Steven

Q1. 

What program were you in?

BBA, Marketing Management.

Q2. 

Where did you have your co-op work placement?

The CKNW Orphan’s Fund. It’s a not-for-profit associated with 980 Radio. I was a Marketing Assistant.

Q3. 

What’s the biggest takeaway from your co-op experience?

My co-op experiences exposed me to a couple of different organizations with different cultures: CKNW Orphan’s Fund is a non-profit organization and Vancouver Airport Authority has a much larger corporate environment. The two contrasting experiences allowed me to understand the significance of corporate culture and how it can impact somebody’s professional development and productivity. Furthermore, I managed to develop a sense for the ideal type of organizational culture that I think would provide me with the best environment to professionally develop and grow.

Q4. 

What work are you doing now?

I’m currently with Vancouver Airport Authority. I was first hired as a co-op student last May and when that ended in August, I was offered a temporary full-time work-term with the Community Relations team. That role turned into a full-time permanent position and I’ve been here for nine months now.

Q5. 

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

Co-op teaches you skills you can’t learn in the classroom. It’s quite incredible and I’m still learning. Things like how a typical organization operates, how to conduct yourself at the office, and working with colleagues. You also gain practical knowledge and hands-on experience. That’s just something you don’t get in the classroom.

Q6. 

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

I think I have a clear idea of what the next five, maybe ten years might look like. Nothing really beyond there. I just graduated; I’m just beginning to develop professionally. Based on my experience so far, you can never really predict what opportunities may come and when they do, you assess whether it makes sense for you to take advantage of it or go a different route. Based on that kind of mindset, it’s going to be an adventure.

Q7. 

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

Definitely do co-op. I know a lot of people will say that they don’t want to graduate later but consider the benefits. If you do your program without doing co-op then yes, you finished a year earlier but you don’t have any practical work experience. There’s so much you can learn in the workplace that you can’t learn in school.