Co-op student single-handedly lands her dream job

Some people spend their entire lives trying to find their true passion, but Kinesiology student, Hilary Lam, knew exactly what she wanted to do since the very beginning of her undergraduate career.

Hilary Lam

Hilary says that she realized her passion for forensic investigation on the first day of her 2B term.

My professor introduced himself as a forensic biomechanist, and as he began describing his job, it dawned on me that it was exactly what I wanted to do with my degree.

Hilary explained, that in short – forensic biomechanists focus on the person or persons involved in an incident. They use specialized knowledge of injury mechanisms and biomechanics to determine whether or not an accident was the cause of an injury.

Hearing what I had only imagined I could do with my degree was a pivotal moment in my undergrad career. From that moment forward, I became determined to learn all I could and create an opportunity for myself within the industry.

Unfortunately, as her first co-op term rolled around, Hilary noticed that no such positions were listed on JobMine. Instead of throwing in the towel and calling it quits, she decided to do some digging of her own.  

Lam spent a better part of the next year researching firms and although there were plenty in the area, only a few had the resources to hire a co-op student. Despite the initial lack of interest, Hilary regularly kept in touch with managers of firms that she was determined to join.

This winter, her perseverance paid off and a hiring manager from Advantage Forensics invited her for an interview. Needless to say, Hilary nailed the interview, and secured her dream placement.

Today, she is at the tail end of her 8-month stretch with Advantage Forensics – an opportunity that has proven to be everything that she could have imagined.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience in forensic engineering thus far, and I’m more than convinced that this is the right fit for me. The job never gets boring, and the variety of work that I am involved in is unlike any other.

This co-op placement marks Hilary’s final work term prior to graduation. Although getting this job wasn’t easy, Hilary said that she’s glad to have taken the time to explore employment opportunities outside of JobMine.

For co-op students looking to explore a unique placement of their own, Hilary leaves some words of advice:

As cliché as it is, don’t give up! For niche positions where opportunities may be more scarce, it’s important to be patient and remember why you want the position in the first place. Keeping that in mind will help keep you motivated until you have reached your goal.

If you’re thinking about arranging your own employment, keep in mind that Waterloo offers flexible options to all co-op students. For more information, visit the Co-operative Education website and follow Waterloo co-op on Twitter.

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