claire

Q1. 

What program were you in?

I was in the Accounting Program. When I first started at Langara, I was in the Math and Statistics Program and when I took an accounting course as an elective, I fell in love with it.

Q2. 

Where did you have your co-op work placement?

I was placed with Parrish & Heimbecker. I was an accounting assistant for the corporate controller and ended up getting extended for a second placement.

Q3. 

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

I’ve always been aware that you need experience in the workforce, but you never really realize that until you don’t have it. My co-op opened doors for me that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I always thought that as an accountant I would just be doing the same thing everyday, but there’s been a lot more to it that I really enjoy.

Q4. 

What work are you doing now?

Four months after my placement ended, I received a call asking for me to fill in for the person I worked under because they had taken a position in Toronto. I accepted and a few months into the position, they asked me to stay on in the role.

Q5. 

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

Co-op was invaluable as it opened me up to a lot of variety. In accounting, I know a lot of people that have gone into the public sector and are set in one specific area. My job has the potential to expand and grow and that’s part of the reason why I ended up staying here.

Q6. 

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

I really like private practice. The company I’m with now is very specific because they are grain based, which isn’t something I learned about in school. It also showed me that there are a lot of different ways of doing accounting. Grain accounting is so unique, especially in Vancouver, and it has given me the confidence that if I do change jobs in the future I know that I can work in a variety of different industries.

Q7. 

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

Co-op is not only necessary for your future career, but it also really gives you the opportunity to try something that you may not have been able to try. I didn’t have a background in grain accounting and when I got the co-op, I had no idea how I would have done the job full-time. With co-op, you get a four-month position where you can test something out and see what you like. It’s fantastic for seeing what kind of career you want in the future. It can lead to business contacts or future positions, or even to just pad your resume with relevant work experience. Co-op also gives you the chance to test the waters. I had planned on trying jobs in the public, private, and maybe government sectors but I ended up falling in love with the first thing I tried.