Testing the waters

Testing the waters

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Contributors:

Courtney Aucoin

Top-five ways to rock your co-op

Matching post-secondary student development to employer needs is an integral part of the Halifax Chamber’s 2013-2018 Strategic Plan. Focusing on this goal led the Chamber to shift toward leveraging co-operative education to help with staffing needs. Because of this, I have been a part of their team for the past four months. I had the pleasure of working with a group of fantastic people, who inspired me everyday to do my best and to take on tasks outside of my comfort-zone. Each staff member was so welcoming during my first couple of weeks and I instantly felt like a part of the team. A small but mighty team, they are always willing to help you along the way.

Here are the top-five things that helped me rock my co-op experience:

1. UNDERSTAND THE CORPORATE CULTURE

It’s important to get to know an organization’s corporate culture — and fast. You want to understand the do’s and don’ts before completely settling into your new position. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and ask questions. Your employer will appreciate your interest and it will help you make a good impression.

2. KNOW YOUR ROLE

Taking the time to understand your role at your organization is key, especially as a student. Be willing to help your team reach their goals, after all it’s what you’re there for. Ensure you know your position’s role and what types of skills and abilities you can bring to the table. You can make a major impact by knowing how to properly apply them.

3. SAY YES!

During my three co-op experiences, I learned to always say yes. Say yes to learning something new, say yes to networking, say yes to doing something out of your comfort zone — you will thank yourself later. Saying yes can open the door to different experiences andopportunities that you might not have otherwise.

4. BE A GOOD LISTENER

We often forget that listening can be the most useful tool of all. I’ve learned so much in four short months at the Chamber, just by listening to my colleagues. Listening to their different work experiences, and how they got to where they are now. You’ll learn so much about your colleagues and they will value knowing that you are supportive and understanding.

5. OWN IT

After having two previous co-op experiences under my belt, I walked into my third co-op at the Chamber certain that I knew what I wanted. My experience at the Chamber exposed me to a new world and I never imagined I would love planning and organizing events as much as I do. I had the opportunity to work in the events department at the Chamber and learned so much about myself. I’ve learned to own my skills, abilities, to not be afraid to ask for help and to be more confident in my work. I’d recommend you try it out!

I am sad to be leaving the Chamber, but very grateful to have had this opportunity. I look forward to applying the tools I’ve learned and using them as an asset in my future workplace.


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