Charlotte Sander

Q1. 

What program were you in?

BBA, Business Management.

Q2. 

Where did you have your co-op work placements?

My first placement was at Burns Bog Conservation Society as a Senior Camp Counsellor. My second co-op was at the City of White Rock as a Special Events Coordinator. My third and fourth co-ops were with UBC in the Communications and Marketing Department. I stayed there for two years after my co-op placements ended.

Q3. 

What is the biggest takeaway from your co-op experience?

The biggest takeaway was being able to compare what it was like to work in different sectors. I worked for a not-for-profit, municipal government, and then post-secondary education. I was able to learn from each perspective and all of these experiences taught me how to liaise, problem solve, work quickly, build stakeholder confidence, and everything that I really needed to know to go into the business sector.

Q4. 

What work are you doing now?

After working at UBC, I was hired here at Langara College as a Communications Officer. My position involves working with different clients here at the College to create marketing materials, work on strategy, social media, and website work. The other half of my job has to do with events on campus; I work with campus stakeholders to execute enterprise-wide events.

Q5. 

How did your co-op jobs prepare you for the work that you’re doing now?

Without co-op I wouldn’t be where I am now. Co-op helped me build my experience, confidence, and skills. A lot of communications and marketing positions require three to five years of experience and co-op gave me a huge head start.

Q6. 

Looking forward, where would you like your career to go?

When I first began my BBA, I was nervous that I wouldn’t find my niche within the business realm but co-op helped do that. I've found my place within communications and marketing. Strategy is something that I really enjoy, so in terms of long-term goals, I’d like to move into a senior leadership role and help shape the marketing strategy of a company or institution that I feel strongly about. 

Q7. 

What would you say to someone who asks you about co-op?

I know that a lot of students will choose to forgo co-op because of the perception that it will drag out their program. But thinking about co-op in that way is a mistake. Co-op is there to enhance your education and to move you forward in your career. It puts you ahead of other students who will be competing for the same jobs after graduation. If you’re not sure what industry you want to go into, then co-op is great because you can try something for four months, where it’s safe, and decide whether or not you like it. If you know what career you want to pursue after graduation, then co-op is great because you can build experience in the industry you want to move ahead in. Plus you get paid and who doesn’t like that?