Hasan: My Co-op Experience

19 March 2021

Since my arrival here in Canada in 2018, I aspired to be working with the BC Public Service. I came to Victoria to pursue a Master of Global Management degree at the Royal Roads University. Before starting my co-operative education (co-op) term, I had worked on several projects funded by the B.C. Provincial Government which further steered my determination to find an opportunity with the BC Public Service. 

As part of my internship to complete my master’s program, I was successful in landing a position with the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training.  As a Client Engagement Analyst, I had the responsibility to help create content for the WorkBC website, market its tools and resources through the various social media platforms and attend outreach events to establish a first-hand connection with our stakeholders. 

Although the idea of working for the BC Public Service was intimidating initially, I had the support of an experienced and understanding supervisor and team who truly wanted me to learn and grow. I had prior work experience in digital marketing and could contribute further to the operations of the unit. My supervisor noticed this potential and provided me with the opportunity to train across multiple areas of operation within the unit. As a result, throughout my two co-op terms, I had become a key member in strategizing and executing multiple priority projects. Even though I had to deliver on responsibilities that were beyond the initial job description, I welcomed the opportunity to share my knowledge and experience and at the same time expand my areas of expertise. 

Looking back, I had joined this position with a lot of expectations, and it is safe to say that this co-op experience met them all with some added pleasant surprises. During my tenure, I gained valuable professional work experience, built professional connections through networking and connected with individuals and communities across the province. Apart from that, being an avid traveller, I am grateful to have been able to explore the majestic beauty of B.C. After seven months of working alongside a group of extremely talented individuals, determined to serve the public, I have gained a fresh perspective and more respect for public servants. 

Having a significant amount of work experience in your desired role or industry under your belt after graduation will help market you to potential employers. Co-op programs provide participants with valuable work experience to supplement a higher education. If you are already in a co-op program and are looking for employers, I would recommend the following steps: 

1.    Connect with your post-secondary institution’s career office. Organizations and employers often reach out to career counsellors at universities and colleges to hire co-op employees. Communicating your career aspirations and goals might unlock potential co-op opportunities in your area. 

2.    Use the WorkBC.ca Job Board to find job postings throughout the province. You can filter for “co-op” or “student” under job type to find employers looking for co-op employees.

Furthermore, if you are interested in learning more about co-operative education, you can read about its advantages and how it works.