From Talking About Co-op to Actually Doing It
As a UVic Tour Guide, I am constantly talking about Co-operative Education. The benefits, the opportunities, and the experiences of co-op are shared across campus and are a “can-not-pass-up opportunity” that UVic offers.
Even though I have known all of this and have spoken at length to these topics, I had never seriously considered partaking in co-op myself. I don’t know why, but it always seemed a little bit distant, something that was a maybe in the future but did not feel like a real option. Plus, I had no idea what job I would pursue as a Gender Studies student, which has such a wide base of topics and themes to play with.
I fell into my co-op in a sort of unique way. I am involved in a lot of campus groups and activities that focus on prospective students and knowing what there is to know about UVic.
Through my extracurriculars, I heard about a position available as a Student Recruiter, but they wanted—you guessed it—a co-op student. I thought I was already out of the running. I had never touched co-op let alone registered, but this was a position I had been unknowingly working toward since my start at UVic, and that immediately got me interested in applying for the position.
Knowing how much work regular co-op students put into finding their position, I knew I needed to put in just as much work even though I didn’t have the program backing me up yet. I dusted off my resume and went to work updating and polishing it until it shined…then I let everyone I know tear it apart.
I sent my resume and my cover letter, to former employers, to working friends in my field, even to my mom. Getting multiple perspectives from others who have done what I want to do was invaluable in my preparation. My editors were also my biggest support system. I knew my stuff, I had my paperwork, and I practiced my presentation in front of my peers which was terrifying but one of the most important parts of my process. All along the way I was encouraged and supported which only lifted me higher.
On interview day, I was excited, confident, and only a lot nervous haha, but my preparation had gotten me where I needed to be and paid off because I was offered the position (which I of course accepted). In the end, I was able to become a co-op student in reverse.
I am now a Student Recruiter for my own university and I get to share my experiences and knowledge with prospective students coming from all over the world. UVic has made such a big impact in my life; applying for this position, and joining co-op, was the next step in my educational growth. I am no longer just talking the talk, I became a co-op student, and I am so grateful that I did.