3 Vital Reasons Why Co-op is Beneficial to Your Career Success

A Week Full of “Firsts”
Jasmine – 2nd year Public Relations student at Conestoga College

My brief definition of what a College “Co-op” is:  Co-op for me, and many others at Conestoga, is a paid placement where students are given the opportunity to mesh their classroom-based education with hands-on work experience. Depending on which program you’re in, you might get the opportunity to partake in a co-op(s) term during your school year, or throughout your summer break.

Co-op has changed the way I look at my future. It has opened my eyes to many different ideas, and potential career plans. I have also been able to enhance many skills that are mandatory for success in my current field of practice. I chose my program in particular because of the co-op option, and because I know without it – I wouldn’t fully be able to grasp what I will be doing for my long-term career, and the success I will have in it.

I am currently in the middle of my co-op term and have many things to say, the first is that co-op is very beneficial to your career success.

  1. Develop New Skills and Enhance Current One’s

My skills going into co-op have developed immensely throughout the process of my term. I have started to see skills I didn’t think I had, emerge every day. Most of the time in order to get my work done I had to use my current skills to the best of my knowledge to succeed, finish tasks, and adjust to the different work environment. I can confidentially say I am now more organized than ever, I can communicate much better than before, and my problem-solving skills have definitely advanced. I am now starting to develop office management skills, leadership skills, and many other transferable skills that I wasn’t the best at before. These skills are all relevant to have in the working world, and will take me far, the more I am able to enhance them.

  1. Practical Work Experience

I feel that this reason might beat all of the others as to why co-op is so beneficial to your career success. No matter what kind of co-op you have, or placement you’re under-going you will always gain practical work experience. I am exposed every day to workplace practices and procedures that I have never experienced before. Crucial to my success in my current field or for the future is actually getting hands-on experience doing tasks that someone in my dream position will be doing. I’m understanding the industry, and correct terminology. During your co-op it is only expected that you train yourself to adapt to your work environment along with the rules and procedures. This will only help you in the long run, because you’ll have a better idea of what your future will look like.

  1. Explore Your Career Options

Depending on where your co-op is, you most likely will be dealing with different business sectors, industries, and positions. During my co-op every day I feel like I am exposed to a little bit of everything. I do administration work, human resource work, customer service, graphic design, and even a little chemistry – this is because of my co-op placement. You get a chance to explore different career options as you are constantly given tasks that are related to your profession but also give you a taste of what other professions might look like. You are able to learn about other sectors and industries, and explore new practices that are relevant to your program. This allows you to decide whether or not you’re on the right track, or if you might be interested in other sectors.

Take that Co-op!

Co-op is a phenomenal experience, and teaches you so many things about yourself and the industry you’re wishing to pursue a career in. So far for me it has been life changing. I have gained many skills I didn’t have before, advanced the skills I developed during college, and tested my knowledge on so many levels. The co-op program expands your network, and allows you to practice what you’ve learned during school in a practical work environment. If you’re currently deciding whether to take that placement, or choose a program with a co-op… I strongly advise you to do so. It is beneficial to your career success and the future, you won’t regret it.

April Events at Conestoga

Each and every month Conestoga College host some amazing, unforgettable opportunities and events! Even with the school year beginning to wind down April is no exception! There is so much stuff happening at the college this coming month, that I thought I would take the opportunity to tell you all about it!

First of all, the Board of Directors elections are this coming week! The ballot will be emailed to your Conestoga account. It is super important not only to vote but also to talk to and research the candidates. The elected members really do have a large input on things that happen around the school! You can head over to the CSI website now to learn about the candidates and their platforms!

On April 3rd, CSI will be hosting an on-campus job fair. As someone who works multiple jobs on campus, I get so many questions as to how you get a job on campus, and let me tell you here is your opportunity! If you are a returning student in September make sure you check out this event because it is a really great place to find amazing employment for the school year! I have held a total of 5 different positions during my time at the College and I have loved every single one of them! I know there are a lot of positions that need to be filled so make sure you bring a resume and get out there!

Next, on April 5th, Bollywood Pub Night is happening once again at The Venue! This is one of the bigger events that Conestoga hosts and it ALWAYS sells out fast! It is only $5 a ticket and you can also bring a friend! This event is going to be a wonderful music filled party to end off your semester!

Last but not least, From April 8th – April 17th Exam Relief is happening on all of the Conestoga campuses! You can check out this event for free pizza and snacks as well as win some cool prizes on the spot! This event is well loved by many students and is sure to be a hit again this year! What a better way to take a study break than eating pizza and winning some free stuff!

This is only touching on a few of the awesome things happening at the college this month! It is obviously important to spend time studying for your exams but it never hurts to take a break and make some final memories before the year comes to a close!

The 3 Things I’ve Learned in 3 Years at Conestoga

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Brooke – 3rd Year Bachelor of Design

College in an interesting time in a person’s life. It may be the first time you move away from home, you will be meeting a ton of new people, and you finally get to learn about a chosen subject that you hopefully love.

Everyone grows in different ways and in different stages, but no matter how old you are, college will teach you so many things that go well beyond classroom learning. My first day at Conestoga wasn’t my first time at college, but it was the start of a big change and growth period in my life.

I am now in my 3rd year at Conestoga and only 1 more year away from finishing my degree. As I look back at my time here, I can’t help by notice how my life has changed for the better and some amazing life lessons I have learned here at Conestoga. I thought I would share some of these moments with you today.

  1. It’s important to know who has your back

Within my first month at Conestoga, I met a few amazing people. Over the last few years, I have grown closer to these people than I have ever imagined. They have my back through thick and thin and I could not imagine a better group of friends. Even over these last few months, I have met quite a few unexpected friends and even though I have only known them a few months I know they have my back.

It is so important to know that it is not the amount of time you know someone that makes them a good friend but rather how they treat you. Trust your gut instinct about people and know who you can really count on when you need them. Some of the most wonderful people come from the most unexpected places.

  1. Be open to new experiences

I know you have probably heard it time and time again but I cannot stress the importance of stepping out of your comfort zone. Whether you fly or fall you will know you tried your hardest and that’s what counts.

Being open to new experiences can get you so far and give you some of the most memorable fun experiences and stories of your life. Whether this is joining a club, going on a trip, or going above and beyond on a project. Being open to new experiences and stepping out of your comfort zone will open you up to a world of amazing opportunities.

  1. Nothing is perfect

I used to be, and still partially am, the biggest perfectionist. I know a lot of people struggle with this and it is a hard habit to break but it is so important to realize that not everything can be perfect. I am by no way saying don’t try your hardest, because please do, but it is also so important to know when to let something go.

Between working, school, homework, and trying to have a social life there is a lot to balance and not enough hours in a day. It is important not to put to much pressure on yourself for these things and not to stress about doing everything perfectly because the reality is that we are human, you just can’t, and it is not worth the stress.

Find your priorities and focus on them. Balance in life is hard, and I am still trying to figure it out myself, but it is so important not to beat yourself down over the little things. Just breath and I promise you will be ok.

Life can be hard and intimidating but it is also those challenging experiences that help shape us and help us move forward. College has helped prepare me for so many curveballs over these last few years. I can’t wait to see how much I continue to grow as a person while I finish the last year and a half of my degree!