The importance of reaching out and asking your employer questions
Hi, I’m Shashwat, a School of Accounting and Finance (SAF) student and I was on my first co-op term during Winter 2021. Boy was it a weird time to be working! I was working as a Financial Analyst at a Data Analytics company and some of my responsibilities included developing financial performance projections and preparing the financial statements for year-end.
While this was definitely not how I imagined my first co-op experience to be, it has taught me valuable lessons that I hope will help learn something and maybe offer some peace of mind for all those of you who are nervous about your future co-ops. (P.S. I’ve been there!!)
Ask questions. This being my first co-op term, I wanted to impress my employers and I thought that meant knowing everything and never asking questions. But on only my second day, I realized how wrong that was. Asking questions allowed me to learn from people who have a wealth of experience under their belt. Not only did I pick up a ton of tips and tricks that made me faster and more productive, but I also realized that the more I asked the more I learned which is what I am there to do in the first place. I also learned that asking questions shows to your employer that you are taking your work seriously and are invested in what you are doing.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Understandably, during this time you feel stressed and worried, but I have learned that you don’t have to deal with this alone. During the entire co-op process, from applying to jobs to actually working, I learned to lean on the University of Waterloo community resources provided. The University has a multitude of resources to help make this period as easy and stress-free as possible – use them. Don’t be afraid to reach out.
And lastly, when you’re feeling stressed, turn to a hobby you enjoy. For me, there is nothing that playing a little Call of Duty can’t solve — I find it the ultimate decompressor.