more about Philip here!


Raj As an Arts and Business Student at the University of Waterloo, Sukhraaj ‘Raj’ Shergill's first Co-op position allowed him to work with the Government of Canada in Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC). This lead to a continued relationship which saw Raj complete 5 terms at INAC, having a number of 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! Another notable Co-op position had 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.

Read more about Raj here!


Victoria LumaxVictoria Lumax, a co-op student majoring in English and Peace and Conflit Studies, was able to explore her passions and expertise in communications when she spent two terms working as a communications assistant for the Kindred Credit Union Center for Peace Advancement. During her time there, Victoria learned a lot about the peacebuilding community, and was grateful to be able to support the work being done there in any way possible. Much of her role was built around telling the story about what happens in the Centre for Peace Advancement as well as helping the Centre spread awareness for events and opportunities.

Read more about Victoria here!