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.

WayBack – Playback!

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Brooke – 3rd Year Student

Are you ready Condors?! It is time to break out your scrunchies, mood rings and shoulder pads because on April 5 it is time for the WayBack – Playback, 80’s and 90’s Dance!

One thing that I have noticed since becoming a college student is that it isn’t the nights you sit in studying that you remember, but the nights that you go out and have the time of your life. Even with exams approaching it is important not to burn out, and sometimes you just need to relieve some stress, go out, and have some fun! Conestoga hosts so many events both on and off campus that allow you to do just that. The WayBack – Playback is one of them!

This Conestoga College event is being fully organized and held by a few students in the Bachelor of Public Relations Program and is going to be an unforgettable night! You can experience not only some throwback tunes, but also food, a costume contest, a silent auction, a photo booth and much more! There is also a cash bar available to anyone interested!

Not only is this night going to be an unforgettable one for all who attend but it is also a great example of how students are able to take everything they have learned at Conestoga and implement that knowledge into real-world experiences!

A ticket is $15 and all the proceeds for this event go straight to an amazing cause; The Child Witness Center. Though this event is being held by Conestoga students anyone, from any school is welcome to attend as long as they are over the age of 19! So, grab your friends because this is going to be a memorable night!

I have personally watched these students work endlessly putting this event together, I really do hope you come out and give them your support! More details can be found on the events Facebook Page and you can purchase tickets on Eventbrite:

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/wayback-playback-tickets-55990484045

I can’t wait to see you there!

A guide to setting goals for the future

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Jasmine Marinelli – 2nd Year Bachelor of Public Relations

At this moment in time I think that it is super important to create goals for yourself. They help you believe in yourself, prioritize, plan for your life, and aim for things you never thought were possible. After I found out what my passion was in life, I decided to set certain goals for myself. I set a short-term goal, a medium-term goal, and a long-term goal to meet, which has planned out my career and future.

Short-Term Goal Setting

A short-term goal is one that you would set for the near future. This could mean something you want to accomplish in the next couple of weeks, or months, even this year. Essentially it is a goal that you can achieve in less than 12 months.

For example, I have created a short-term goal for myself that focuses on building my experience in public relations, expanding my network and obtaining a 3.5 GPA average. These are all goals that I am confident I can achieve in the next couple of months. What the most important thing to focus on is prioritizing what the most vital goal is to you right now, and working on just one at a time.

Medium-Term Goal Setting

A medium-term goal is one that you would set to achieve in a year to five years. This could be a goal that is less specific than your short-term one, but plans for your success in the future. Having a medium-term goal allows you to analyze your steps, and keep your short-term goal up-to-date.

For example, my medium-term goal is to see myself landing an amazing co-op job in the next couple of years, and being re-hired by that specific organization. This goal is one that is a little less structured because there may be some time-based factors I can’t control. However, it still aligns with my long-term goal, and is one that I believe is very achievable.

Long-Term Goal Setting

This type of goal is one that you would consider to be your final goal. It is a goal that centres around your others, and are built upon your short-term and medium-term goals. You will be spending multiple years envisioning what this may look like. Long-term goals should be made to be achieved in 5+ years.

For example, my long-term goal focuses on my career goal for myself in five to ten years. I want to make sure at this time I am in a position I where I am happy, and loving my life. I have a specific goal of wanting to work for a national sports team, and continuing to be successful at this time in my career.

Goals should be made when you recognize your passion in life, and know what you are aiming for in the future. Setting goals give you a vision for yourself, and help you create the “big picture”, and what you want to do with your life. Setting goals, and achieving them is the best feeling in the world. I highly suggest everyone to set their own goals to raise self-confidence, and recognize their own ability to succeed.